You have to see these shows!
Christmas Day TV this year promises to be a cracker!
1. Call the Midwife Christmas Special, BBC1, 7.45pm
The ‘Welcome home’ bunting is out for Trixie’s (Helen George) return. But festive plans are thrown into chaos when ‘indefatigable’ Sister Mildred (a sensational Miriam Margolyes) turns up with four Chinese orphans. When the nuns then have to vote for a new Mother Superior, it’s a treat to finally see the much-mentioned Mother House and to witness an edgier side to Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) as she really doesn’t want the job!
The sisters also find themselves organising a Nativity and dealing with a mysterious pregnant woman, while back in Poplar, the midwives turn into ‘the Beverley sisters with rubber gloves’ as they face an emergency birth. Rating: *****
2. Torvill & Dean, ITV, 9.15pm
In 1984, ice-dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean became national treasures after winning gold with their Bolero routine at the Winter Olympics. This heart-warming one-off drama stars Poppy Lee Friar (Ackley Bridge) and Will Tudor (Humans) as the duo, with Anita Dobson as Jayne’s coach, Stephen Tompkinson as Jayne’s father, and Jaime Winstone as the instructor who first paired Chris and Jayne. Rating: ****
3. The Great Christmas Bake Off, Channel 4, 8pm
Noel and Sandi welcome four old friends back into the tent tonight, including break-out star Liam Charles. The four will face the usual set of three challenges before one of them is named Christmas star baker! We’re promised Paul and Prue in jazzy jumpers and rockers The Darkness performing their hit, Christmas Time. Perfect! Rating: *****
4. Paul O’ Grady: For The Love of Dogs at Christmas, ITV, 5.55pm
All Paul O’Grady wants for Christmas is for the Battersea residents to get new homes so that he doesn’t give in to temptation! Today Paul is smitten with a cute, withdrawn westie and finds himself bottle-feeding dozens of rescued puppies, as he tries to spread some Yuletide joy. Rating: *****
5. Zog, BBC1, 4.50pm
Accident-prone young dragon Zog (voiced by W1A’s Hugh Skinner) is forever getting into scrapes as he learns to fly, breathe fire and roar in this 30-minute animation based on the much-loved children’s book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.
Luckily, Zog finds a friend in young Princess Pearl (Patsy Ferran), who patches him up after each misadventure and who would much rather be a doctor than a princess. Brought to the screen by the same team who gave us The Gruffalo and The Highway Rat, this is an enchanting tale, beautifully narrated by Lenny Henry, with Tracey Ullman a delight as Zog’s long-suffering teacher Madame Dragon. Rating: *****
6. Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, BBC1, 5.30pm
Hurrah – the 2018 festive extravaganza reunites iconic couple Ann Widdecombe and Anton Du Beke! Also back are 2014 champ Caroline Flack, 2015 semi-finalist Anita Rani, 2012 contender Michael Vaughan and 2014 hip-swinger Jake Wood. Rating: *****