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What is on TV this Christmas 2018?

From Doctor Who to Strictly Come Dancing and Watership Down, here are the festive highlights from BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky

Published: Wednesday, 2nd January 2019 at 7:02 pm

Push aside your turkey and crackers, we all know Christmas is about one thing only: TV. And the best TV too, whether you’re looking for drama, entertainment, comedy or even a spot of sci-fi.

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So, what presents have we got waiting for us on screen this year? Here’s everything we know so far...


Drama


Doctor Who

Who's in the Doctor Who special's cast?

Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill

What will happen in the Doctor Who Christmas special?

Following on from Jodie Whittaker’s first series of adventures across time and space, Whovians can expect an additional story in the form of a Christmas New Year's Day special

When can I watch it and on what channel?

7pm New Year's Day 2019 on BBC1.


The ABC Murders

Who's in The ABC Murders cast?

John Malkovich, Rupert Grint, Tara Fitzgerald, Andrew Buchan and Jack Farthing

What will happen in The ABC Murders?

Nothing says Christmas like watching a horrific murder being solved on TV, with the BBC serving up this classic Hercule Poirot story.

Not only can we expect an intriguing plot from this three-part Agatha Christie adaptation, but an all-star cast too: Hollywood legend John Malkovich will play the super sleuth and Rupert Grint the role of Inspector Crome.

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Starts Boxing Day at 9pm on BBC1


Torvill and Dean

Who’s in the cast of Torvill and Dean?

Game of Thrones actor Will Tudor will take on the role of Christopher Dean, while Ackley Bridge’s Poppy Lee Friar will play Jayne Torvill.

What is Torvill and Dean about?

Written by Made in Dagenham’s William Ivory, Torvill and Dean traces the early story of the Dancing on Ice figure skaters who captured the public’s imagination with their stunning gold medal-winning dance to Boléro at the 1984 Winter Olympics.

When can I watch it and on which channel?

Torvill and Dean will air on Christmas Day (Tuesday 25th December) at 9.15pm on ITV. It is a two-hour special.

Luther

Who’s in the cast of Luther?

Idris Elba is reunited with his overcoat for brooding detective's return with Wunmi Mosaku joining the show as new recruit DS Catherine Halliday. But will Ruth Wilson make her heavily rumoured return as fan favourite Alice Morgan?

What is the new series of Luther about?

The eponymous detective is called upon to investigate another tangle of monstrous murders with a mass of different leads seemingly designed to protect an untouchable corruption. Can Luther solve the puzzle? And how will he cope when forced to face demons from his own recent past?

When can I watch it and on which channel?

Luther starts on New Year's Day 2019 at 9pm on BBC1.


Les Misérables

Who’s in the cast of Les Misérables?

A fine crop of acting talent includes Dominic West as Jean Valjean, David Oyelowo (playing Javert), Lily Collins (Fantine), Adeel Akhtar and Olivia Colman (Monsieur and Madame Thénardier), Ellie Bamber (Cosette) Josh O’Connor (Marius) and Elin Kellyman (Éponine).

How is the BBC’s Les Misérables different to the musical?

It’s the story we all know – but without the songs. Pride and Prejudice and War and Peace writer Andrew Davies has adapted Victor Hugo’s epic into a six-part drama without its famous musical score.

When can I watch it and on which channel?

Les Misérables will begin airing on Sunday 30th December at 9pm


The Midnight Gang

Who’s in The Midnight Gang cast?

David Walliams, with more names to follow…

What will happen in The Midnight Gang?

Good news if you enjoyed last Christmas’ Grandpa's Great Escape: the BBC are adapting another hit children’s book from comedian David Walliams. The Midnight Gang follows the story of a gang of children at Lord Funt Hospital on the quest for adventure as their fellow patients sleep.

When can I watch it and on what channel?

7.30pm on Boxing Day, BBC1


Call the Midwife

Call the Midwife S8

Who’s in the Call the Midwife Christmas cast?

Miriam Margolyes joins regulars Jenny Agutter (Sister Julienne), Linda Bassett (Nurse Crane), Judy Parfitt (Sister Monica Joan), Helen George (Trixie), Laura Main (Shelagh Turner), Victoria Yeates (Sister Winifred), Jennifer Kirby (Valerie), Leonie Elliott (Lucille) and Stephen McGann (Dr Turner)

What will happen in the Call the Midwife Christmas special?

The now-traditional special of the midwifery drama welcomes Miriam Margoyles as Sister Mildred, a forthright nun who arrives at Nonnatus House with her hands full with four Chinese orphan refugees. As the BBC say, “these unexpected visitors cause joy and chaos in equal measure”.

When is it on TV?

