The broadcasters’ announcement of their Christmas highlights may not be made with the same sort of fanfare as when most of us had just four television channels to choose from, but to many of us it remains the first sign of the season to come – and this year’s fare is an encouraging sign of a return to normal after the disruption of the lockdown years when productions were delayed mid-shoot, postponed or even abandoned.


In the latest Radio Times magazine, check out our preview of the best shows this Christmas – a quick glance reveals an enticing mix of the new and the old. The BBC’s big family treat is a charming animation of Charlie Mackesy’s heart-warming picture book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.

The illustrator exclusively drew this week's RT cover and tells us in the new issue how his book began as a series of messages on his social media feed about the enduring power of kindness and our ability to sustain each other during times of need.

Published just before lockdown, it became a word-of-mouth hit during the pandemic, selling almost two million copies worldwide. With stars such as Gabriel Byrne, Idris Elba and Tom Hollander providing the voices, we think you will thoroughly enjoy it.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse Radio Times cover

Also in this week’s Radio Times:

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  • Samira Ahmed on the “curious demographic” who contact Newswatch, the justified and unjustified comments, the reluctance of BBC leaders to appear and Martin Bashir’s bizarre appearance.
  • Pauline McLynn and Ardal O’Hanlon on reuniting on screen after 25 years, the legacy of Father Ted, no longer being in contact with Graham Linehan, being mistaken for being much older and how comedy commissioning is now done by committee.
  • Mackenzie Crook on changing his mind about ending Detectorists, discovering a Neolithic flint blade on the set and the poignancy of the show without Dame Diana Rigg.
  • Speaking to Radio Times’ View From My Sofa podcast: Letitia Wright on the teacher who spotted her talent, being discouraged from acting by her parents, joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe and her role in the story of the Broadmoor twins.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse airs on the BBC over Christmas. Charlie Mackesy’s original book is available to buy now.

The latest issue of Radio Times magazine is on sale now – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times View From My Sofa podcast.


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