What is on TV this Christmas 2018?

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


Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special

Caroline Flack and Aston Merrygold (Getty, EH)
Caroline Flack and Aston Merrygold (Getty)

Who are the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas celebrity dancers?


Series 12 winner and Love Island presenter Caroline Flack, former JLS star Aston Merrygold, ex-politician Ann Widdecombe, EastEnders actor Jake Wood, presenter Anita Rani and cricketer Michael Vaughan.

What happens in the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special?

The yuletide edition of the dance contest sees the return of six celebrity contestants who will all be competing for the Christmas glitterball. Hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will be in the studio, alongside judges Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Shirley Ballas.

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Christmas Day, 5.30pm, BBC1

The Great British Bake Off Christmas

Bakers Liam, Flo, Andrew and Jane, The Great Christmas British Bake Off

What will happen in The Great British Bake Off festive specials?

Tis the season to BAKE! The Great British Bake Off is back with not one but two festive specials, inviting eight former contestants to return to the famous tent to show off their not-so-soggy bottoms.

Which bakers will be competing?

Alongside Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig, eight former contestants – Liam Charles, Flo Atkins, Andrew Smyth, Jane Beedle, Kate Henry, Tamal Ray, Candice Brown, Steven Carter-Bailey – will be returning to the tent.

When is The Great British Bake Off on TV?

The Great Christmas Bake Off will air at 8pm on Christmas Day on Channel 4. The Great New Year’s Bake Off will air at 7.40pm on New Year’s Day on Channel 4.

Love Island: The Christmas Special

Love Island - Jack and Dani (ITV)
Love Island – Jack and Dani (ITV)

What will happen in the Love Island Christmas special?

It was a hell of a series this year, with your favourite Islanders (plus some you may have forgotten about) reuniting with host Caroline Flack for a festive catch-up. Prepare to see lots of Christmas crackin’ on – and mugging off, all commentated on by sarcastic narrator Iain Stirling.

Which Islanders are returning?

Love Island winners Dani and Jack have split since filming the Christmas special, so don’t expect to hear about the shock twist in their relationship. They will be joined by fellow finalists Wes and Megan, and long-running couple Adam and Zara. Kaz is also due to take part – only without boyfriend Josh, who is in America and missing the show.

Brace yourself for lots of Christmas-themed cringe as now estranged couple Laura and Paul, along with Georgia and Sam, and Ellie and Charlie, will all be coming face to face.

Fellow Love Islanders Dr Alex, Samira, Alexandra, Kendall, Hayley and Eyal will also be returning to discuss their fledgling love lives.

But not all the Islanders will be back – Rosie (who got frisky with Adam only to be dumped the next day) Niall (who made an early exit), and Frankie (who fell from grace after it emerged he had cheated on girlfriend Samira)  won’t be back, neither will New Jack or New Laura – who split shortly after leaving the villa.

When can I watch it and what channel?

It has yet to be confirmed, but it’s likely the Love Island Christmas reunion will be on air on ITV2 over the festive period.

Tell us about your Christmas TV traditions

All Together Now Celebrities

All Together Now Celebrity special, BBC Pictures

Who is appearing on All Together Now Celebrities?

The likes of Gemma Collins, Chris Kamara, Alison Hammond, Laurie Brett, Ben Foden, Amber Davies, Omid Djalili, Sara Pascoe and Tyger Drew-Honey will be hoping to impress the 100 with their singing skills.

What is All Together Now Celebrities about?

A group of famous faces – not exactly known for their singing abilities – will be hoping to make an impact on the 100 music industry experts. But who will succeed in getting the most on their feet and singing along?

When can I watch it and on which channel?

Christmas Eve, 7.15pm, BBC1

Top of the Pops – Christmas and New Year Specials

Clara Amfo and Fearne Cotton, BBC Pictures

Who is hosting the Top of the Pops specials?

Fearne Cotton and Clara Amfo will unite to review a year in music featuring some of the industry’s biggest stars, from Britain and around the world. The first special will celebrate this year’s Christmas number one, while the second will mark the last number one of 2018.