Christmas Day, BBC1 at 7.45pm


The Dead Room

The Dead Room, BBC Pictures

Who’s in the cast of The Dead Room?

Simon Callow stars as Aubrey Judd alongside Anjil Mohindra (who played Nadia in Bodyguard), Susan Penhaligon and Joshua Oakes-Rogers.

What is The Dead Room about?

Writer Mark Gatiss follows up 2013’s The Tractate Middoth with another Christmas ghost story, this time telling the tale of a long-running radio series whose presenter finds that all is not quiet in his eerie radio studio.

When can I watch it and on which channel?

Christmas Eve, 10pm, BBC4


Delicious

Who’s in the cast?

Vincent Regan is set to join regulars Dawn French, Emilia Fox and Aaron Anthony.

What’s it about?

The Cornish sex ’n’ seabass drama kickstarts its third series with Gina and Sam finally working well together. But a new rapacious restaurateur is set to split their newly-formed friendship...

When can I watch it and on which channel?

Delicious is on 9pm, Friday 28th December, Sky1


Other dramas you can expect this Christmas...

Entertainment


Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special

Caroline Flack and Aston Merrygold (Getty)

Who are the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas celebrity dancers?

Series 12 winner and Love Island presenter Caroline Flack, former JLS star Aston Merrygold, ex-politician Ann Widdecombe, EastEnders actor Jake Wood, presenter Anita Rani and cricketer Michael Vaughan.

What happens in the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special?

The yuletide edition of the dance contest sees the return of six celebrity contestants who will all be competing for the Christmas glitterball. Hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will be in the studio, alongside judges Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and Shirley Ballas.

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Christmas Day, 5.30pm, BBC1


The Great British Bake Off Christmas

What will happen in The Great British Bake Off festive specials?

Tis the season to BAKE! The Great British Bake Off is back with not one but two festive specials, inviting eight former contestants to return to the famous tent to show off their not-so-soggy bottoms.

Which bakers will be competing?

Alongside Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig, eight former contestants – Liam Charles, Flo Atkins, Andrew Smyth, Jane Beedle, Kate Henry, Tamal Ray, Candice Brown, Steven Carter-Bailey – will be returning to the tent.

When is The Great British Bake Off on TV?

The Great Christmas Bake Off will air at 8pm on Christmas Day on Channel 4. The Great New Year’s Bake Off will air at 7.40pm on New Year’s Day on Channel 4.


Love Island: The Christmas Special

Love Island - Jack and Dani (ITV)
Love Island - Jack and Dani (ITV)

What will happen in the Love Island Christmas special?

It was a hell of a series this year, with your favourite Islanders (plus some you may have forgotten about) reuniting with host Caroline Flack for a festive catch-up. Prepare to see lots of Christmas crackin' on – and mugging off, all commentated on by sarcastic narrator Iain Stirling.

Which Islanders are returning?

Love Island winners Dani and Jack have split since filming the Christmas special, so don't expect to hear about the shock twist in their relationship. They will be joined by fellow finalists Wes and Megan, and long-running couple Adam and Zara. Kaz is also due to take part – only without boyfriend Josh, who is in America and missing the show.

Brace yourself for lots of Christmas-themed cringe as now estranged couple Laura and Paul, along with Georgia and Sam, and Ellie and Charlie, will all be coming face to face.

Fellow Love Islanders Dr Alex, Samira, Alexandra, Kendall, Hayley and Eyal will also be returning to discuss their fledgling love lives.

But not all the Islanders will be back - Rosie (who got frisky with Adam only to be dumped the next day) Niall (who made an early exit), and Frankie (who fell from grace after it emerged he had cheated on girlfriend Samira) won't be back, neither will New Jack or New Laura – who split shortly after leaving the villa.

When can I watch it and what channel?

It has yet to be confirmed, but it's likely the Love Island Christmas reunion will be on air on ITV2 over the festive period.


Tell us about your Christmas TV traditions


All Together Now Celebrities

All Together Now Celebrity special, BBC Pictures

Who is appearing on All Together Now Celebrities?

The likes of Gemma Collins, Chris Kamara, Alison Hammond, Laurie Brett, Ben Foden, Amber Davies, Omid Djalili, Sara Pascoe and Tyger Drew-Honey will be hoping to impress the 100 with their singing skills.

What is All Together Now Celebrities about?

A group of famous faces – not exactly known for their singing abilities – will be hoping to make an impact on the 100 music industry experts. But who will succeed in getting the most on their feet and singing along?

When can I watch it and on which channel?

Christmas Eve, 7.15pm, BBC1


Top of the Pops – Christmas and New Year Specials

Clara Amfo and Fearne Cotton, BBC Pictures

Who is hosting the Top of the Pops specials?

