After family and food, everyone knows the best part about Christmas is the telly – and ITV has more festive specials than you can shake a candy cane at.
This year features a testing Christmas in soapland, a sleigh load of seasonal quizzes and enough culinary shows to plan all your cooking through to 2020, leftovers included.
Gordon, Gino and Fred: A Christmas Roadtrip – Monday 23rd December, 9pm on ITV
Possibly the greatest crossover in culinary history, Gordon Ramsay, Gino D’Acampo and Fred Sirieix take their popular road trip series to Morocco for a Christmas special. The episode sees the “three unwise men” sample the food, drink and culture of Morocco as well as enjoy a few humorous encounters riding camels, herding goats and driving through the packed Medina marketplace.
Ball and Boe: A Very Merry Christmas – Friday 20th December, 9:30pm on ITV
Coronation Street – Christmas Day, 8pm on ITV
Coronation Street has seen some explosive Christmases in its time but takes things to a whole new level this year when the Winter Wonderland attraction becomes the scene of armed siege. So much for peace on earth this day – at least one Weatherfield resident won’t make it to Boxing Day…
There will also be a look back at the show’s many festive moments in one-off special Coronation Street at Christmas, airing on 20th December.
Emmerdale – Christmas Day, 7pm on ITV
The Chase – Christmas Day, 6pm on ITV
Bradley Walsh’s popular quiz show is back for not one, but two celebrity specials of The Chase, with Reverend Kate Bottley, Dr Ranj Sing, reality star Toff Toffolo and comedian Ed Byrne taking on all five of the Chasers(!) on 21st December. The Christmas Day edition will see Kate Thornton, reality star James Argent, comedian Lucy Porter and presenter Nik Speakman compete against all five Chasers too, this time in festive fancy dress.
Bonus episode The Chase: Bloopers will also broadcast on Christmas Eve in an hour-long outtake special, which surely must have a few clips of Bradley Walsh’s famous uncontrollable laughing.
Bancroft – New Year’s Day, 9pm on ITV
Bancroft is back this New Year for a second series of crooked police work and murderous secrets. Sarah Parish returns as the Detective Superintendent with an awfully checkered past, this time trying to help her son Joe who has been implicated in a double murder case.
Take Me Out – 14th and 28th December, 5:30pm on ITV
No likey, no lightey! Paddy McGuiness returns helping singletons hoping to be whisked away to the island of Fernando’s in two themed specials. The first will see contestants return to the 80s complete with shoulder pads, windbreakers and extravagant hairstyles, while the second will see men and women of the emergency services taking part.
Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? Celebrity Special – Christmas Day, 9pm on ITV
The Jonathan Ross Christmas Show – Christmas Eve, 9pm on ITV
Jonathan Ross’s Saturday night chat show airs on a Tuesday for one night only in this Christmas Eve special. Wossy will be joined by a seemingly endless list of British stars including David Tennant, Rita Ora, Jamie Cullum, Sharon Osbourne, Rylan Clark-Neal, David Oyelow and Bec Hill. Let’s hope he has a long sofa.
Dancing on Ice at Christmas – Sunday 22nd December, 7pm on ITV
In a first for the show, this one-off festive special will show all the celebrity and professional skaters on the ice for the first time. As an extra Christmas treat previous contestants Ray Quinn and Gemma Collins will dance again, as well as a special performance from the legendary Torvill and Dean.
Paul O’Grady: For The Love of Dogs at Christmas – Boxing Day, 6pm on ITV
Prepare for your heart to melt as Paul O’Grady attempts to give the canines of Battersea Dogs Home the best Christmas present of all – a home. Perfect family viewing, and a reminder that dogs are not just for Christmas.
Alan Carr’s Celebrity Re-Play 2019 – Monday 30th December, 9pm on ITV
An Alan Carr show has become a bit of a staple of the festive season, this time with a humorous look back at 2019. Six celebrities will be recalling the good, the bad and the cringe of the year with a chance to win £25,000 for charity.
The Big Soap Quiz – Thursday 19th December, 9pm on ITV
The annual inter-soap quiz returns, with host Stephen Mulhern pitting the cast of Coronation Street against Emmerdale once more. Team captains Jack P Shepherd and Mark Charnock will be questioned on the big soap moments from this year, such as the Emmerdale factory explosion and Sinead’s exit from Corrie.
Pride of Britain: Celebrating 20 Years – Sunday 22nd December, 5pm on ITV
Carol Vorderman returns for a one-off special celebrating 20 years of the uplifting awards show. The programme will look at some of Vorderman’s favourite moments, as well as catching up with memorable winners such as crime-fighting milkman Tony Fowler and wise-cracking Jack Carrol.
Tipping Point: Lucky Stars Christmas Special – Christmas Day, 5pm on ITV
Ben Shephard’s popular daytime gameshow gets a Christmas Day special, with celebrities attempting to win £20,000 for charity. Comedian Joe Pasquale, television personality Rustie Lee and actress Nina Wadia are the stars taking on the giant coin pushing machine.
In For A Christmas Penny – Thursday 28th November, 7:25pm on ITV
Quizmaster – Sunday 29th December, 6pm on ITV
In what seems to be The Avengers of quiz shows, 15 previous contestants on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, Mastermind, The Chase, Fifteen to One and University Challenge will compete to become the ultimate quiz champion. Clearly a cut above your average game show, expect some impressive general knowledge from these brainbox champions.
Tenable All Stars Christmas Special – Boxing Day, 4pm on ITV
Complete in panto outfits, performer Debbie McGee, dancer Louie Spence, Chuckle brother Paul Elliott, comedian Paul Zerdin and chef Rustie Lee will be taking on the Tenable Tower for the chance to win £125,000 for charity. Hosted by Warwick Davis.
Celebrity Catchphrase – Sunday 22nd December, 6pm on ITV
In this Christmas special, Davina McCall, Jarvis Cocker and Jo Brand will be looking for the well-known phrases in Mr Chips’ animated clues hoping to win £50,000 for their chosen charity. Stephen Mulhern will be gracing our screens once again as host.
James Martin’s Saturday Morning at Christmas – 21st, 9:25am on ITV
Not one to take a break, James Martin’s kitchen will remain open over Christmas as he welcomes special guests and whips up some festive treats. The Christmas specials will broadcast on 21st and 28th December.
John & Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen – Sunday 22nd December, 10:25am on ITV
For a complete weekend of Christmas recipes and Turkey tips, John Torode and Lisa Faulkner will also be on hand throughout the holidays. You can catch them on Sunday mornings on 22nd and 29th December for their Christmas specials.
The Sara Cox Show at Christmas – Begins Saturday 21st December, 8:30am on ITV
Sara Cox’s weekend show returns for the Christmas period, with special guests including Chris Kamara, Will Young, Jason Manford, Frank Skinner and Sarah Parish. The chat show will be broadcast on weekends starting 21st December.