It's the day we've all been waiting for, and while our lives will likely be filled with turkey, Christmas crackers and the like for the foreseeable, it's also the most wonderful time of year for some great TV.


This year's festive TV line-up is a jam-packed one to see you through the day and evening, with festive specials of Strictly Come Dancing and The Masked Singer. But it wouldn't be Christmas without the talked-about soaps, and this year's anticipated EastEnders 'The Six' storyline is set to come to its dramatic climax in this year's Christmas episode as the identity of the mystery victim is finally revealed.

Elsewhere, fan-favourite series like Ghosts and Call the Midwife make a return to our screens for some festive fun, while Ncuti Gatwa is firmly in the driving seat in this year's Doctor Who special, being joined by new companion Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson). Like we said, it's a jam-packed schedule!

It's lucky, then, that we've picked out the very best shows to watch on Christmas Day, so get scrolling to find out just what will be airing and when.

Tabby McTat – 2:35pm, BBC One

Two animated cats lying next to each other under a Christmas tree in Tabby McTat, with kittens asleep around them.
Tabby McTat

Narrated by Doctor Who and Time star Jodie Whittaker, this new animation is the 11th animated special adapted from Julia Donaldson's books and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

More like this

This new adventure is set to be a suitably heartwarming one, following the warm and wonderful friendship between a musical cat (voiced by Gangs of London's Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísú) and a talented busker called Fred (Gavin and Stacey's Rob Brydon).

Strictly Come Dancing – 4:40pm, BBC One

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special 2023 celebrities and professional dancers gathered together on the dance floor
The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special 2023. BBC/Guy Levy

While the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing has now drawn to a close, the popular dance competition series is back on our screens for Christmas Day for its annual festive episode.

The new episode will see the likes of Dan Snow, Sally Nugent, Jamie Borthwick, Tillie Amartey, Danny Cipriani and Keisha Buchanan all trying their hardest on the dance floor to take home the Glitterball Trophy. Former UK Eurovision entry Sam Ryder is also confirmed to be performing a musical number, accompanied by some amazing professional dancers.

Doctor Who – 5:55pm, BBC One

The Doctor sports a cowboy hat, bright orange T-shirt and jacket
Ncuti Gatwa in the Doctor Who Christmas special. BBC Studios/James Pardon

After the 60th anniversary episodes, plenty more is in store for new Fifteenth Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa, and will mark his first full Doctor Who episode at the helm. The new episode will see Gatwa meet his companion, Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) and will delve into her backstory, with her family also being introduced to viewers for the first time.

The pair are set to tackle some terrifying (yet weirdly adorable) goblins who will also be treating us to a whole musical number, The Goblin Song, which is charity single with all proceeds going to Children in Need.

Emmerdale – 6:30pm, ITV1

Mary, April, Leo, Rhona and Marlon laughing in Emmerdale on Christmas Day
Festivities are derailed for the Goskirk-Dingles. ITV

Kicking off the slate of anticipated Christmas soaps on the big day, Emmerdale is expected to bring us drama, chaos and festive fun. Tracy Robinson's (Amy Walsh) and Caleb Milligan's (William Ash) passionate affair is set to be uncovered by a mystery person, while Belle Dingle (Eden Taylor-Draper) enlists the help of Torvill and Dean for a romantic surprise proposal for Tom King (James Chase).

There's plenty more in store, with other storylines including Rhona (Zoë Henry) confessing to Marlon (Mark Charnock) that she has become attached to Ivy as her own baby, as well as Jacob (Joe-Warren Plant) and Victoria (Isabel Hodgins) coming clean about their secret relationship.

Michael McIntyre's The Wheel – 6:50pm, BBC One

Michael McIntyre presenting The Wheel.
Michael McIntyre presenting The Wheel. BBC

Comedian Michael McIntyre is back on our screens for a festive edition of his gameshow, The Wheel, which will see more members of the public tackle some tricky trivia in order to win a cash prize.

Helped by some celebrity experts which include Rylan Clark, Peter Crouch and Nicole Scherzinger, this year's episode is set to feature even more Christmas-themed questions.

Coronation Street – 7pm, ITV1

Alison King as Carla and Chris Gascoyne as Peter in Coronation Street
Alison King as Carla and Chris Gascoyne as Peter in Coronation Street. ITV

With the anticipated Christmas episode also comes the exit of long-standing character Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne), which will be explored further in the Boxing Day episode.

As he has his last Christmas supper with Carla Barlow (Alison King), Weatherfield is certainly brimming with even more festive drama. Evelyn Plummer's (Maureen Lipman) day is overshadowed by fears, while Ed (Trevor Michael Georges) and Stu (Bill Fellows) also make some big admissions, plus much more.

The Masked Singer – 7:30pm, ITV1

The Masked Singer 2023 judges
The Masked Singer 2023 judges. ITV

Everyone's favourite singing show is back, this time for some festive-themed fun and a line-up of brand new celebrities who will be trying their hardest to conceal their identities. While we don't know just yet what characters will be involved, previous shows have obviously included the likes of Rhino, Jellyfish and Jacket Potato.

The Christmas special is sure to be another rip-roaring family friendly special, as we watch on to see what clues and songs may be the giveaway as to who is behind the mask. The special will also get fans in the mood for the upcoming fifth season of the show also, which is due to air on 30th December.

Ghosts – 7:45pm, BBC One

Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) sits on the stairs of Button House, holding her hands to her face in a stressed manner
Charlotte Ritchie stars in Ghosts. BBC/Monumental/Guido Mandozzi

Well Ghosts fans, you're in luck as we have another anticipated episode of the hit series to look forward to after initially thinking that season 5 was the last time we'd see the loveable cast on our screens. The Christmas special is set to see the return of much of the cast, as well as the new addition of Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike's (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) newborn baby.

Mike's mother, Betty (Sutara Gayle) will also be making an appearance with Button House feeling fuller than ever as the gang struggle to get into the Christmas spirit.

Call the Midwife – 8:15pm, BBC One

The characters of the Call the Midwife Christmas special 2023 sitting around a dinner table and smiling
The cast of the Call the Midwife Christmas special 2023. BBC/Neal Street Productions

The Call the Midwife Christmas special is airing on the big day itself, set to bring its usual dose of heartwarming stories, familiar faces and, of course, some expected drama unfolding in Poplar.

It marks the series's 12th festive special, and is set to involve a dramatic snowstorm that could possibly take Kulvinder Ghir's (Still Open All Hours) Kulvir Sharma as one of its unlikely victims.

The new episode will also see Shelagh Turner (Laura Main) getting distracted after receiving a package from her adopted daughter Mae's biological mother, as well as awkwardness in store for newlyweds Trixie (Helen George) and Matthew (Olly Rix).

EastEnders – 9:45pm, BBC One

A smoky image of Scott Maslen as Jack Branning standing beside Lacey Turner as Stacey Slater, Navin Chowdhry as Nish Panesar beside Balvinder Sopal as Suki Kaur Panesar, Matt Di Angelo as Dean Wicks beside Kellie Bright as Linda Carter, Steve McFadden as Phil Mitchell standing to the left of Letitia Dean as Sharon Watts with Danny Walters as Keanu Taylor on her right, Diane Parish as Denise Fox with Aaron Thiara on her right, and Gillian Taylforth as Kathy Cotton with Brian Conley as Rocky Cotton beside her for EastEnders.
The possible victims with their possible murderers in EastEnders. BBC

Soap fans, you'll be all too aware that the year has essentially been building to one mega EastEnders storyline climax, with the victim of The Six being unveiled on Christmas Day. Rumours continue to swirl about which mystery man in a suit and cufflinks will meet their end on the floor of the Queen Vic, but just who could it be?

The fateful Christmas Day episode will see Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean), Suki Panesar (Balvinder Sopal), Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner), Denise Fox (Diane Parish), Kathy Cotton (Gillian Taylforth) and Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) all seek solace at The Vic together – that is until their lives are changed forever.

Looking for something to watch? Visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10 – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.