Fearne Cotton and Clara Amfo will unite to review a year in music featuring some of the industry’s biggest stars, from Britain and around the world. The first special will celebrate this year’s Christmas number one, while the second will mark the last number one of 2018.

How can I watch and on which channel?

BBC1, 12.30pm on Christmas Day and 5:10pm on Saturday 29th December


Mary Berry’s Christmas Party

Mary Berry's Christmas Party, BBC Pictures

What is Mary Berry’s Christmas Party?

Bezza is a Christmas expert, so this year she’s opening her kitchen to four celebrities to help them hone their festive cooking skills.

Who is taking part in Mary Berry’s Christmas Party?

Newsreader Huw Edwards, Poldark actress Eleanor Tomlinson, athlete Dina Asher-Smith and comedian Joe Lycett are the lucky famous faces getting personal cookery lessons from the former Bake Off judge.

How can I watch and on which channel?

Mary Berry’s Christmas Party will air on BBC1 on Monday 17th December at 8.30pm


Nadiya’s Party Feasts

Nadiya's Party Feasts, BBC Pictures

What is Nadiya’s Party Feasts?

The Bake Off winner is sharing her favourite celebration dishes for the festive season – and you can expect plenty of vibrant falavours, colours and aromas, from halloumi chips and sticky lamb ribs to beef chilli and pomegranate parsley tabbouleh. Nadiya will also join groups of people up and down the country who share their own special reasons for celebrating.

How can I watch and on which channel?

Nadiya’s Party Feasts will air on Friday 14th December at 8pm on BBC2


Tell us about your Christmas TV traditions


Mary Berry’s Country House at Christmas

Mary Berry's Country House at Christmas, BBC Pictures

What is Mary Berry’s Country House at Christmas?

Mary Berry = Christmas. And this year she’s descending on Harewood House to meet its staff and volunteers as they prepare their house for Christmas, and delve into the property’s history to uncover traditions of Christmas past.

How can I watch and on which channel?

Mary Berry’s Country House will air on Christmas Day at 6:35pm on BBC2, repeated on Monday 31st December at 5pm on the same channel.


Best Christmas Food Ever

Who does The Best Food Ever star?

Chef Paul Ainsworth and home cook Catherine Fulvio. Guests include Debbie McGee, Christopher Biggins and Love Actually star Martine McCutcheon.

What is The Best Food Ever about?

This regular 45-minute cooking show brings together two top chefs and a celebrity guest as they serve up three recipes worthy of the Christmas table.

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Best Christmas Food Ever will be shown in the two weeks before Christmas on BBC1


BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Sports Personality of the Year

How does BBC's Sports Personality of the Year work?

The 65th annual awards will once again be hosted by Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Gabby Logan, but this year the contest has a few key changes: the public will still decide who wins the trophy, but the show will only reveal contenders for the main prize on the night, rather than three weeks in advance.

When can I watch it and on which channel?

Sports Personality of the Year will air live on Sunday 16th December from 7pm on BBC1

First Dates Christmas Special

First Dates Fred Sirieix

What will happen in the First Dates Christmas Special?

Fred Sirieix and his team of matchmaking waiting staff will welcome some “very special singletons” looking for love. We’ll also see the return of some of the show's most successful daters, who’ll be telling storieslifelive after the show.

We can even expect a live musical performance and a visit from a “slightly familiar-looking Santa Claus”. Wonder who that'll be...

When can I watch it and on what channel?

The First Dates Christmas Special will be shown on Tuesday 25th December at 9:15pm on Channel 4


Gogglesprogs Christmas Special

What will happen in the First Dates Christmas Special?

After a two year break, the kid’s version of the fly-on-the-living-room-wall show is back. Familiar faces and a host of brand new Gogglesprogs will give their verdict on everything from the Royal Wedding to ET.

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Gogglesprogs will be shown on Tuesday 18th December at 8pm on Channel 4

Comedy


Click & Collect

Click & Collect, BBC Pictures

Who is in Click & Collect?

The Office co-creator Stephen Merchant is teaming up with People Just Do Nothing’s Bafta-winning Asim Chaudhry for this new BBC comedy.

What is Click & Collect about?

The pair play two mismatched neighbours who embark on a road trip across the country to retrieve a toy – Sparklehoof the Unicorn Princess – before the shops shut for the festive season.

When can I watch it and on which channel?

9pm, BBC1 on Christmas Eve.


Bad Move Christmas Special

Jack Dee in Bad Move, ITV Pictures

Who's in Bad Move Christmas special cast?

Jack Dee and Kerry Godliman, with the full cast yet to be confirmed.

What happens in the Bad Move Christmas special?

