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What's on TV on New Year's Eve?

See in a New Year unlike any other with some quality TV.

Graham Norton Show
Published: Thursday, 31st December 2020 at 6:00 am

Finally, we can wave goodbye to a year that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. But what's on offer on television as the year ticks over into 2021?


By necessity, this New Year's Eve will be much more of an indoors affair than usual for many of us, so thankfully the BBC is screening The Big New Year's In, ahead of an extra starry Graham Norton show and a very special Alicia Keys concert.

However, if you'd rather see the New Year in with a film, you're in for a treat: ITV is showing one of the very best Bonds with Skyfall at 9.00pm.

It's been a long year - here are our picks of the best Christmas TV to see out 2020 with a televised bang:

Paddington – 5.15pm, Channel 4

Paddington (Studiocanal)

For a film to enjoy with all the family, you can't do much better than Paddington. The classic origin story of the Peruvian bear who gets lost at Paddington Station, the film shows how he is taken in by the Brown family and must avoid scheming taxidermist Millicent Clyde. Co-stars Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, and Nicole Kidman.

The Wall Versus Celebrities – 6:40pm, BBC One

Danny Dyer The Wall

He's already established as Mick Carter in EastEnders, but Danny Dyer is also slowly becoming Mr Saturday Night courtesy of this game show. It returned for a second series earlier this year, and now celebrities are facing the dreaded Wall this Christmas - can comedian Alex Brooker and actor Sally Lindsay win big for charity?

The Great British Sewing Bee: Celebrity New Year Special – 8pm, BBC One

The Great British Sewing Bee Joe Lycett

Drag Race star The Vivienne, Birds of a Feather's Lesley Joseph, presenter Sabrina Grant and actress Sally Philips are all taking part in the second celebrity special of The Great British Sewing Bee this Christmas. The famous faces will be challenged to make a child's party skirt, transform old clothes into a pantomime character and, aptly, make a New year's Eve party dress that reminds them of the past.

Celebrity Crystal Maze – 8pm, Channel 4

The Crystal Maze Christmas Special 2018

The revival of the classic game show has been the subject of celebrity specials throughout December, culminating with this New Year's Eve edition. Pop star Fleur East will be leading a star-studded team, including soap stars Natalie Cassidy and Nina Wadia, plus John Thomson as well as reality TV's Georgia "Toff" Toffolo. Will the last celebrity squad of 2020 secure enough crystals?

The Big New Year's In – 9pm, BBC One

Paddy McGuinness, host of I Can See Your Voice
Getty Images

With the annual London fireworks cancelled and many of us staying inside, the BBC has come up with some alternative New Year's Eve programming. The Big New Year's In will begin at 9pm and see Paddy McGuinness host a night of light-hearted games, fun, and music with celebrity guests, complete with one last virtual quiz which viewers can join in on from home.

The programme is set to run throughout the night, and will incorporate The Graham Norton Show and the Alicia Keys concert also.

Skyfall – 9pm, ITV

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall
Skyfall ©2012 Danjaq, LLC, United Artists Corporation, Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved. © MGM

A New Year's Eve in always includes at least one film - and you could do a lot worse than Skyfall. Often heralded as one of the best Bonds of all time, Daniel Craig's third outing sees Bond hunt a disgruntled former MI6 agent with a vendetta against M (Judi Dench).

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A perfect refresher before No Time To Die, which is (hopefully!) releasing next April.

The Last Leg of the Year 2020 – 9pm, Channel 4

The Last Leg: (Adam Hills and co-hosted by Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker)

It won't take you all the way to midnight, but Channel 4's popular live comedy chat show gets a two-hour special for a look back at 2020 in their own alternative style. Tom Allen, Lorraine Kelly, James Acaster, Judi Love, Asim Chaudhry and Alex Horne & The Horne Section are all set to join regular presenters Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker for a bumper edition of the show.

The Graham Norton New Year's Eve Show – 10:25pm, BBC One

Graham Norton (BBC)

While incorporated into BBC One's Big Night In, those interested in specifically watching Norton's traditional New Year's Eve show can tune in at 10:25pm. The New Year's edition usually has an extra glittering line-up, and 2020 is no disappointment: Norton will be chatting to no less than Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan, Tom Hanks, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jessica Chastain and Nish Kumar, along with music from Sophie Ellis Bextor.

Jools' Annual Hootenanny – 11:15pm, BBC Two

Jools Holland

A New Year's tradition almost as old as the London Fireworks, Jools' Annual Hootenanny is still going strong after nearly 30 years. Jools' guests this year include Celeste, Sir Tom Jones, Michael Kiwanuka, Roisin Murphy, Rag'n'Bone Man, Rick Wakeman, Ruby Turner and the Pipes and Drums of the 1st Batallion Scots Guards.

There will also be a look back at Hootenannies of the past, including iconic performances from the likes of Jamiroquai, Rudimental and Ella Eyre and Madness.

Alicia Keys Rocks New Year's Eve – 11:30pm, BBC One

Grammys host Alicia Keys

There might not be fireworks this year, but there is a musical star - and it is none other than the multi-award-winning superstar Alicia Keys. Keys will be bookending the Big New Year countdown with a very special performance of her greatest hits on location in Los Angeles.


If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV Guide.


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