The period between Christmas and New Year never fails to turn up television gems and today’s highlights are no different – there is comedy, a satirical review of a remarkable year in history and historical drama to choose from.
We’ve run the rule over today’s best Christmas TV and found the very best programmes to keep us entertained and, on Monday 28th December, these are the shows that really stand out.
Christmas House of Games Night – 7pm, BBC One
Richard Osman’s winning quiz show features a celebrity edition this Christmas, with Miranda star Sarah Hadland, Taskmaster’s Alex Horne, Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood and newsreader Charlene White joining him in the HOG lounge.
The show has been a welcome addition to the TV landscape, with its charming mix of trivia, games and guest banter and it’s the perfect bridge between festive films in the afternoon and the more serious evening fare.
Will the winning star opt for the much coveted House of Games Christmas suitcase, or will the festive fondue set prove irresistible? Fun, witty, and full of surprises, Richard’s cross-examination of the celebs over the course of the evening provides an entertaining watch for all the family as the level of competitiveness and camaraderie grows.
Escape to the Chateau at Christmas – 7pm, Channel 4
Dick and Angel Strawbridge pull out all the stops to create a family Christmas to remember in France. The couple plus Dorothy and Arthur will be joined by Angel’s parents Jenni and Steve this time around.
With an old 19th century Chateau ledger found in the attic and classic cookbooks to hand, the Strawbridges take inspiration from Christmases past, discovering what food and festivities, gifts and games would have been like in bygone times.
Dick and Angel’s imagination goes into overdrive as they create a winter wonderland on the Chateau’s grounds.
Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad The Unseen Show – 8:30pm, ITV
As coronavirus laid waste to the TV industry during 2020, Bradley and Barney Walsh were not unaffected and any plan to film a new series was put on hold. So, the next best option was to create a show out of unseen scenes, phone footage and the best bits from their previous two American adventures.
The Walshes watch back everything from additional unseen footage to moments the boys captured on their phone, behind the scenes clips with the crew and fun compilations of their road trip antics. There are more sing-alongs, Brad’s jokes, snacks, plus quizzes and games they’d play to pass the time.
As they drive down the memory motorway, Brad and Barney can stop, pause and rewind at any moment to comment on what they see. Letting us in on even more stories and reactions to what Brad describes as ‘…the highlight of [his] life’.
Two Doors Down Christmas Special – 9pm, BBC Two
COVID-19 has wrecked Cathy and Colin’s plans for a Christmas in Dubai, so the suburban Scottish couple head to a luxury lodge in the Highlands to have a festive staycation, inviting their neighbourhood “frenemies” along for “the bit between” Christmas and New Year.
So while the location is changed, you can guarantee Cathy’s behaviour will stay the same. Let’s just say it isn’t a case of goodwill to all men when she starts the celebrations a little bit early and guests Beth, Eric, Christine, Ian and Gordon have to contend with her rapidly declining hospitality and withering barbs.
Will the Two Doors Down neighbours make it through to the morning or will things spiral out of control?
Black Narcissus – 9pm, BBC One
A three-part psychological drama set in a convent in a remote part of the Himalayas, Black Narcissus continues, with Sister Clodagh (Gemma Arterton) and Sister Ruth (Aisling Franciosi) growing increasingly attracted to land agent Mr Dean (Alessandro Nivola).
It’s not only the altitude that is heightened as the nuns find themselves becoming increasingly unhinged by the environment and mysticism in this enjoyable and compelling adaptation of Rumer Godden’s 1939 novel.
Billy Connolly: It’s Been a Pleasure – 9:30pm, ITV
It’s no secret that comedy great Sir Billy Connolly has retired from public performing. Despite his advancing years (he’s 78) he also suffers Parkinson’s disease, so it’s wonderful that the master of storytelling signs off with a suitably humorous comedy special in which he looks back on his career and life.
Filmed at his home in the Florida Keys, the special features the reminiscences of Billy and the insights of his wife, Pamela Stephenson, plus contributions from super-fans such as Paul McCartney, Elton John, Dustin Hoffman, Whoopi Goldberg, Lenny Henry, Aisling Bea, Armando Iannucci and Sheridan Smith.
The Big Yin is at his entertaining best in the 75-minute special.