Christmas 2013: best films on TV today, Saturday 28 December

Watch Up, The Holiday, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Princess Bride, The Italian Job and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa on Saturday 28 December

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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 10:30am, Channel 5

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Do you remember being terrified of the child catcher when you were little? It’s time to face your fears. Written by Ian Fleming, adapted by Roald Dahl and starring Dick Van Dyke, it’s no surprise that this children’s flick remains a hit to this day. Its 136 minutes tell the story of an inventor who, with the help of his eccentric father and two children, restores an old racing car called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang which turns out to have magical powers.

The Princess Bride, 4:00pm, Channel 5

A perfect Saturday afternoon film for all the family, this curious and charming tale has become something of a cult classic since its release in 1987. The fairytale, starring Homeland’s Mandy Patinkin as well as Billy Crystal and Mel Smith, tells the story of a farmhand who falls in love with his beautiful employer and sets off on an adventure in order to secure her hand in marriage. 

Up, 6:50pm, BBC1 

An uplifting tale of the fledgling relationship between crotchety old man Carl and guileless boy scout Russell. When Carl’s home is threatened by demolition he decides to tie thousands of party balloons to the rafters (as you do) and embark on the journey him and his beloved wife always meant to take before she passed away. As well as a couple of wobbly lip moments, there are plenty of laughs. Especially once the talking dogs make their appearance. Squirrels! 

The Italian Job, 7:00pm, Channel 4

This swinging sixties romp is still as watchable now as it was then. The comedy caper follows newly released ex-con Charlie Croker, played by Michael Caine, who is soon up to no good. Crocker makes plans for a gold-bullion robbery that is to take place in Turin. But the Mafia have other ideas…

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, 8:15pm, BBC3 

In the sequel to hit animated comedy Madagascar, the gang face new challenges. Alex the Lion, Melman the Giraffe, Marty the Zebra and Gloria the Hippo fix-up a plane to fly back to Central Park Zoo, but the aircraft comes down in the African plains and the animals, voiced by Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer and Chris Rock, embark on another adventure. 

The Holiday, 10:30pm, ITV

Fancy an unashamedly cheesy Christmas-themed romcom? The Holiday ticks all the boxes. Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz play the leads who hop across the Atlantic and swap homes over Christmas to escape the men in their life, only for romance to ensue anyway. Jack Black and Jude Law also star. 


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