What’s on TV on New Year’s Eve?

Say goodbye to 2019 and welcome in a new decade straight from your sofa…

Jools Annual Hootenanny

By Kelly Anne Taylor


Overcrowded pubs? Extortionate taxis? An hour long queue to the bar? Avoid the hassle of New Year’s Eve, with these top TV recommendations for NYE.

The Queen – 12:45pm, ITV

Missing her Majesty, the Queen post-series three of The Crown? Turn on the telly to watch this Oscar-winning historical drama, starring Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II and Michael Sheen as Prime Minister Tony Blair. Focussing on the royal reaction to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in the wider context of republicanism, this is a wonderfully poignant watch.

Hippos: Africa’s River Giants – 6pm, BBC Two

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 22/03/2019 - Programme Name: Climate Change with David Attenborough (tbc) - TX: n/a - Episode: Climate Change with David Attenborough (tbc) - announcement (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: ***STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:00:01 FRIDAY 22nd MARCH 2019*** Sir David Attenborough - (C) BBC - Photographer: Polly Alderton

National treasure David Attenborough examines the life of the hippopotamus in this Natural World film.

The wildlife series delves into the stories of incredible animals from some of the most extraordinary places in the world. Featuring incredible underwater footage, the programme reveals the true nature of the hippopotamus – the magnificent animal that cannot swim and yet, is completely dependent on water.

John Wilson Orchestra – 7pm, BBC Four

Programme Name: n/a - TX: 20100101 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: - (C) BBC - Photographer: ABIGAIL ZOE MARTIN

For a musical finish to the year, tune into watch John Wilson’s Orchestra at the BBC Proms. Recorded in August at the celebratory concert, Wilson revives classic scores and songs from the Warner Brothers studios. Popular renditions include ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ from My Fair Lady and The Deadwood Stage from Calamity Jane.

Billy Elliot – 9pm, BBC Two

Set in County Durham, during the miners’ strike in 1984, the film follows Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell), an 11-year-old boy who aspires to become a professional dancer. Billy is sent to a boxing class by his widowed father, but finds himself instead in a ballet class. When Billy’s dad discovers his son dancing, he forbids Billy from returning to the ballet class. Will Billy let his dad’s wishes get in the way of his dreams?

The Graham Norton Show — 10:20pm, BBC One

Graham Norton Show

Graham welcomes Tom Hanks to his famous red sofa, in the last show of the year to talk about his role in Mr Rogers biopic A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood. Line of Duty star  Stephen Graham will be talking about new true crime drama White House Farm and Motsi Mabusewill be discussing her incredible first series as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing.

Jools’s Annual Hootenanny – 11:15pm, BBC Two

Stormzy - Jools's Annual Hootenanny
BBC/Michael Leckie

Jools Holland’s annual Hootenanny is returning to usher in 2020, and he’s bagged a stellar line-up for the popular New Year bash.

Jools and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra will be joined by a host of big music stars, including Stormzy, La Roux and Stereophonics. Hugely successful grime artist Stormzy, whose Glastonbury headline set made history earlier this year, will be performing tracks from his second album Heavy is the Head including hit single Crown.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks/Big Ben – 11:55pm, BBC One/ITV


Don’t want to leave your couch, but want to enter the new year with a bang? BBC One and ITV will both broadcasting live  scenes from the Thames Embankment (with the Beeb airing Craig David Rocks Big Ben Live from 11:25pm) – bid goodbye to 2019 and welcome the new decade with a marvellous fireworks display.