Christmas 2015: best TV on today, Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve joy in the form of Professor Branestawm, Carols from King's and All Aboard! The Sleigh Ride

Carols from Kings’s, 5:15pm, BBC2


The King’s College Choir will be spreading festive cheer from the candlelit splendour of King’s College Chapel in Cambridge with their performances of Once in Royal David’s City which has traditionally started off the service for the past 60 years and of course, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. You might find yourself overwhelmed with a feeling of goodwill towards all men.

Harry Hill in Professor Branestawm Returns, 5:20pm, BBC1

The multi-spectacled professor and inventor played by Harry Hill is back again this year for more adventures in the chocolate box village of Pagwell. An invention contest is being held – has Branestawm met his rival in fellow Professor Algebrain played by Steve Pemberton? With guest stars such as Diana Rigg, Matt Berry, Sophie Thompson and David Mitchell, this is not something you’re going to want to miss.

All Aboard! The Sleigh Ride, 8:00pm, BBC4

BBC4 provides another cracker of a Slow TV show tonight, as viewers take a two-hour journey through the snowy landscape of Karasjok, Norway. With no narration or music, you’ll have the whole show to enjoy a quiet moment of reflection as you get lost in the quiet beauty of winter in the back of a reindeer-pulled sleigh. You won’t want to miss this.

My Crazy Christmas Lights, 8:00pm, Channel 4

You might think that some fairy lights around the window is enough decoration. Wait until you see Mark and Sharon’s festive decorations which include real life huskies, or Fred and Mick’s which feature a German Christmas market. There’s also the sweet story of Fred and Eileen who start their display off with one small bulb to remember Eileen’s sister who died one Christmas. 

The Great History Quiz, 9:00pm, BBC2

Host Kirsty Young is in charge of this one-off quiz that doesn’t require you to be too knowledgable about history. The subject is the Tudors, with two teams of three TV historians answering questions viewers might actually know the answers to. There’s a round where salvaged parts of the Mary Rose are passed around and another tasting unusual foodstuffs from the time. Answering questions about gout and syphilis are team captains Lucy Worsley and Dan Snow.

Peter Kay: 20 Years of Funny, 9:05pm, BBC1

Perhaps one of the best people in the world to sing your praises is one of the most successful authors of all time. Luckily for Peter Kay, JK Rowling is among many names paying tribute to the Bolton-born comedian and his very successful career. Joining her are Danny Baker and Richard Curtis, to name a few. From his childhood growing up to the places, people and foodstuffs that have influenced him, this chart of his rise to fame is one to watch.

Walliams and Friend, 10:05pm, BBC1

The “friend” David Walliams is with tonight is Joanna Lumley, who joins him in a disturbing pastiche of the Bake Off as Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry unable to conceal their lust for each other and an update to the Mispronunciation Sketch of Ronnie Barker’s where Walliams is a party guest who invented autocorrect. Laughs also include Walliams as Oscar Wilde and a father telling his daughter a bedtime story in bullet points.

Not Going Out, 10:45pm, BBC1


Fans of the sitcom will be delighted by the return of the show for a Christmas Special. One year on from their wedding, Lucy is pregnant with Lee’s baby and three days overdue when they both become caught up in a hold-up at a department store. Expect the usual familiar faces as you laugh along at the ludicrous situations they end up in.