What’s on TV on New Year’s Day?

From Doctor Who to Bridget Jones, New Year’s Day telly has a lot on offer

Doctor Who Series 12

By Kelly Anne Taylor


Resolutions? Fresh starts? Two-Thousand-And-Twent-Me? Whether you’re recovering from last night’s festivities or you’re having a self-care day before you trudge back to work, here’s the very best of what’s on offer for New Year’s Day!

Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words – 5:30pm, BBC Two

The Royal Ballet were whisked off to a film-set in Budapest to reimagine Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet and they have produced a performance, which is pioneering, dazzling and fiercely emotive. Set to Sergei Prokofiev’s original score, enhances the impeccable acting skills of the dancers.

Francesca Hayward (Cats), who plays Juliet, is captivating. She has a star quality that will undoubtedly see her become the next British dancing sensation.

Miranda: My Such Fun Celebration – 6:55pm, BBC One

Miranda Hart on Miranda: My Such Fun Celebration (BBC)

Miranda fans are invited to join the party for “such fun” this festive season with a special one-off entertainment show.

In celebration of the hit sitcom’s 10 year anniversary, the BBC hosted an unscripted “hour of pure unadulterated fun” at The London Palladium in November which will air on BBC One on New Year’s Day. This show acts as a reminder for how funny the series was whilst also harbouring an important message to bring with us into the New Year – self-acceptance.

The Lion King — 6pm, Channel 4

The Lion king original
Walt Disney Studios

The original Lion King will be playing on Channel 4 this New Year. Loosely based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, this film tells the story of Simba who, exiled by his villainous uncle Scar, returns, years later, to Pride Rock to take back what is rightfully his. Tune in to watch this hit 1994 Disney classic, and sing-a-long to the madly catchy Hakuna Matata and The Circle of Life.

Doctor Who – 6:55pm, BBC One

Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole, Jodie Whittaker and Bradley Walsh in Doctor Who (BBC)

Spyfall – Part One will be kicking off Jodie Whittaker’s second series. A riff on James Bond, this episode focuses on a plot against the intelligence services, while attacks around the globe put Earth’s security in danger. In the planet’s time of greatest need, there’s only one person for the job – “The name’s Doctor… the Doctor”. There will be guest appearances from Stephen Fry and Lenny Henry.

The Great Festive Bake Off — 7:40pm, Channel 4

The Great Festive Bake Off – Derry Girls
Channel 4

The cast of Derry Girls take to the Bake Off tent – expect a good laugh, booze, and fiery-retaliations to the judges’ criticism. Plus, Paul Hollywood will be dressed as a nun. It will be good fun, even if some of the baking attempts look as if they were made by “a five-year-old with a broken thumb”.

Dracula — 9pm, BBC One

The creators of Sherlock, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, make their return to BBC One with a brilliantly scary adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. With horror, humour and a very modern vampire (played by Claes Bang) – this series takes Stoker’s version of this legend and turns it into something refreshingly new.

Bridget Jones’ Diary – 9pm, Channel 5

Bridget Jones (Sky)

What better way to start the New Year, than with a heart-warming romantic comedy featuring Britain’s favourite 32-year-old singleton? When Bridget (Renee Zellweger) meets Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) she thinks he is rude, arrogant and uptight; he thinks she is “a verbally incontinent spinster who smokes like a chimney, drinks like a fish and dresses like her mother”.


When the two mismatched characters fall in love – everything seems destined for happiness. Until the roguish Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) comes along…