Christmas TV Guide – best shows to watch and when they’re on!

Check out our Christmas TV Guide so you don't miss a thing!

Here’s your ultimate Christmas TV Guide to all the very best Christmas TV specials and Christmas shows coming your way over the 2020 festive period.

Highlights include the return of Doctor Who, a Call the Midwife Christmas special, a new Julia Donaldson animation and an All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special. Plus there’s mini episodes of The Vicar of Dibley!

Christmas TV Guide – here are the best Christmas specials and Christmas shows and what channels and times they’re on…

Doctor Who Christmas Special, BBC1

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2020 Credit: BBC/James Pardon The Doctor Who Christmas Special 2020 sees the Time Lord trapped in an alien prison The Doctor Who Christmas Special 2020 promises to be the jewell in the crown of the BBC’s Christmas TV schedule. Amazingly, this will be the first festive special since 2017 and Jodie Whittaker’s first Christmas outing as the Time Lord. Doctor Who Christmas 2020 special – release date Jodie Whittaker: Doctor Who wasn’t family viewing in our house This is the first time Jodie has got to star in a Doctor Who Christmas special The broadcaster is expected to screen the Christmas special on BBC1 on Christmas Day, although this is still to be officially confirmed. We’d expect it to go out early evening on Christmas Day before the Call the Midwife Christmas special. MORE: All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special – everything you need to know What’s the plot? Well, the Daleks are back! Yep, the festive special will see the return of the Doctor’s most famous and most feared enemies. The Time Lord is locked away in a high-security alien prison, continuing from where the last series left off. The Doctor is alone and can’t see anyway of escape… Graham (Bradley Walsh), Ryan (Tosin Cole) and Yasmin (Mandip Gill) Graham (Bradley Walsh), Yasmin (Mandip Gill) and Ryan (Tosin Cole) in the Doctor Who 2020 Christmas special

Graham (Bradley Walsh), Yasmin (Mandip Gill) and Ryan (Tosin Cole) have a lot on their minds…

Jodie Whittaker returns as the Doctor in this eagerly-anticipated Christmas special, which looks like being her first to actually go out on Christmas Day. This is still to be confirmed of course!

And what’s even more exciting is that the Daleks return and John Barrowman is back as Captain Jack! The story picks up from where the last series left off with the Time Lord trapped in an alien prison.

Meanwhile on Earth, Yasmin, Ryan and Graham are finding it difficult to cope without their friend. When they find out about a shocking plan involving the Daleks, they face the prospect of fighting the fearsome foe without the Doctor. However, Captain Jack is on hand. Can Captain Jack help them save the planet?

The Doctor Who 2020 Christmas special, aka Revolution of The Daleks, promises to be a great watch.

Call the Midwife Christmas special, BBC1

Peter Davison in Call the Midwife 2020

Peter Davison as Mr Percival the Ringmaster in the Christmas special

Having dealt with some extremely naughty sheep last year in the Outer Hebrides, this year the gang are in Poplar. Everyone is hoping for a nice uneventful Christmas, but of course that doesn’t happen!

Sister Monica Joan is rushed to hospital, while Trixie is less than impressed to receive a subscription to a Marriage Bureau as a Christmas present. Meanwhile, the circus is in town as ex Time Lord Peter Davison plays Mr Percival the Ringmaster.

The Call the Midwife 2020 Christmas special promises to be cracker!

All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special, Channel 5

All Creatures Great and Small Rachel Shenton and Nicholas Ralph and Helen and James

Will there be romance at Christmas for Helen and James?

Bringing All Creatures Great and Small back for a new series turned out to be a genius idea and now there’s a festive special. Nicholas Ralph returns as James Herriot – will James be kissing Helen (Rachel Shenton) under the mistletoe?

Callum Woodhouse will be getting into more trouble as mischievous Tristan Farnon, while Samuel West will be trying to keep order as Siegfried Farnon. Plus, Mrs Hall (Anna Madeley) will no doubt be tasked with preparing Christmas dinner.

The Vicar of Dibley Christmas specials, BBC1, starts Monday 7th December, 8.50pm

Vicar of Dibley 2020 Christmas Special

Dawn French as Geraldine with James Fleet as Hugo in the upcoming Christmas episodes

Dawn French will return as everyone’s favourite vicar, Geraldine Grainger, for three mini Christmas specials. Called The Vicar in Lockdown, it will see the vicar being “helped” by loveable Hugo (James Fleet) as she talks to her flock over zoom.

