Downton Abbey, Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who. Same old, same old, right? Actually no. This year’s Christmas Tv pulls out all the stops. Here are our favourites…
Watch: Mary Berry’s Absolute Christmas Favourites
When? Friday 19 Dec, BBC2, 8.30pm
Whether you’re hosting or just getting under other people’s feet, do it in style with Mary Berry’s guide to the big festive feast. Mulled wine? Check. Mince pies? Check? Mini filo beef Wellington canapés? Oh, go on, then. So delicious you might find yourself with a lot of work to do this year…
Watch: Derek – The Special
When? Monday 22 Dec, C4, 10pm
Derek fans – rejoice that it’s back… and maybe have a blub that it’s the final ever episode. Mixed emotions, indeed. That’s not to say this isn’t a cracking episode. Anyone else fancy signing our ‘write more Derek episodes, please, Ricky Gervais ‘ petition?
Watch: Julie Walters: A Life On Screen
When: Christmas Eve, BBC2, 9.30pm
Head home from the pub early on Christmas Eve, possibly with a few mates/siblings/bottles of wine in tow, this biog is utterly LOL-some. From Educating Rita to Dinner Ladies, it leaves no stone in Julie Walter’s career unturned.
Watch: Call The Midwife
When? Christmas Day, BBC1, 7.50pm
Oodles of Christmas spirit (trees, snowflakes and *drum roll* a concert), a big old tug at the heartstrings (Chummy rescues a failing home for mothers and babies) and an ‘appearance’ by the late author of the memoirs, Jennifer Worth. Yes, the on-screen narration of legend Vanessa Redgrave (the episode opens in 2005 and goes back) does bring a certain je ne sais quoi to this festive special. Enjoy cuddled up with your nan and a Baileys (or three).
When? Christmas Day and & New Year’s Day, BBC1, 7.15pm & 8pm
Miranda Hart sure knows how to do a (what she calls) Christmas special with this incredibly jolly double whammy. Wrapping up the show once and for all, you can bet there’ll be more meltdowns than getting-her-shit-together, but we wouldn’t want it any other way.
Watch: Michael McIntyre’s Very Christmassy Christmas Show
When? Christmas Day, BBC1, 10.40pm
Oh, hi, Jamie Oliver, Rob Brydon, Barbara Windsor and Robbie Williams… Talk about a top-notch Christmas chat show line up. And the jokes. Imagine the jokes. Sorry Wossy, we think you’ve been trumped!
Watch: The Boy In The Dress
When? Boxing Day, BBC1, 6.55pm
Where’s Mossy making a telly appearance this Christmas period, then… a haute couture doc? A star-studded chat show? Nope, she’s only gone and filmed a cameo in David Walliams’ family friendly book adaptation The Boy In The Dress. Albeit a fashion-fabulous fantasy scene where she’s wearing Vivenne Westwood. Natch.
Watch: Agatha Raisin And The Quiche Of Death
When? Boxing Day, Sky 1, 8.30pm
Secretly enjoy a bit of Marple, Poirot, Midsomer Murders et al? Don’t we all. And this season it’s time to do it guilt free. Agatha Raisin And The Quiche Of Death is the perfect crime drama spoof – yes, it’s about a poisoned quiche – and signals the comeback of the fabulous Ashley (Extras, Ugly Betty) Jensen to boot. Hurrah!
Watch: Darcey Bussell’s Looking For Audrey
When? Monday 29 Dec, BBC1, 10.30pm
We’re glad to see Darcey was let out from under Len Goodman’s watchful eye on the Strictly panel long enough to make this fascinating profile of the ultimate Hollywood style legend, Audrey Hepburn. Does this signal a new career in docu-making for our Darcey? Watch this space.