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Christmas 2015: best TV on today, Christmas Day

Be prepared to stay on the sofa as you settle in to watch Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, Stick Man and the finale of Downton Abbey

Published: Friday, 18th December 2015 at 5:00 am

Stick Man, 4:45pm, BBC1


Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler should be proud, their bestselling children's book-turned-animation Stick Man delights as well as making you laugh out loud. It tells the story of a stick man who, through a series of misfortunes, becomes separated from the rest of his family – something not just for children but adults as well. Featuring the voice talents of Martin Freeman, Hugh Bonneville and Jennifer Saunders, this is a festive treat to enjoy after you've polished off your Christmas pudding.

Doctor Who, 5:15pm, BBC1

The Husbands of River Song sees the return of Alex Kingston's fan favourite, although she doesn't recognise the current incarnation of the Doctor. Armed with a sonic trowel, River runs into the Doctor as she's trying to extract a priceless diamond from her latest spouse, the warrior King Hydroflax (Greg Davies). Capaldi and Kingston make one classy double act and are joined by guest star Matt Lucas in a bobble hat.

Strictly Come Dancing, 6:15pm, BBC1

Do you want more Strictly to fill your Christmas Day appetite? Well, you've got it as six former contestants are back to rock around the Christmas tree. The likes of 2013 winner Abbey Clancy, 2008 champion Tom Chambers and lifter of the 2011 Glitterball Harry Judd are back on the dance floor once again as they battle to become the Christmas Special Champion. There are also some dance scenes filmed in the Great Hall of Hogwarts Castle to cast a spell over this festival instalment.

Call the Midwife, 7:30pm, BBC1

This Christmas Special will leave you with tears of joy in your eyes at the latest instalment of the Poplar team. The BBC are looking to film a children's carol service in an ordinary London church, but the condescending producer doesn't think Poplar is quite appropriate and insists, "We can't have people looking poor." Meanwhile, there's an outbreak of measles and Sister Monica Joan disappears after Sister Evangelina refuses to buy a television. Oh, the horror!

Gogglesprogs, 8:00pm, Channel 4

This show is a selection of the nation's children offering the honest and hilarious thoughts on the best and worst television of the year all from their sofas in the same fashion as the original show, Gogglebox. Shows commented upon include The Great British Bake Off, the general election and Growing Up Wild

Downton Abbey, 8:45pm, ITV

Grab your tissues, it's the last-ever episode of Downton Abbey. The series six finale ended with Lady Edith looking forlorn as she mourned the end of her relationship with Bertie Pelham after he discovered the truth about Marigold. But as we rejoin the drama, the middle Crawley sister seems content with her life running her very successful magazine – will she get her happily ever after? There is a sense that times are changing (when are they not in Fellowes land?) as the Abbey reaches New Year's Eve in 1925 and characters realise that the world is becoming a vastly different place to what they are used to. 

Darcey's Ballet Heroes, 8:50pm, BBC2

Former prima ballerina Darcey Bussell takes us on a captivating trip into the world of dance. She shows that the male dancer role is still being reinvented by contemporary dancers such as Carlos Acosta and Edward Watson and choreographers like Matthew Bourne. The Strictly judge also speaks to her first dancing partner Irek Mukhamadov and the legendary Arthur Mitchell, which is not to be missed.

Mrs Brown's Boys, 9:45pm, BBC1

Agnes Brown is once again taking delivery of a potentially life-threatening Christmas tree from Buster as well as dealing with Winnie's bucket list and her family's apparent plan to ship her off to Canada. Watch out for a swearing vicar and a cameo from Noddy Holder as well as the usual visual laughs provided by the O'Carroll family and friends. 

Michael McIntyre's Big Christmas Show, 10:25pm, BBC1


Arguably the easiest comedian to impersonate is back again this Christmas, with a show at the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane, London. Joining him this year are Dara O'Briain and Dame Edna Everage to provide some extra laughs alongside McIntyre's hilarious observational comedy. There's also music from Ellie Goulding and Tom Jones.


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