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What's on TV on Thursday 23rd December?

All the best TV and films airing this Christmas Eve Eve.

Hansel and Gretel: After Ever After
Sky
Published: Thursday, 23rd December 2021 at 6:00 am

There may still be two more sleeps until the big day itself - but a fortnight of great festive telly begins today.

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Yep, everyone knows that the best Christmas TV is right up there with food and presents as one of the best parts of the festive season, and things are kicking off today with some Crimbo comedy from the likes of Lee Mack, David Walliams and the team behind smash-hit sitcom Ghosts.

However there are also the usual themed rom-coms and celebrity specials of your favourite shows - here's what to watch on Thursday 23rd December.

Hansel and Gretel: After Ever After - 8pm, Sky Max

Hansel & Gretel: After Ever After
King Bert / Gary Moyes

David Walliams returns for another darkly funny look at fairy tales after happily ever after, this time looking at the Brothers Grimm classic Hansel and Gretel. An all-star cast help bring this family fairy tale to life, with Mark Addy and Sophie Thompson starring as the siblings' father and stepmother - and Sheridan Smith as The Witch who may or may not have survived her encounter with an oven...

A delightfully dark new spin on an old fairy tale the whole family can enjoy!

Ghosts - 8:30pm, BBC One

Ghosts Christmas special
BBC/Monumental Television/Guido Mandozzi

Breakout BBC sitcom Ghosts returns for a second seasonal special - with none other than Jennifer Saunders as the big Christmas star. The Ab Fab actress will be playing Fanny's overbearing mother, giving Fanny a backstory that explains why she became so bad-tempered as well as providing the required Christmas theme of family. The main plot however sees a man start living in a tent in the garden - a bearded man in red named Nick...

One Night in the Natural History Museum - 9pm, Channel 4

One Night in the Natural History Museum
Channel 4

Last Christmas saw Rob Beckett, Romesh Ranganathan and Tom Allen let loose in Hamley's overnight - this year sees the format return for a five-part series this time featuring The Last Leg co-stars Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe. This week they're joined by Aisling Bea for an overnight stay in none other than the National History Museum, resulting in running through the corridors and playing with the exhibits in one of London's most famous attractions. It really is Night At The Museum in real life, minus the living exhibits but with plenty of friendly banter between the long-time co-hosts and comedians.

Last Christmas - 9pm, BBC Two 

Last Christmas
Universal Pictures

In many ways a spiritual successor to Love Actually as the light-hearted London Christmas rom-com of choice, Last Christmas follows disillusioned Christmas shop worker Katarina (Emilia Clarke) whose life is transformed when she meets the mysterious Tom (Henry Golding). The ending has proved particularly divisive, but this Emma Thompson-penned festive frolic is undeniably Christmassy and warm-hearted - and bolstered by the music of the late great George Michael, with the film including his Christmas classic which inspired the movie's title as well as previously unreleased tracks.

Celebrity Masterchef Christmas Cook-Off - 9pm, BBC One

Celebrity Masterchef Christmas Cook Off 2021
BBC/Shine TV

'Tis the season for celebrity specials of all your favourite entertainment shows - including the long-running Masterchef. This concluding part sees reality star Gemma Collins, actor Joe Swash, singer Mica Paris and broadcaster Rev Richard Coles return to recreate Christmas dishes from around the world. The prize? The title of Christmas champion and fancy new accolade: the Celebrity MasterChef Golden Whisk trophy.

Not Going Out Christmas Special - 10pm, BBC One

Not Going Out Christmas Special 2021
BBC/Avalon/Mark Johnson

One of the longest-running sitcoms currently airing on British TV returns for yet another Christmas special, with Lee Mack penning more quick-fire jokes, puns and one-liners about the seasonal holiday. After last year's socially distant New Year's episode, the show returns to a more regular Christmas special, with Lee not happy that Lucy has booked tickets for the pantomime, and even less happy that the show will star Lucy's teenage crush - none other than Jason Donovan.

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Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide.

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