Following its second series, the sitcom returns, again following married couple Steve (Dee) and Nicky (Godliman) and their struggles after making a dream escape from the city to the Yorkshire countryside.

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Christmas Eve, 8.30pm on ITV


Hold the Sunset

Hold The Sunset episode 1

Who is in the cast of Hold the Sunset?

Reprising their roles as Edith and Phil are Alison Steadman and John Cleese, joined by Jason Watkins, James Cosmo, Sue Johnston, Anne Reid, Joanna Scanlan and Rosie Cavaliero.

What is the Hold the Sunset Christmas special about?

Titled If I Were a Wise Man, this first special for the comedy marks the last Christmas Edith will have with her family before she rides off into the sunset with Phil – who spends the episode talking to a ghost. Meanwhile, Edith’s son Roger enlists her one-time flame – Bob ‘the burglar’ – to liven up Christmas.

When can I watch it and on which channel?

6.20pm, BBC1 on the the 23rd December


The Keith and Paddy Picture Show Christmas Special

Who's in the Keith and Paddy Picture Show Christmas cast?

Leigh Francis (as Keith Lemon) and Paddy McGuiness will no doubt be joined by some special guest stars.

What happens in the Keith and Paddy Picture Show?

After parodying Grease, Top Gun, Jurassic Park, Pretty Woman and Terminator 2, the comedy duo will return with their own very special version of 1980s classic Gremlin. Zach Galligan, who played Billy in the original film, is also set to feature.

When can I watch it and on what channel?

10pm, Saturday 29th December, ITV


Mrs Brown's Boys

Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas and New Year 2017

Who's in the Mrs Brown's Boys cast?

Pretty much every single member of Brendan O’Carroll’s extended family. We’ve drawn up a family tree to explain the many connections among the cast.

What will happen in the Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas and New Year specials?

In the first of two episodes – Exotic Mammy – Father Damian has organised a Christmas decoration contest in support of the local football team. Agnes is keen to enter for the chance to get one over on her old nemesis Hillary Nicholson. Then in New Year’s special, Mammy’s Hotel, Mrs Brown provides shelter for Winnie and Sharon after their pipes burst, but Agnes and Cathy soon discover living with best friends isn’t quite what they imagined.

When can I watch it and on what channel?

10.15pm on Christmas Day, BBC1 and 10pm New Year's Day on BBC1


The Inbetweeners: Fwends Reunited

The Inbetweeners: Fwends Reunited (Channel 4)

Who is in The Inbetweeners: Fwends Reunited

Simon Bird (Will), Joe Thomas (Simon), Blake Harrison (Neil) and James Buckley (Jay) are all set to appear.

What will happen in The Inbetweeners: Fwends Reunited?

They’re back! The fab four are returning for a one-off special celebrating the comedy’s 10th anniversary. The two-hour show will air on New Year’s Day, and is expected to revisit classic moments from the TV series and films. It will also go behind the scenes of the show’s success and celebrate with some of the comedy’s famous fans.

When can I watch it and on what channel?

The Inbetweeners: Fwends Reunited will air on 1st January 2019 at 9pm on Channel 4


The Queen and I

Who does The Queen and I star?

David Walliams plays a power-mad Prime Minister, while Samantha Bond takes the role of a Queen fallen on hard times. Also features Julia McKenzie, Frances Barber, Amanda Abbington and Oliver Chris.

What is The Queen and I about?

What would happen if the Royal Family were stripped of their riches, palaces, and influential chums, and were (shock horror) forced to slum it with the common folk? It’s a question answered by this new adaptation of the Sue Townsend book.

When can I watch it and on what channel?

The comedy is set to air Christmas Eve (24th December) at 6pm on Sky 1


Upstart Crow

Who's in the Upstart Crow Christmas cast?

Kenneth Branagh comes on board as a mysterious stranger, while David Mitchell reprises his role as Will, Mark Heap plays Greene and Karl Theobold appears as Job Scratchit.

What is Upstart Crow's Christmas special about?

Titled a Crow Christmas Carol, this festive episode sees the Shakespeare family come to terms with the tragic loss they suffered at the end of the last series. But when Branagh’s “mysterious stranger” shows up and shares with Will a tale of redemption, it fills their lives with light and hope anew and sends Will on a mission to save another soul – Greene – from a life of despair. Will the three “ghosts” arranged to visit him before Christmas persuade him to change his ways and show some generosity to his servant?

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Upstart Crow's Christmas special will air on Christmas Day (aka Tuesday 25th December) at 8.35pm on BBC2


Not Going Out Live Special

How will Not Going Out be performed live?

For the first time, Not Going Out will go out live over Christmas, as couple Lee and Lucy discuss the Ding Dong Merrily on Live Christmas Spectacular – a Christmas variety show they’ve been coerced into organising. Chief amongst their worries: the rather thin line-up of quality acts. Who will they turn to?

