This festive season promises to be fabulous, with highlights including a Call The Midwife Christmas special, a New Year's Day outing for Jodie Whittaker's Time Lord and a stunning new animation. Here we bring you an exclusive rundown of the best TV shows to watch this Christmas
The best Christmas shows and what channels and times they’re on (we will update this as we get more information!)
Call The Midwife, BBC1
Harry Potter star Miriam Margolyes is set to join the cast of Call The Midwife for this year’s Christmas special. The show will explore the stories of child refugees in the UK, with Harry Potter star Miriam taking on the role of forthright Sister Mildred. Her character will arrive unexpectedly at Nonnatus House with four Chinese orphans who fled China and have been adopted in the UK as part of the World Refugee Project.
ABC Murders, BBC1
This adaptation of the infamously gripping Agatha Christie novel, written by the wonderful crime author back in 1936, will have Poirot fans on the edge of their seats this festive season.
John Malkovich (Being John Malkovich, In The Line Of Fire, Dangerous Liaisons) will lead the cast as Hercule Poirot, staring alongside Rupert Grint (Harry Potter, Sick Note) as Inspector Crome, and Andrew Buchan (Broadchurch, The Honourable Woman) as Franklin Clarke as they try to solve a 1930s murder mystery.
It’s not been officially confirmed yet this is on at Christmas, but Agatha Christie stories having become something of a Christmas tradition on the Beeb recently!
Watership Down, BBC1
This two-part TV adaptation of the famous 1972 novel written by Richard Adams boasts an all-star cast including James McAvoy (Atonement, X-Men, Arthur Christmas), Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy, X-Men), Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace, Clash of the Titans) and Olivia Colman (Murder on the Orient Express, Broadchurch and The Crown). It’s also been revealed that Sam Smith has recorded an original song for the animation.
Doctor Who, BBC1
Actress Jodie Whittaker will star in a special episode over the festive period as the 13th Time Lord, joined by her trusty companions Graham, Yasmin and Ryan, played by Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole.
Jodie made her debut as the new Doctor in last year’s Christmas episode, and expect more drama again this year.
But the BBC has announced the one-hour-special will be shown on New Year’s Day, not Christmas Day. Showrunner Chris Chibnall has teased that the plot sees the “Doctor and friends face a terrifying alien threat…”.
An animated adaptation of a Julia Donaldson story is fast becoming a Christmas tradition, and this year is no exception as the BBC has announced that Zog will be the adventure enchanting children across the UK.
The story follows an accident-prone dragon who gets himself into all sorts of scrapes and will feature an all-star cast including Sir Lenny Henry as the narrator and Kit Harrington as Sir Gadabout.
Mrs Brown’s Boys, BBC 1
Multi-award-winning comedy sensation Mrs Brown’s Boys returns with two brand new and hilarious specials for Christmas 2018. Agnes and family will be bringing the Christmas spirit in a way that only they know how! Always one to put a smile on our faces, Agnes will make sure this is one Christmas special we’ll never forget.
Strictly Come Dancing 2018 Christmas Special, BBC1
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a sprinkling of glitter and a huge dollop of fake tan to go with our festive turkey. And it’s been revealed that Jake Wood, Anita Rani, Ann Widdecombe, Caroline Flack, Aston Merrygold and Michael Vaughan will be the stars battling it out on the infamous dance floor at Blackpool Tower. Which couple will make it to the top of the leader board and find themselves taking home the much-coveted Christmas trophy?
What Would Your Kid Do? ITV
This amazingly successful family-based entertainment show is back for an hour-long Christmas special, with comedian Jason Manford back in his hosting role. Jason will be joined in the studio by parents as they try and guess how their children will behave in a variety of classroom challenges – offering a surprising, and often hilarious, insight into the minds of children.
Midnight Gang, BBC1
This children’s book, written by David Williams, is the sixth book by the comedian-turned-author that has been adapted by the BBC. The hilarious book, which tells an extraordinary heart-warming tale of five children on a hospital ward who are all on a quest for adventure is set to leave young viewers spellbound, and David even appears in the production himself as the headmaster.
CBeebies Christmas Show, BBC1
The Christmas Show put on by favourite CBeebies personalities every year is always a hit with pre-schooler viewers. This year the production will follow the familiar story of Thumbelina, a thumb-sized girl who lives in an oversized woodland world, and goes on numerous adventures as she tries to work out her own identity.
Families will also be able to watch Thumbelina in cinemas throughout the UK from 15th December, with exclusive content from the one and only Justin Fletcher, AKA Mr Tumble.
Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas, Channel 4
Get your glitter and glue at the ready – Kirsty Allsopp is back with her annual dose of Yuletide craftiness. While the rest of us are struggling to even wrap a Christmas present neatly, Kirstie will be teaching us how to make our homes festive and create thoughtful, handmade gifts for all the family.
best Christmas shows will be updated as more shows are announced