What is on TV this Christmas?

From Doctor Who to Strictly Come Dancing and Watership Down, here are the festive highlights from BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky


Push aside your turkey and crackers, we all know Christmas is about one thing only: TV. And the best TV too, whether you’re looking for drama, entertainment, comedy or even a spot of sci-fi.


So, what presents have we got waiting for us on screen this year? Here’s everything we know so far, with new shows, dates and times to be added as they’re announced…


Doctor Who 

Tosin Cole, Jodie Whittaker and Mandip Gill in a Doctor Who series 11 promotional picture (BBC, HF)

Who’s in the Doctor Who special’s cast?

Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill.

What is it?

Following on from Jodie Whittaker’s first series of adventures across time and space, Whovians can expect an additional story in the form of a Christmas New Year’s day special

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Expect the episode to air on BBC1 on New Year’s Day 2019.

The ABC Murders

John Malkovich will star as famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot – although he will sport a neat goatee beard rather than the waxed moustache made famous by David Suchet (BBC)

Who’s in The ABC Murders cast?

John Malkovich, Rupert Grint, Tara Fitzgerald, Andrew Buchan and Jack Farthing

What is it?

Nothing says Christmas like watching a horrific murder being solved on TV, with the BBC serving up this classic Hercule Poirot story.

Not only can we expect an intriguing plot from this three-part Agatha Christie adaptation, but an all-star cast too: Hollywood legend John Malkovich will play the super sleuth and Rupert Grint the role of Inspector Crome.

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Expect the drama to air on BBC1 at some point over the Christmas period.

The Midnight Gang

Who’s in The Midnight Gang cast?

David Walliams, with more names to follow…

What is it?

Good news if you enjoyed last Christmas’ Grandpa’s Great Escape: the BBC are adapting another hit children’s book from comedian David Walliams. The Midnight Gang follows the story of a gang of children at Lord Funt Hospital on the quest for adventure as their fellow patients sleep.

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Expect this to air on BBC1 at some point over the Christmas period.

Call the Midwife

Programme Name: Call the Midwife S8 - TX: n/a - Episode: Call the Midwife S8 - Iconics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Back row: Helen George (Trixie Franklin), Jennifer Kirby (Valerie Dyer), Annabelle Apsion (Violet Buckle) In front: (grey coat) Georgie Glen (Miss Higgins) In front: Fenella Woolgar (Sister Hilda), Daniel Laurie (Reggie) In front: Laura Main (Shelagh Turner), Stephen McGann (Dr. Turner), Max Macmillan (Timothy Turner) In front: Miriam Margolyes (Sister Mildred), Jenny Agutter (Sister Julienne) - (C) Neal Street - Photographer: Nicky Johnston TL

Who’s in the Call the Midwife Christmas cast?

Miriam Margoyles joins regulars Jenny Agutter (Sister Julienne), Linda Bassett (Nurse Crane), Judy Parfitt (Sister Monica Joan), Helen George (Trixie), Laura Main (Shelagh Turner), Victoria Yeates (Sister Winifred), Jennifer Kirby (Valerie), Leonie Elliott (Lucille) and Stephen McGann (Dr Turner).

What’s it about?

The now-traditional special of the midwifery drama welcomes Miriam Margoyles as Sister Mildred, a forthright nun who arrives at Nonnatus House with her hands full with four Chinese orphan refugees. As the BBC say, “these unexpected visitors cause joy and chaos in equal measure”.

When is it on TV?

The past Call the Midwife specials have been aired on Christmas Day on BBC1 and there’s no reason to think why this episode would be any different.

Other dramas you can expect this Christmas…


Other Christmas entertainment shows will be announced soon. Check this page for updates…