Who is in the cast of the Not Going Out Live Special?

Lee Mack leads the cast, with Sally Bretton (as Lucy), Hugh Dennis (Toby) and Abigail Cruttenden (Anna).

How can I watch and on which channel?

Not Going Out will go live on BBC1 on Friday 21st December at 9pm


The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2018

What will happen on The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2018?

Who stole the show at the Royal Wedding? What does Danny Dyer think about David Cameron? And what is Kanye West's passcode? Just some of the questions you can expect from this comedy TV pub quiz.

Who’s in The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2018?

David Mitchell, Michelle Wolf, Claudia Winkleman, Mo Gilligan, Noel Fielding and Richard Ayoade are this year’s panellists. Jimmy Carr will once again host.

How can I watch and on which channel?

The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2018 will air 9pm Boxing Day, C4


The Crystal Maze

What will happen in The Crystal Maze?

The game show returns for a festive edition with a team of celebrities challenged to take on a set of tasks in a vaguely panto-themed Maze.

What celebrities are on the show?

Usual host Richard Ayoade will guide Christopher Biggins, Deborah Meaden, Jamie Laing, Frankie Bridge and Chris Kamara round the course.

How can I watch and on which channel?

The Crystal Maze is on 8pm Boxing Day, C4


Goodness Gracious Me – 20 years innit!

Goodness Gracious Me - 20 years innit! BBC Pictures

What is Goodness Gracious Me – 20 years innit?

No, this isn’t a new episode of Goodness Gracious Me – instead, it’s a celebration of this trailblazing comedy, looking back at some of its funniest and most loved moments with ten memorable sketches, decided by fans of the show, plus exclusive interviews with its stars and creators. No word yet on exactly who will be taking part but it looks like Meera Syal will make an appearance…

How can I watch and on which channel?

Goodness Gracious Me – 20 years innit! will air on BBC2 on Saturday 22nd December at 10:15pm, followed by the Goodness Gracious Me Christmas special at 10:55pm.


Travel Man: 98 hours in Jordan

What is Travel Man: 98 hours in Jordan?

Richard Ayoade traditionally pulls out all-the-stops for the festive episode of Travel Man – and this year is no exception. In 2018, comedian David Baddiel joins the host on a super-sized (4-ish days, or 98 hours to be precise) trip to Jordan.

How can I watch and on which channel?

Travel Man: 98 hours in Jordan will air at 9pm on Thursday 27th December on Channel 4


Happy New Year, Colin Burstead

Colin Burstead, BBC Pictures

Who is in the cast of Colin Burstead?

Neil Maskell joins Asim Chaudhry, Joe Coe, Charles Dance, Doon Mackichan, Sam Riley and Hayley Squires in this film.

What is Colin Burstead about?

Director Ben Wheatley (High-Rise, Sightseers) tells the dark comedic tale of a family reunion gone wrong as the eponymous Colin (Maskell) gathers together his relatives in a lavish country manor to celebrate New Year, only to have his position of authority challenged by the arrival of his estranged brother.

How to watch and on which channel?

The film will air on BBC2 on Sunday 30th December at 10:30pm and will then be available to watch on BBC iPlayer for a year.


The Young Offenders – Christmas Special

Young Offenders, BBC Pictures

Who is in the cast for The Young Offenders Christmas special?

Alex Murphy, Chris Walley and Hilary Rose are back as Conor, Jock and Mairead, with Shane Casey also on board as Billy Murphy.

What will happen in The Young Offenders Christmas special?

In Christmas week, the residents of the estate have been fighting off an eviction from the council and have created a barricade to show their determination, attracting national media coverage. Meanwhile, Mairead is taken to hospital and expresses her one wish: to see a white Christmas, which the two friends set out to try and make happen.

How can I watch and on which channel?

Sunday 23rd December, 11.15pm, BBC1

Animation


Watership Down

Sergeant Sanfoin (Craig Parkinson), Captain Campion (Lee Ingleby), Hyzenthlay (Anne-Marie Duff), Nettle (Charlotte Spencer) and Bigwig (John Boyega)
Sergeant Sanfoin, Captain Campion, Hyzenthlay, Nettle and Bigwig in Watership Down (BBC)

Who’s in the Watership Down voice cast?

James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, John Boyega, Gemma Arterton, Olivia Colman, Ben Kingsley, Daniel Kaluuya, Miles Jupp, Taron Egerton, Rosamund Pike, Gemma Chan, Peter Capaldi, Rory Kinnear, Craig Parkinson, Jason Watkins, Anne-Marie Duff, Tom Wilkinson and more.