“Back in the dog collar, back in Dibley and back on your telly at Xmas,” says Dawn. “I couldn’t be happier. Bless you.”

Black Narcissus, BBC1

Black Narcissus

Gemma Arterton as Sister Clodagh

This three part thriller, adapted from the 1939 classic, boasts an all-star cast including the late Dame Diana Rigg, Jim Broadbent and Gemma Arterton. The story follows Sister Clodagh (Arterton) and the nuns of St Faiths as they travel to Nepal. Sister Clodagh soon finds herself falling for the handsome and damaged land agent, Mr Dean. Will she follow her heart?

Zog and the Flying Doctors, BBC1

Zog and the Flying Doctors

Zog and the Flying Doctors will be one for all the family

Animation Zog was a festive hit last year and now the loveable dragon is back in Zog and the Flying Doctors. Based on the story by Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler, it follows Zog, Pearl and Gadabout, who are now a flying doctor trio. Pearl, though, is captured by her uncle, the King. Zog and Gadabout try and fail to rescue her. Meanwhile, Pearl decides to say in the palace and care for the ill King.

Ghosts Christmas Special, BBC1

Ghosts Christmas special

The ghostly gang are back for a festive special

Ghosts season 2 was a huge hit and now there’s going to be a Ghosts Christmas special to enjoy! Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) will not be alone this Christmas as all their spooky friends return.

We know that the festive episode will delve into the backstory of MP Julian, who famously died without his trousers on!

Worzel Gummidge, BBC1

Worzel Gummidge Christmas BBC1

Worzel is back!

We know there’s a new Worzel Gummidge coming soon and while it’s not been officially confirmed, it seems a good bet it will be on at Christmas again. The loveable scarecrow, played by MacKenzie Crook, returned to our screens last year.

Now Worzel is set for a new adventure which starts with Worzel, Susan and John going to a scrapyard. They soon stumble on an old friend of Worzel’s, Saucy Nancy (played by Harry Potter actress Shirley Henderson). Nancy, who’s a carved ship’s figurehead, is desperate to get back to the sea. Can Worzel and the kids get her back to the ocean?

Mrs Brown’s Boys, BBC1

Mrs Brown's Boys promises to be one of the best Christmas shows in 2018

The comedy specials promise to be a Christmas treat

Mrs Brown is back for a typically chaotic festive and New Year editions of the comedy favourite. Agnes is busy trying to win a competition to perform an alternative Queen’s Speech. Meanwhile, a flasher called Knickie, Knackle Dickie is on the loose.

The Serpent, BBC1, New Year’s Day, 9pm

The Serpent

The thriller is based on true events

Starring Tahar Rahim and Jenna Coleman, this eight-part thriller tells the amazing story of how Charles Sobhraj was captured. Inspired by real events, it follows Sobhraj, who was the chief suspect in unsolved murders of young Western travellers across India, Thailand and Nepal’s “Hippie Trail” in 1975 and 1976. It sees how he repeatedly slipped from the grasp of the authorities as he came Interpol’s most wanted man.

Birds of a Feather Christmas special, ITV

Tracey has news for Sharon and Dorien in this festive feature-length special

Birds of a Feather returns… but without Sharon

The hit comedy returns for the first time in three years, but it won’t feature Pauline Quirke as Sharon. Poor Sharon is apparently stuck on a Covid-cruise, leaving Tracey (Linda Robson) and Dorien (Lesley Joseph) to bicker all over Christmas. Dorien being Dorien of course has a new fella and this one is played by Les Dennis.

Lesley Joseph said: “I’m so excited to be putting Dorien’s high heels back on for a Christmas special of Birds. It’s been 3 years since viewers last saw us and Dorien’s only gone and got herself a new man! We all need a laugh right now and I promise this special will deliver the festive goods!”

Not Going Out, BBC1, New Year’s Eve

Not Going Out 2020 Christimas special

Nothing goes to plan for Lee and Lucy

It doesn’t seem likely that anyone will be going out on New Year’s Eve, so this episode seems very timely! Lee (Lee Mack) and Lucy (Sally Bretton) are on hosting duties, but things go wrong when they start a game of New Year’s resolutions with ideas on how to improve people’s behaviours.

Taskmaster Christmas special, C4

Taskmaster Christmas special with Alex Horne

The hugely popular show is getting its first ever Christmas special. Greg Davies and Alex Horne will be on presenting duties as five celebs – still to be announced – take on lots of silly tasks.

Our Christmas TV Guide will be updated as more shows are announced and the days and times they’re on are revealed (see our TV Guide for full Christmas listings).

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