How can I watch and on which channel?

BBC1, 12.30pm on Christmas Day and 5:10pm on Saturday 29th December

Mary Berry’s Christmas Party

Mary Berry's Christmas Party, BBC Pictures

What is Mary Berry’s Christmas Party?

Bezza is a Christmas expert, so this year she’s opening her kitchen to four celebrities to help them hone their festive cooking skills.

Who is taking part in Mary Berry’s Christmas Party?

Newsreader Huw Edwards, Poldark actress Eleanor Tomlinson, athlete Dina Asher-Smith and comedian Joe Lycett are the lucky famous faces getting personal cookery lessons from the former Bake Off judge.

How can I watch and on which channel?

Mary Berry’s Christmas Party will air on BBC1 on Monday 17th December at 8.30pm

Nadiya’s Party Feasts

Nadiya's Party Feasts, BBC Pictures

What is Nadiya’s Party Feasts?

The Bake Off winner is sharing her favourite celebration dishes for the festive season – and you can expect plenty of vibrant falavours, colours and aromas, from halloumi chips and sticky lamb ribs to beef chilli and pomegranate parsley tabbouleh. Nadiya will also join groups of people up and down the country who share their own special reasons for celebrating.

How can I watch and on which channel?

Nadiya’s Party Feasts will air on Friday 14th December at 8pm on BBC2 

Tell us about your Christmas TV traditions

Mary Berry’s Country House at Christmas

Mary Berry's Country House at Christmas, BBC Pictures

What is Mary Berry’s Country House at Christmas?

Mary Berry = Christmas. And this year she’s descending on Harewood House to meet its staff and volunteers as they prepare their house for Christmas, and delve into the property’s history to uncover traditions of Christmas past.

How can I watch and on which channel?

Mary Berry’s Country House will air on Christmas Day at 6:35pm on BBC2, repeated on Monday 31st December at 5pm on the same channel.

Best Christmas Food Ever

Programme Name: Best Christmas Food Ever - TX: n/a - Episode: Best Christmas Food Ever - generics (No. Generics) - Picture Shows: Paul Ainsworth, Catherine Fulvio - (C) Hungry Gap Productions Ltd. - Photographer: Jacobo Fernandez Garcia

Who does The Best Food Ever star?

Chef Paul Ainsworth and home cook Catherine Fulvio. Guests include Debbie McGee, Christopher Biggins and Love Actually star Martine McCutcheon.

What is The Best Food Ever about?

This regular 45-minute cooking show brings together two top chefs and a celebrity guest as they serve up three recipes worthy of the Christmas table.

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Best Christmas Food Ever will be shown in the two weeks before Christmas on BBC1

BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Sports Personality of the Year (BBC)

How does BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year work?

The 65th annual awards will once again be hosted by Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Gabby Logan, but this year the contest has a few key changes: the public will still decide who wins the trophy, but the show will only reveal contenders for the main prize on the night, rather than three weeks in advance.

When can I watch it and on which channel?

Sports Personality of the Year will air live on Sunday 16th December from 7pm on BBC1

First Dates Christmas Special

First Dates Fred Sirieix

What will happen in the First Dates Christmas Special?

Fred Sirieix and his team of matchmaking waiting staff will welcome some “very special singletons” looking for love. We’ll also see the return of some of the show’s most successful daters, who’ll be telling storieslifelive after the show.

We can even expect a live musical performance and a visit from a “slightly familiar-looking Santa Claus”. Wonder who that’ll be…

When can I watch it and on what channel?

The First Dates Christmas Special will be shown on Tuesday 25th December at 9:15pm on Channel 4

Gogglesprogs Christmas Special


William, Molly & Beth Gogglesprogs

 What will happen in the First Dates Christmas Special?

After a two year break, the kid’s version of the fly-on-the-living-room-wall show is back. Familiar faces and a host of brand new Gogglesprogs will give their verdict on everything from the Royal Wedding to ET.

When can I watch it and on what channel?


Gogglesprogs will be shown on Tuesday 18th December at 8pm on Channel 4