The main event is finally here – and so is the biggest and best Christmas TV.
From the return of Blankety Blank to the Britain’s Got Talent Christmas show to a very different Strictly Come Dancing special, against all odds, 2020 has still managed to produce quite the night of entertainment.
There’s unsurprisingly a rather packed schedule to choose from on 25th December, but we’ve picked a few Christmas Day highlights from the major broadcasters below.
Oh, and Merry Christmas!
Zog and the Flying Doctors – 2:35pm, BBC One
The BBC has been screening adaptations of Julia Donaldson’s children’s books since The Gruffalo in 2009, and 2020 continues that trend with Zog and the Flying D0ctors. A sequel to 2018’s Zog, this delightful short film sees Sir Gadabout and dragon Zog attempt to save Princess Pearl after she is locked up by her uncle. Will they be able to free her so they can carry on healing animals? Listen out for the impressive voice cast including Lenny Henry, Rob Brydon, Patsy Ferran, and Hugh Skinner.
The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast – 3pm, BBC One and ITV
A Christmas tradition, her majesty the Queen will be reflecting on a year unlike any other and offering solace and condolences to the nation. As well as the coronavirus pandemic, the Queen will likely offer her personal reflections on other key 2020 events, and possibly look toward 2021.
Strictly Come Dancing: The Christmas Countdown – 4:45pm, BBC One
Something slightly different from Strictly this year – as COVID regulations meant the usual one-off dance competition couldn’t go ahead as planned, the Beeb will be counting down the 25 most memorable dances of all time, as voted by the public in Strictly: The Christmas Countdown. The key word here is memorable – while we’ll surely see a few perfect 40s from the likes of Kelvin Fletcher and Stacey Dooley, Ann Widdecombe and John Sargeant are bound to make an appearance.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York – 5:30pm, Channel 4
While the original may not be showing on TV this year, UK viewers can still enjoy this worthy sequel that takes the action to one of the most Christmassy locations on Earth: wintery New York. Seriously unlucky Kevin McCallister is separated from his family a second time, but rather than being stuck at home he now finds himself in the Big Apple itself – along with the Wet Bandits he terrorised last film…
Blankety Blank Christmas Special – 7pm, BBC One
Following on from The Price is Right on Christmas Eve, Bradley Walsh will be hosting yet another game show in this revival of the classic game show Blankety Blank. Comedians Sue Perkins and Jimmy Carr, actor Emilia Fox, TV presenter Anita Rani, boxer Amir Kahn and McFly singer Danny Jones will all be attempting to fill in the blanks, with the legendary Blankety Blank cheque book and pen promised to return.
Quentin Blake’s Clown – 7:40pm, Channel 4
It’s a big Christmas for legendary cartoonist Quentin Blake: not only is he illustrating the BBC’s virtual Cinderella pantomime, but his classic children’s book Clown has been animated for a Christmas Day showing. Narrated by Helena Bonham-Carter, The Clown tells the story of a little toy clown who is thrown away and goes in search of a loving new home with his friends. Created with traditional hand-drawn techniques, this charming tale will delight old and young fans alike.
Call the Midwife – 7:40pm, BBC One
Now a long-running Christmas tradition, the team were determined to film a Call the Midwife Christmas special – and got their wish. There’ll be no shortage of drama at Nonnatus House in Christmas 1965; Sister Monica Joan is rushed to hospital, while Trixie receives a subscription to a Marriage Bureau as a Christmas gift. The circus also comes to town – including former Dr Who Peter Davison as ringmaster.
Britain’s Got Talent Christmas Spectacular – 8pm, ITV
With no X Factor and delayed Britain’s Got Talent finals, it’s been a tumultuous year for Simon Cowell’s shows. Nonetheless, the consistently popular BGT returns for a Britain’s Got Talent Christmas special, in which acts from throughout the show’s history will be collaborating and performing together for once. Ashley Banjo is once again filling in for Cowell, alongside the regular line-up of Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon, and David Walliams.
EastEnders – 9:10pm, BBC One
It’s never a merry Christmas in Soapland, but they do result in iconic storylines such as Max and Stacey’s affair, Archie’s death, and, of course, Dirty Den serving Angie divorce papers. Christmas Day on Eastenders looks set to finally reveal who tried to kill Ian – and also feature the return of serial killer Lucas, according to the EastEnders Christmas spoilers.
Mrs Brown’s Boys – 10pm, BBC One
Another long-running Christmas tradition – and often one of the most-watched festive specials – Mrs Brown is back for a rather timely episode. Titled Mammy of the People, the Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas specials see the Brown clan trying to adjust to the new normal after coronavirus, and also enter a Radio Times competition to perform an alternative Christmas message!
Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide.