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What’s on TV on Christmas Eve?

'Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, the TV was blaring...

Home Alone
Published: Friday, 24th December 2021 at 6:00 am

There's only one more sleep until Christmas - but there's no need to wait for the great festive telly to begin.

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Some of the best Christmas TV is airing before the big day this year, with Bradley and Barney Walsh: Breaking Dad at Christmas seeing the pair head to Iceland for a seasonal special, while there's also the chance to catch the original Home Alone on TV.

It's also a great day for caroling with the annual Carols from King's returning with a congregation this time, while the Duchess of Cambridge will be honouring some very special people in the one-off Royal Carols: Together at Christmas.

Here are some of the best picks for what to watch this Christmas Eve while you wait for the big man to arrive on his sleigh.

Frozen - 1:30pm, BBC One

Elsa in Frozen

Eight years on from its record-breaking release, Frozen remains just as popular as ever - and Let It Go remains just as toe-tappingly catchy. Disney and Christmas is always a winning combination, and few of the House of Mouse's films are quite as festive as this snow-themed offering, and makes for delightful viewing whether this is your first or fifteenth viewing.

The plot, if you somehow don't know by now, follows Princess Anna as she sets out on a journey to find her estranged sister who has trapped their kingdom in an en endless winter - cue powerful songs, an adorable snowman sidekick and a storyline that turns several Disney conventions on their head.

Shaun the Sheep: the Flight before Christmas - 6pm, BBC One

Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas

The long-running Wallace and Gromit spin-off continues with a primetime Christmas special, following Shaun's hunt for little cousin Timmy after he goes missing at the market. This delightful episode is a perfect way to keep the kids quiet for half an hour this holiday season, but is so stuffed with gags for all ages that the adults might want a spot on the sofa too.

Home Alone - 6pm, Channel 4

Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern and Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone

It's not Christmas without the Home Alone films air on TV at some point - so if Home Sweet Home Alone was not quite your cup of mulled wine, Channel 4 are offering the chance to catch the timeless original in a primetime Christmas Eve slot. We're sure you know the drill by now - young Kevin McCallister is accidentally left home alone when his family go on holiday, leading to lessons about family, rather violent run-ins with burglars and several iconic expressions from Macaulay Culkin.

A certified Christmas classic - the house featured in the film was also listed as available to rent on Airbnb earlier this year!

Carol's from King's - 6:15pm, BBC Two

Carols from King's

The annual Carols from King's will be taking place with a congregation this year, after the choir performed to an empty chapel for the first time in a century in 2020. As usual, a solo chorister will begin the traditional celebration of Christmas at the chapel of King's College, Cambridge, before the whole choir sing carols such as The Holly and the Ivy, O Holy Night and Hark! the Herald Angels Sing. There are few more magical ways to kick off your Christmas celebrations than this!

Royal Carols: Together At Christmas - 7:30pm, ITV

The Duchess Of Cambridge Attend The Royal Variety Performance

If you fancy more carols after the service from King's, then look no further than this very special event paying tribute to those who helped their communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. Hosted by the Duchess of Cambridge, Royal Carols: Together At Christmas will feature videos highlighting the work of inspirational individuals and organisations across the UK, along with performances from the Westminster Abbey Choir, Leona Lewis, Ellie Goulding, and Tom Walker.

There is also quite a line-up of speakers - the Duke of Cambridge, presenter Kate Garraway and British Paralympian Kim Daybell will also make speeches during the event.

Bradley and Barney Walsh: Breaking Dad at Christmas - 9pm, ITV

BRADLEY AND BARNEY: BREAKING DAD AT CHRISTMAS

Bradley Walsh will be taking over our TVs this festive season in Christmas specials of The Larkins, Blankety Blank and of, course, The Chase, which airs a celebrity version earlier today. However the multi-talented entertainer will also be reuniting with son Barney for another instalment of their popular travel series, this time heading to Iceland for a Christmas-themed getaway.

If this is anything like previous trips this won't be a festive frolic through the snow, with volcanoes and glaciers on the agenda - but this should be heartwarming enough to keep any cold at bay.

All Creatures Great and Small - 9pm, Channel 5

All Creatures Great and Small 2021 Christmas special

Few shows lend themselves to Christmas specials quite as well as All Creatures Great and Small, with Skeldale House in 1930s Yorkshire quite the idyllic sight when adorned with Christmas decorations while snow falls outside. However any Christmas spirit is soon threatened when pampered pup Tricki Woo gets sick - though it is their owner Mrs Pumphrey we learn more about. Despite the perfect Christmassy backdrop, this special still delivers plenty of drama without getting overly sentimental.

Spitting Image Christmas Special – 10pm, ITV

Spitting Image

The BritBox revival returns to terrestrial TV once more following a Halloween episode earlier this year, this time for the reboot's first Christmas special. Sketches include Tom Cruise performing one of his daredevil stunts with Santa's sleigh and Elton John meeting an angelic Brad Pitt, with appearances also likely from the likes of Boris Johnson, Gary Lineker, Raheem Sterling, Rishi Sunak and more. Expect a Queen's Christmas message unlike any other!

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Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight. 

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