What is Watership Down about?

This animated two-part co-production between the BBC and Netflix retells the story of Richard Adams' beloved Children’s Book. Here’s hoping it’s not as terrifying as the original 1978 movie.

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Saturday 22nd December 7pm, BBC1

Zog

Who’s in the Zog voice cast?

Sir Lenny Henry, Tracey Ullman, Hugh Skinner, Patsy Ferran and Kit Harington.

What is Zog about?

Made by Magic Light Pictures, the people behind Stick Man and The Highway Rat, Zog is an adaptation of the children’s book of the same name by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. It follows the titular mischievous dragon as he learns how to fight knights and capture princesses at school.

When is it on TV?

4.50pm, Christmas Day, BBC1

Soaps


Here are the soaps set to air (probably very grim) festive storylines this year...

EastEnders

What will happen in EastEnders over Christmas?

Alfie may be determined to give Kat the perfect festive season, but his dreams are shattered when the truth about him and Hayley comes out. Meanwhile, Kim finds a guardian angel in an unlikely friend. Over at the Queen Vic, Mick is reunited with Linda, but will a thirst for revenge override the celebrations. And Mel has big plans at New Year for deceitful groom-to-be Ray.

When is EastEnders on TV at Christmas?

Find out all you need to know about EastEnders' Christmas schedules here.

Emmerdale

emmerdale mandy dingle

What will happen in Emmerdale over Christmas?

Joy comes in the form of a surprise wedding for the loved-up Dingle clan, but there’s sadness too as a down-on-his-luck Bob finds his money worries mounting. Will he spend Christmas without a roof over his head? There’s tension over the turkey Jacob’s feelings for Maya threaten to cause ructions. And as 2019 begins, there’s the return of Lisa Riley as Mandy Dingle after 17 years away.

When is Emmerdale on TV over Christmas?

Click here for all the details of Emmerdale's Christmas air dates.

Coronation Street

What will happen in Coronation Street over Christmas?

Gina is trying to manoeuvre Tim under the mistletoe, while a vengeful Jenny is trying to stitch Liz up online. Fans will also be kept guessing about Lewis’s motivations: is he up to his old tricks and will Audrey be left heartbroken again? Brian, meanwhile, masterminds an eye-opening nativity and will Weatherfield’s own Burton and Taylor – ie Peter and Carla – find that their chemistry is still there. Will they see in 2019 with a kiss?

When is Coronation Street on TV over Christmas?

See here for all the Corrie Christmas broadcast details.

Hollyoaks

There’s tension at the McQueens as Mercedes clashes with Goldie, but Christmas might be merry for the widow after all as she kisses Sylver and gets close to gangster Liam. Love is in the air at the Lovedays as Louis prepares to wed Leela, despite the fact he’s already married to Martine and having an affair with ex-wife Simone! Also, Mandy and Darren face a heartbreaking decision about their unborn baby, Prince discovers if he’s got cancer, and someone ends up behind bars.

When is Hollyoaks on TV over Christmas?

You can find out full details on Hollyoaks' Christmas broadcasts here.

Neighbours

Neighbours Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis) Christmas 2018

What will happen in Neighbours over Christmas?

Ramsay Street receives a visit from the ghost of Christmas past when the legendary Jim Robinson makes a shock return! Alan Dale is confirmed as having filmed a special appearance as the Neighbours icon, despite the character having been killed off 25 years ago, and it’s linked to a bombshell for Paul who spends 25th December digging up a dead body. Has he murdered someone? Elsewhere in Erinsborough, Bea and Elly’s troublemaking mum Liz returns, Susan is haunted by what she did to Finn, and Xanthe gets a big surprise.

When is Neighbours on TV over Christmas?

You can read our handy guide to Neighbours' Christmas episodes here.

Documentary


Take That: We've Come A Long Way

Take That, circa 1992. Left to right: Robbie Williams, Mark Owen, Gary Barlow, Jason Orange and Howard Donald.

What is Take That: We've Come A Long Way?

A new documentary to mark Take That’s 30th(!) anniversary, the film will feature fans from all over the country, sharing stories of how the band touched their lives. The band will reunite with Robbie Williams to discuss their favourite memories, and the documentary will also bring together their biggest supporters – the five Take That mums.

How can I watch and on which channel?

Friday 28th December, 7pm, BBC1


Billy Connolly: Made in Scotland

What is Billy Connolly: Made in Scotland about?

Promising to show Billy “as you’ve never seen him before”, Made in Scotland weaves interviews with the celebrated comedian together with contributions from some of the biggest names in comedy across two hour-long specials.

How to watch and on which channel?

