It's nearly time for all this fabulous TV...!
Here’s your ultimate Christmas TV Guide to all the very best Christmas TV specials and Christmas shows coming your way over the festive period.
Highlights include a Call the Midwife Christmas special, a new Worzel Gummidge, the return of Doctor Who and a Gavin & Stacey special on Christmas Day – the first episode for nearly a decade.
Christmas TV Guide – here are the best Christmas specials and Christmas shows and what channels and times they’re on…
Christmas TV Guide – CHRISTMAS EVE
The Tiger Who Came to Tea, C4, Christmas Eve, 7.30pm
A starry cast lend their voices to this animation based on the late Judith Kerr’s beloved children’s book. David Walliams narrates as young Sophie (Clara Ross) and her Mummy (Tamsin Greig) sit down to tea and receive an unexpected visit from a tiger (David Oyelowo). Benedict Cumberbatch is Daddy.
Take off with Bradley and Holly, BBC1, Christmas Eve, 8.00pm
Bradley Walsh and Holly Willoughby join forces for this extravaganza that will see members of a studio audience getting the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Lapland.
Cinderella: After Ever After, Sky One/Now TV, Christmas Eve, 8pm
Sian Gibson and David Walliams are Cinderella and Prince Charming in this star-studded comedy. Newlywed Cinders is disappointed that her groom is more interested in his own image and floss-dancing than her, and she soon has to save the King (Sir Tom Courtenay) from her wicked stepmother, Madame Blackheart (Celia Imrie).
Gareth Malone’s Christmas Concert, BBC2, Christmas Eve, 9pm
Gareth Malone puts on a Christmas concert.
Not Going Out Christmas Special, BBC1, Christmas Eve, 10pm
Lee and Lucy have a quiet and peaceful Christmas… oh no they don’t!
Martin’s Close, BBC4, Christmas Eve, 10pm
Mark Gatiss adapts MR James’ ghost story about a man accused of murder whose victim is seen after her death. Peter Capaldi stars.
QI: Quizmas, BBC2, 10pm
Sandi Toksvig fronts a festive edition
Christmas TV Guide – CHRISTMAS DAY
The Snail and the Whale, BBC1, Christmas Day, 2.30pm
The BBC’s adaptations of writer Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler’s children’s books have become firm festive favourites and this year’s animation of their popular 2003 story will be no exception. Narrated by Dame Diana Rigg, the plot follows an ambitious snail (voiced by Sally Hawkins) who tries to fulfil her dream of seeing the world by hitching a ride on a humpback whale (Rob Brydon).
Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, BBC1, Christmas Day, 4.40pm
Past contestants Gemma Atkinson, Mark Wright, Debbie McGee, Chizzy Akudolu, Joe Sugg and Richard Arnold put on their dancing shoes again in a bid to be crowned the champion of this year’s all- star special.
Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show, BBC1, Christmas Day, 6pm
Michael’s seasonal showcase includes him bravely waking up Strictly’s Craig Revel Horwood for a special Christmassy Midnight Gameshow!
Call the Midwife Christmas Special, BBC1, Christmas Day, 7.00pm
The annual festive trip to Nonnatus House finds the midwives and nuns dealing with an influenza outbreak, but formidable Mother Mildred (Miriam Margolyes) has a plan to take the team to the Outer Hebrides to set up a much-needed branch house and antenatal clinic…
The Great Christmas Bake Off, C4, Christmas Day, 7.10pm
Even Paul Hollywood musters up some seasonal cheer as he and fellow judge Prue Leith set some Christmas-themed challenges to a quartet of former contestants – 2017’s Tom Hetherington and Yan Tsou and 2018’s Briony Williams and Terry Hartill. Meanwhile, a New Year edition sees the cast of Derry Girls showing of their baking skills.
Gavin & Stacey, BBC1, Christmas Day, 8.30pm
Oh, what’s occurrin’?! Only the hugely anticipated return of the award- winning comedy! Nearly a decade after we last saw lovebirds Gavin (Mathew Horne) and Stacey (Joanna Page), writers Ruth Jones and James Corden, who also play Nessa and Smithy, give fans a Christmas gift as the Shipmans from Billericay head to Barry Island to celebrate the festive season with the Wests.
Mrs Brown’s Boys, BBC1, Christmas Day, 10.30pm
Mammy (Brendan O’Carroll) is back for more Christmas chaos! Agnes’ loved ones are tired of her interfering ways and, in a twist on the film It’s a Wonderful Life, she discovers what things would have been like if she’d never been born. Coronation Street legend Kevin Kennedy features as an angel! A New Year instalment then finds Winnie (Eilish O’Carroll) on tenterhooks as a woman she believes is a poisoner is released from jail!
Christmas TV Guide – BOXING DAY
Mimi and the Mountain Dragon, BBC1, Boxing Day, 3.20pm
An enchanting animation of Sir Michael Morpurgo’s book about a girl trying to get a baby dragon home.
Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, ITV, Boxing Day, 6pm
Mr O’Grady pays his annual Christmas visit to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
Worzel Gummidge, BBC1, Boxing Day, 6.20pm
Scatterbrook Farm’s most famous resident returns as Mackenzie Crook writes and stars in a two-part version of Barbara Euphan Todd’s tales about a talking scarecrow. When lovable Worzel befriends young Susan (India Brown) and John (Thierry Wickens), can they fix some worrying changes in the natural world?
Paddington: The Man Behind the Bear, BBC2, Boxing Day, 9pm
A one-off documentary tells the fascinating story behind how, in 1958, the late writer Michael Bond created the much-loved bear from Peru.
Susan Hill’s Ghost Story, Channel 5, Boxing Day, 9pm
Shetland’s Douglas Henshall stars in this spooky story based on Susan Hill’s chilling novel The Small Hand. He plays antique book dealer Adam Snow, who’s haunted by the ghost of a young boy and suffers from terrible nightmares. But a secret from Adam’s own childhood soon starts to emerge…
More Christmas TV specials and shows to look forward to…
Doctor Who, BBC1, New Year’s Day, 6.55pm
The TARDIS will touch down again as Jodie Whittaker’s Time Lord returns for a spectacular new series. Graham (Bradley Walsh), Ryan (Tosin Cole) and Yaz (Mandip Gill) are all back, and while showrunner Chris Chibnall is tight-lipped about plot details, we’re sure it will be action-packed and feature rip-roaring fun. Exciting guest stars include Stephen Fry and Lenny Henry.
A Christmas Carol, BBC1, Saturday 22nd December, 9pm
Neighbours star turned Hollywood A-lister Guy Pearce plays curmudgeonly Ebenezer Scrooge in a spellbinding three-part adaptation of Charles Dickens’ festive classic from writer Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders). The impressive cast also includes Stephen Graham, Charlotte Riley and Andy Serkis.
Dancing on Ice at Christmas, ITV, Sunday 22nd December, 7pm, ITV
Ahead of the return of the ice-skating contest early next year, a festive edition sees the new class of celebs, including Michael Barrymore and Corrie’s Lisa George, take to the ice for the first time with their professional partners. Also, mentors and skating legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean will perform a sensational routine.
Dracula, BBC1, New Year’s Day, 9pm
Sherlock creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss bring back another famous character in this three-part drama. Danish actor Claes Bang plays the vampire who journeys from Transylvania to embark on sinister adventures in Victorian London. While many elements of the story stay true to Bram Stoker’s novel, expect some new twists.
The Trial of Christine Keeler, BBC1, Sunday 29th December, 9pm
An intriguing six-part drama explores the Profumo scandal of the early 1960s. Rising star Sophie Cookson takes centre stage as teenage showgirl Christine Keeler, who befriends society osteopath Stephen Ward (James Norton). But when Stephen introduces Christine to Tory MP John Profumo (Ben Miles), their affair has far-reaching consequences…
Ball and Boe: A Very Merry Christmas, ITV, Friday 20th December, 9.30pm
Musical friends Michael Ball and Alfie Boe team up again for a special packed with songs and seasonal cheer. “Yes, Christmas has come early,” Michael tells us. “The line-up with Dame Shirley, Luke Evans and Gregory Porter just says Christmas, doesn’t it? I’m hoping Gregory will do something from the Nat King Cole era.”
Still Open All Hours, BBC1, 23rd December, 8.30pm
A festive episode of the sitcom sees Granville (Sir David Jason) trying to bring some magic to Christmas…
Gordon, Gino and Fred Christmas Road Trip: 3 Unwise Men, ITV, Monday 23rd December, 9pm
“Wise Men” Gordon Ramsay, Gino D’Acampo and Fred Sirieix face cookery challenges during an adventure in Morocco.
Snow Cats and Me, BBC2, Saturday 29th December, 8pm
Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan visits Russia to help rescue lynx from the fur and pet trades.
The Goes Wrong Show: The Spirit of Christmas, BBC1, Monday 23rd December, 7.30pm
The Mischief theatre group returns with another of their comic disasters as they stage a charming tale about Santa – with farcical consequences!
Miranda: My Such Fun Celebration, BBC1, New Year’s Day, 5.45pm
A decade on from the debut of her sitcom, Miranda Hart gallops back onto our screens to host this reunion with the cast sharing some lovely memories.
Bancroft, ITV, New Year’s Day, 9pm
Sarah Parish returns as the murderous detective in the crime thriller but how far will she go to protect her son Joe (Adam Long) when he’s accused of murder?
Jane’s Christmas Spectacular, Channel 5, Saturday 21st December, Channel 5, 9.20pm
This is the first of three Christmas shows from Jane McDonald, with a Cruising Special to follow on Christmas Eve and Jane on Friends on New Year’s Eve.
Dame Edna Rules the Waves, BBC1, New Year’s Eve, 9.05pm
The housewife superstar takes to the high seas in her luxury yacht as she welcomes aboard famous guests including Sharon Osbourne and Nile Rodgers.
Our Christmas TV Guide will be updated as more shows are announced and the days and times they’re on are revealed.