EXCLUSIVE: This Christmas’s top TV programmes previewed

There's so much Christmas TV to choose from this year, including favourites Doctor Who, Grantchester, and Call The Midwife. Here's a round-up the shows you really won't want to miss…

The mouthwatering selection of Christmas TV shows awaiting you this festive season. Take a look at these…

Grantchester, ITV

Grantchester III - Specials
James Norton and Robson Green return for a feature-length episode as the unlikely 1950s crime-fighting duo of reverend Sidney Chambers and police Inspector Geordie Keating. As well as a big mystery to solve there’s romance on the cards for Sidney – but should a man of God be losing his heart to a married, pregnant woman?


The Last Dragonslayer, Sky 1

Ricky Tomlinson and Pauline Collins star as a hapless wizard and his wife in this one-off family fantasy drama. It follows the magical adventures of orphan girl Jennifer (Ellise Chappell) who finds herself battling a dragon! A host of other stars feature, including John Bradley (Samwell in Game Of Thrones), Andrew Buchan, John Dalgleish and George Webster.


Call The Midwife, BBC1

The midwives of Nonnatus House are sent thousands of miles to South Africa after they receive an SOS from a tiny mission hospital. Sinead Cusack guest stars as the doctor who runs the threatened African clinic, while Jenny Agutter, Helen George, Charlotte Ritchie and Linda Basset are back playing the midwives who head out on the mercy dash.


Witness For the Prosecution, BBC1

It’s Agatha Christie time again in her famous mystery about the brutal murder of the rich, glamourous socialite Emily French (Kim Cattrall) in a London townhouse in the 1920s. Other stars in the two-part drama include Toby Jones, Billy Howle and Monica Dolan.


Doctor Who, BBC1

Peter Capaldi’s Time Lord teams up with a young comic-book superhero (Orphan Black star Justin Chatwin) to battle a deadly alien threat in New York in a festive sci-fi adventure called The Return of Doctor Mysterio. Matt Lucas returns as lovable Nardole while Charity Wakefield plays an investigative journalist who’s also caught up in the mayhem.


To Walk Invisible, BBC1

This one-off drama follows the extraordinary Bronte sisters who overcame so many obstacles in the early 19th century to write some of our nation’s most famous novels, including Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Chloe Pirrie, Charlie Murphy and Finn Atkins play Emily, Charlotte and Anne Bronte, while Adam Nagatis is their reckless brother Branwell and Jonathan Pryce plays their strict father.


Revolting Rhymes, BBC1

Roald Dahl’s collection of six witty rhymes, which give classic fairytales a twist, have been made into a charming animated two-parter. Among those voicing characters such as the Ugly Sisters, The Magic Mirror, Snow White and Red Riding Hood are David Walliams, Tamsin Grieg, Rob Brydon, Humans star Gemma Chan and Doctor Foster actor Bertie Carvel.


Jonathan Creek, BBC1

Alan Davies returns as magic expert turned sleuth Jonathan Creek, trying to uncover what happened to a young woman’s family in her eerie childhood home, Daemons’ Roost. After assisting the woman’s husband in the past, Jonathan is called upon again to try and solve the mystery with reluctant help from his wife Polly (Sarah Alexander) and the over-enthusiastic Reverend Wendell Wilkie (Warwick Davis) who is also called upon to perform an exorcism.
Outnumbered BBC1

Haven’t they grown up! Yes, after threes years away, TV’s funniest kids, played by Tyger Drew-Honey, Daniel Roche and Ramona Marquez, are back for a festive episode as the Brockmans carry out a special Boxing Day mission that involves rescuing Granddad.


Sherlock, BBC1

It’ll be an elementary New Year’s Day as Holmes and Watson return for the first of three new episodes, described as ‘dark’, ‘fun’ and full of ‘emotional upheaval’. Toby Jones joins Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as new villain Culverton Smith.


The Great British Bake Off Christmas Specials, BBC1

Great news Bake Off fans, this year’s there’s two festive specials featuring the original line-up – Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins. Each episode will welcome back four bakers from past series to tackle three Christmas challenges.


Birds of a Feather, ITV
birds of a feather

Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson, and Lesley Joseph, flock back together for their first festive special in 18 years! The hour-long episode, featuring Martin Kemp as gangster Vince, sees the ladies in Morocco searching for Tracey’s son Travis, who’s gone missing while on his gap year.


Last Tango in Halifax, BBC1

This Christmas two-parter sees Caroline (Sarah Lancashire) coming to terms with yet more changes in her life. Two years after Kate’s tragic death, she has a new job at a very different school and a new family home. Also in a moment of weakness, Caroline finds herself sharing a moment with an interesting woman. A possible move is less welcomed by Celia (Anne Reid) and Alan (Derek Jacobi), but their attentions are more focused on setting the world of amateur dramatics alight as Celia lands a leading role in the local production of Blithe Spirit.


Mrs Brown’s Boys, BBC1

Christmas wouldn’t be the same if some catastrophe didn’t befall Mrs Brown (Brendan O’Carroll) and her Christmas tree. But this year, in an attempt to avoid the usual disaster, Mammy refuses to have one. Something else is also amiss, however, as Granddad’s health is a cause of concern…