The two episodes will go out on BBC2 on Friday 28th December and Friday 4th January – both at 9pm


The Christmas Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan: The Arctic

The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan, BBC Pictures

What will happen in The Christmas Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan Christmas special?

The comedian and TV presenter is jetting to the Arctic for this festive special, heading to Canada where he travels across frozen wasteland, guided by Johnny Issaluk, and encounters the local inuit community.

How can I watch and on which channel?

Romesh Ranganathan’s trip to the Arctic will air on BBC2 on Thursday 20th December at 9pm.


The Secret World of Emily Bronte

What is The Secret World of Emily Bronte?

The show will see Bronte superfan Lily Cole visit the writer’s former home in West Yorkshire, as well as speak to experts about the social radicalism at the heart of the author.

How can I watch and on which channel?

The Secret World of Emily Bronte is on 6.05pm, Saturday 29th December, C4


Spy in the Snow

Spy in the Snow, BBC Pictures

What is Spy in the Snow?

How do animals cope with living in the snow? A spy parrot and spy wallaby – rigged with hidden cameras – will follow wildlife in extreme conditions and reveal their fascinating coping mechanisms from far flung places including the snowy mountains of New Zealand, Tasmania and the North and South Pole.

How can I watch and on which channel?

Sunday 30th December, 7pm, BBC1


Inside the Christmas Factory

Inside the Christmas Factory, BBC Pictures

What is Inside the Christmas Factory?

The popular series gets a Christmas special, which sees MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace pay a visit to the Quality Street factory, while Cherry Healey travels to Germany to meet a crew of 35 ornament decorators, and goes behind the scenes of the Royal Mail factory to see how Christmas stamps are produced.

How can I watch and on which channel?

Inside the Christmas Factory will air on BBC2 on Monday 17th December at 9pm


Andrew Davies: Rewriting the Classics

What is Andrew Davies: Rewriting the Classics?

Andrew Davies is the creator of some of the most iconic TV series of the past half century, from Pride and Prejudice to War and Peace. This Christmas his adaptation of Les Misérables makes it onto screens with this documentary marking its arrival with an hour-long look at Davies’ illustrious body of work.

How can I watch and on which channel?

Sunday 30th December, 10.05pm, BBC4


Ken Dodd: How Tickled We Were

Ken Dodd: How Tickled We Were, BBC Pictures

What is Ken Dodd: How Tickled We Were about?

This new documentary charts the late comedian’s 60-year career, from his first appearance on stage in September 1954 to his final performance in his home city of Liverpool in December 2017. The one-off also features an interview with Sir Ken’s wife, Lady Anne Dodd.

How can I watch it and on which channel?

Ken Dodd: How Tickled We Were is to air on Wednesday 26th December at 9pm on BBC2


The Snow-Wolf: A Winter's Tale

Snow-Wolf, BBC Pictures

What is The Snow-Wolf: A Winter's Tale?

This remarkable film follows the journey of one mother wolf through the frozen Alps in search of a new territory and a new life, giving birth to six cubs on the way. Can she protect her new offspring?

How can I watch and on which channel?

Snow-Wolf will go out on Thursday 27th December at 9pm on BBC2


Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas

Irving Berlin, Getty

What is Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas about?

This musical documentary tells of how a group of Jewish songwriters penned much of the soundtrack to Christianity’s most musical holiday – from White Christmas to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

How to watch and on which channel?

Saturday 22nd December, 11.35pm, BBC4


Christmas Sky with Chris and Michaela

Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan, BBC Pictures

What is Christmas Sky with Chris and Michaela?

Nature broadcasters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan head to some spellbinding winter landscapes to look at some of the natural phenomena unique to this time of year – from the Arabian desert in Jordan to Norway’s frozen wilderness.

How can I watch and on which channel?

Christmas Sky with Chris and Michaela is due to broadcast on BBC2 on Sunday 23rd December at 9pm.


Raymond Briggs: Snowmen, Bogeymen & Milkmen

The Snowman

What is Raymond Briggs: Snowmen, Bogeymen & Milkmen about?

Illustrator Raymond Briggs first created The Snowman 40 years ago and it’s still regarded a Christmas classic. This hour-long film will celebrate Briggs and his timeless story of friendship between a young boy and a Snowman, as well as the author’s other stories including Ethel & Ernest – a moving tribute to his parents. Nick Park and Andy Serkis are both contributors.

How to watch and on which channel?

Raymond Briggs: Snowmen, Bogeymen & Milkmen will go out on BBC2 on New Year's Eve at 9pm

The Secret Life of the Zoo at Christmas

What’s will happen in The Secret Life of the Zoo at Christmas?

