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What's on TV on Sunday 29th December?

Here are our top picks…

The Trial of Christine Keeler
BBC/Ecosse Films/Ben Blackall
Published: Sunday, 29th December 2019 at 5:00 pm

Travelling from London to Chester Zoo to Russia to the Himalayan mountains, the best TV for Sunday 29th December takes us across continents and around the globe, to meet scandalous politicians, comedians, barb-fish, lynx and a home-built Nepalese car.


The Secret Life of the Zoo at Christmas— 7pm, Channel 4


In this festive episode, Bactrian camels Becky and Mei-Li meet Sparky, a new addition to their flock. In the aquarium, Clerk and Doris, long-term mascara barb fish partners, welcome three new females to their tank. However not everything is going as swimmingly in the red panda pen, Nima and Koda find themselves going through a rough patch.

Essential Royal Ballet — 7pm, BBC4

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 07/12/2019 - Programme Name: Essential Royal Ballet - TX: 29/12/2019 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED NOT FOR PUBLICATION BEFORE 00:01 HRS ON SATURDAY 7TH DECEMBER 2019** - (C) Royal Opera House - Photographer: Tristram Kenton

At the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden, Katie Derham explores the rich history of the Royal Ballet. Using excerpts from performances from the past ten years, we look back at classics such as Giselle and Swan Lake as well as more contemporary works. Derham delves behind the scenes talking to successful ballerinas, getting to the heart of what it takes to be a dancer for the prestigious Royal Ballet.

Snow Cats and Me — 8pm, BBC2

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 07/12/2019 - Programme Name: Snow Cats & Me - TX: 30/12/2019 - Episode: Snow Cats & Me - ep2 (No. 2) - Picture Shows: with young male Eurasian Lynx, 'Bryansk' rescued from the pet trade. Dr Victor Lukarevsky, Gordon Buchanan - (C) Oak Island Films Ltd/Hello Halo TV - Photographer: Jim Manthorpe

Russia is a stronghold for the lynx, but hundreds are kept in captivity. In this two-part series, Gordon Buchanan helps rescue four of these felines and gradually prepare them for release into the wild. Koshka and Miass have been held captive in cages in for years, forced to breed for their kitten’s fur. But, before they can be released, serious work needs to be done to improve their physical, and psychological, condition.

The Trial of Christine Keeler — 9pm, BBC1

Sophie Cookson as Christine Keeler in The Trial of Christine Keeler (BBC)
Sophie Cookson as Christine Keeler in The Trial of Christine Keeler (BBC)

This new BBC series dramatises the story of the political and sexual scandal that rocked sixties Britain, the affair between Secretary of State for War John Profumo (Ben Miles) and 19-year-old showgirl Christine Keeler (Sophie Cookson). Shining a light on of the most seismic of British political scandals, this series is set to be vivid, illuminating and deeply timely.

Top Gear, Nepal Special — 9pm, BBC2

Paddy McGuinness, Chris Harris and Freddie Flintoff on Top Gear (BBC)

Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris tackle a high-altitude expedition from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, to the Forbidden City of Lo Manthang, on the far side of the Himalayas. The trip would be challenging for even the hardiest new 4x4. So, it proves even more difficult for the trio as they’re driving an old Peugeot, a tiny Renault and Nepal’s only home-built car.

Joe Lycett: I’m About to Lose Control and I Think Joe Lycett — 10pm, Channel 4

Joe Lycett Great British Sewing Bee
Joe Lycett Great British Sewing Bee

The comedian, Joe Lycett, performs at London’s Apollo, in front of a sell-out crowd. This mischievous comic’s stand-up show is hilarious. Crammed with puns, and rants about life’s irritations, Lycett loves to poke fun at the ostentatious and does it effortlessly. He covers a wide range of topics including: breaking into banks and taking on Olympic athletes.


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