We’ve got the lowdown on the holiday's best telly, from Christmas Bake Off to The Windsors
In between mainlining Quality Street, bickering with your family and drinking too much, Christmas is all about curling up on the sofa, chilling out and turning on the box for some essential Christmas TV. Here’s your Christmas TV guide to the best of what’s on during the festive period.
Just make sure you get to the remote first…
Christmas TV Guide 2016
If you missed the first series of The Windsors which aired in May on Channel 4, you really did miss a treat. This extremely silly (but very funny) show is so close to the bone it’s a wonder the makers haven’t been sued by The Firm yet. If you didn’t catch the original, there’s a bonus Windsors Christmas Special airing on 23rd December. The alternative Queen’s speech. Huzzah!
23rd December on Channel 4 at 10pm
If you thought you’d seen the last of Mel and Sue fronting Bake Off, there’s set to be one final Christmassy encore with a two-part Great Christmas Bake Off. With Paul and Mary judging, favourite contestants of past GBBO series will return to whip up inventive mince pies and construct gingerbread towers (probably).
Christmas Day on BBC 1 at 4.45pm
It’s been quite an exciting year for James Norton, with a star turn in War and Peace and speculation mounting on whether he’ll be the next James Bond. But, Bond or no Bond, this Christmas Norton is going back to his roots to star opposite Robson Green as a crime-fighting vicar. What a treat.
Christmas Eve on ITV at 9pm
CBeebies (because TOM HARDY’S ON IT)
We wouldn’t normally suggest you tune into CBeebies – unless, of course, you have kids – but surely it’s worth it this one time because Tom Hardy (accompanied by his dog Woody) will be reading the bedtime story on New Year’s Eve. Mandatory viewing.
New Year’s Eve at 6.5opm
Source: BBC via Giphy.com
No Christmas TV guide would be complete without a good Doctor Who Christmas Special. ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’ will have a distinct superhero movie vibe, with the Doctor discovering the child he accidentally gave superhero powers to twenty years before is now a New York Superman-style vigilante called The Ghost. The special will include guest appearances from Matt Lucas (back for his second Dr Who special) as well as the comedian Frank Skinner.
Christmas Day at 5.45pm on BBC1
Call The Midwife
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Another seasonal favourite in the Christmas TV guide, teatime drama Call The Midwife is back on Christmas Day. The special will see the nuns travel to South Africa to help a mission hospital on the Eastern Cape.
Christmas Day at 8pm on BBC1
The Last Dragon Slayer
If you want a shot of fantasy this Christmas, try this cinematic Sky 1 drama based on the novels by Jasper Fforde, starring Ellise Chappell, John Bradley (Sam from Game of Thrones) and Richard E. Grant as the dragon.
Rocketing film careers for Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were probably the main reason why Sherlock took a hiatus this year. So it’s great news that they’re back for another round of one of the smartest shows on telly on New Year’s Day. The perfect hangover viewing.
New Year’s Day on BBC1 (Time TBC)
Strictly Come Dancing
Didn’t get your fill in the last few months? Get a final hit of sequins and slick ballroom shapes when the Strictly special airs on Christmas Day. As long as we get a final cha-cha from Ed Balls we’ll be happy.
Airing Christmas Day on BBC1