The camera returns to Chester Zoo for a special festive show featuring animals from meerkats to miniature monkeys. We’re set to see the birth of the UK's first ever sun bear cub and a life-long turf war between otters and babirusa yielding a yuletide ceasefire.

When can I watch The Secret Life of the Zoo at Christmas and on what channel?

The Secret Life of the Zoo at Christmas will be shown on C4 on Thursday 20th December at 8pm

The Secret Life of 5 Year-Olds on Holiday

The show exploring the fascinating behaviour of kids is headed to Turkey, the first time many of the children have gone abroad. Their antics – from visiting a Turkish mud bath, to attempting to teach each other to snorkel – will be once again observed by experts Dr Elizabeth Kilbey and Professor Paul Howard-Jones.

How can I watch and on which channel?

The one-off special will be shown on C4 on Thursday 27th December at 7pm


Radio


Norse Mythology

Who stars in Norse Mythology?

Adapted for Radio 4 by Lucy Catherine, Norse Mythology is set to star an ensemble cast of actors including Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer, Merlin’s Colin Morgan and legendary thesp Derek Jacobi, as well as Diana Rigg, Nonso Anozie and In the Flesh’s Luke Newberry.

What is Norse Mythology about?

The hour-and-a-half production of Neil Gaiman's classic work, which retold old Norse myths, is set to invite listeners to "a world of gods and monsters, fiery endings and new beginnings, tricks and trust."

When is it on the radio?

Neil Gaiman’s Norse mythology airs on Radio 4 on Wednesday 26th December from 3.00-4.30pm


Three Wise Women: Diane Morgan, Courtney Barnett and Zawe Ashton

Who stars in Three Wise Women?

Comedic actor Diane Morgan (better known as Philomena Cunk), Fresh Meat's own Zawe Ashton and plain-speaking Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett are all heading to BBC 6 Music to bear their gifts of imparting knowledge to the nation. Last year the series welcomed new Doctor Jodie Whittaker – who this year will be on Radio 2, interviewed by Jo Whiley.

What is Three Wise Women about?

The Three Wise Women look to give the gifts of wit, wonder and wisdom by presenting three hours of their favourite music as well as an evening of programmes from the 6 Music archives.

When is it on the radio?

Three Wise Women airs on BBC 6 Music from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day, from 4pm-2am


The Archers perform Canterbury Tales

Who stars in The Archers perform Canterbury Tales?

It seems Lynda Snell has roped in half of the residents of sleepy Ambridge into her amateur theatrics, with all our favourites taking to the hypothetical stage to perform Chaucer's classic stories. Headed up by Carole Boyd's Lynda, Felicity Finch (Ruth Archer), John Rowe (Jim Lloyd) and Annabelle Dowler (Kirsty Miller) are among just a few releasing their inner classic thespian.

The cast are expected to be joined by a mystery guest, teased only as an unexpected Ambridge resident...

What's it about?

This being Lynda Snell, the cast of The Archers will be bringing Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to life in a thrilling new adaptation of the classic stories.

When is it on the radio?

The Archers perform The Canterbury Tales airs on BBC Radio 4 on Saturday 29th December and Saturday 5th of January, 2.30pm-3.30pm.


The Hartlepool Spy

Who stars in The Hartlepool Spy?

Ian Martin's original comedy-drama boasts an ensemble cast, including Monty Python's Michael Palin, Jim Moir, Toby Jones and Bodyguard's Gina McKee, as well as Monica Dolan and Jason Forbes.

What is The Hartlepool Spy about?

Based in 1804 during the Napoleonic Wars, tensions between the residents of Hartlepool have reached breaking point. With the corrupt mayor and the narcissistic vicar almost coming the blows, things come to a head when a French ship is spotted heading their way – with many suspecting it to contain a spy.

When is The Hartlepool Spy on the radio?

The Hartlepool Spy airs on Radio 4 on 25th December between 2.15pm-3pm


Matt Lucas Live on Christmas Day

Matt Lucas
Getty Images

Who stars in Matt Lucas Live on Christmas Day?

Matt Lucas hosts a festive extravaganza from the comfort of his own house, joined by a series of mystery celebrity guests, friends, and of course, his mum.

What's it about?

Lucas's Christmas Day offering is a very special take on the festive day, including treats such as a 'live Christmas Dinner watch', a Christmas quiz and a 'Lack of Gratitude' top 10, where he details the most unpopular presents opened that day.

The show will also include a series of classic Christmas tunes alongside some quirky alternatives, as well as Lucas performing his own Hanukkah song.

Discussing his festive special, Lucas explained, "I’m really excited to be live on Radio 2 on Christmas Day with a big show. Please don’t rob my house."

When is Matt Lucas on the radio?

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Matt Lucas' Christmas special airs on 25th December from 11am-2pm on Radio 2


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