The Best TV To Watch Over The Christmas Break
The Best TV To Watch Over The Christmas Break

The Best TV To Watch Over The Christmas Break

Christmas TV rarely disappoints, and this year is no exception. From family-friendly shows on the BBC to bingeworthy series on Netflix, here’s what to watch over the holiday season…

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Luke Evans Showtime!, 8pm, BBC2

Award-winning actor Luke Evans is hosting a Christmas special in which he performs songs from his latest album, A Song For You. Special guests include Beverley Knight, LeAnn Rimes, Olly Murs and a few Hollywood stars who will also perform a festive songs.

The Great British Sewing Bee: Celebrity Christmas Special, 8pm, BBC1

Presenter Sara Pascoe welcomes Strictly’s Johannes Radebe, EastEnders’ Natalie Cassidy, podcaster Rosie Ramsay and TV personality Penny Lancaster in this festive special. The celebs must create a festive apron, novelty baby outfit and a popstar-inspired fancy dress costume.

Inside No 9, 9pm, BBC2

The dark comedy returns this Christmas. Dr Jasper Parkway has booked an overnight stay camping in a haunted church. He’s looking forward to spending the night alone, but he’s joined by a slightly annoying couple who have booked their stay through the church warden.


Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Netflix

The sequel to Rian Johnson's Knives Out sees Daniel Craig return as Detective Benoit Blanc. This fresh adventure finds the intrepid detective at a lavish private estate on a Greek island, but how and why he comes to be there is only the first of many puzzles. Blanc soon meets a distinctly disparate group of friends gathering at the invitation of billionaire Miles Bron for their yearly reunion. When someone turns up dead, everyone is a suspect. Also stars Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe and Kate Hudson.

Motherland: Last Christmas, 9.30pm, BBC1

Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) is facing a huge amount of stress dealing with grandparents over Christmas. Taking pity on Kevin (Paul Ready) who’s facing a truly bleak Christmas, Julia has invited him along. As for Liz (Diane Morgan), her ex has cancelled, so she arrives as well. The motley crew come together to try and make it a Christmas to remember.

A Ghost Story for Christmas: Count Magnus, 10pm, BBC2

Sweden, 1863. A country not much visited by Englishmen. An exception is the inquisitive Mr Wraxhall, whose innocent rummaging through the archives of the noble de la Gardie family takes a sinister turn. Wraxhall becomes fascinated by the long-dead founder of the dynasty, the fearsome Count Magnus, a tyrannical ruler who dabbled in alchemy and once made a strange journey to the Holy Land on unholy business. Despite the warnings of his hosts, Wraxhall is drawn ever deeper into the Count’s dark world and discovers that the dreaded aristocrat may not lie easy in his tomb...


The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, 4.55pm, BBC1

Charlie Mackesy’s book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse has been adapted for the small screen. Narrated by Idris Elba, the story follows four friends who share a deep, unshakable bond. Through a series of profound conversations, the unlikely group explore themes of kindness, compassion and building connections with those from all walks of life.

The Great Christmas Bake Off, 8.25pm, Channel 4

A new batch of famous bakers take to the tent in another festive edition of the baking show. Competing for the judges’ praise is former Big Breakfast presenter Gaby Roslin, Brookside’s Claire Sweeney, The Word host Terry Christian and actor and broadcaster Sir Tony Robinson.

Royal Carols: Together at Christmas, 7pm, ITV1

The Princess of Wales hosts a special Christmas carol service at Westminster Abbey. Attended by The King, this year’s service will pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II. Combining traditional and modern elements to include people of all faiths and none, the service will see the Westminster Abbey choir perform some of the nation’s most beloved carols, including ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’, which was selected through a public poll last week.


King Charles III Christmas Speech, 3pm, BBC1

King Charles III makes his first festive broadcast to the nation as head of state, following Queen Elizabeth II’s death. His Majesty is expected to address some of the biggest issues the country is facing today, from the ongoing cost-of-living crisis to climate change.

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, 5.10pm BBC1

Once this year’s Strictly winner has been crowned, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will return with another festive special. A new line-up of stars will take to the dancefloor in the hopes of receiving a ten from the judges. The winner will follow in the footsteps of singer Anne-Marie who claimed the Christmas title last year with her partner Graziano Di Prima. 

Call the Midwife Christmas Special, 7.55pm, BBC1

The midwives of Nonnatus House return for another Christmas special of Call the Midwife. The 90-minute episode will see the return of Rhoda Mullucks, whose baby was born with birth defects after Dr Turner prescribed her medication – a series six plot that tackled the Thalidomide scandal.


The Greatest Snowman, 7.30pm, Channel 4

Sue Perkins presents another special from The Greatest Snowman – Channel 4's snow building competition. In this festive special, celebrities will travel to a snowy mountaintop to build snow creations to be judged by Swedish sculpting sisters Sara and Emilie Steele, and British artist Taslim Martin.

Treason, Netflix

Trained and groomed by MI6, Adam Lawrence’s career seems set. But when the past catches up with him in the form of Kara, a Russian spy with whom he shares a complicated past, he is forced to question everything and everyone in his life. A triangular relationship forms between Kara, Adam and his wife Maddy – three people who are trying to expose each other’s secrets, navigate political and diplomatic relationships, whilst hanging onto their personal lives and those they love most.


Without Sin, ITVX

ITV’s new streaming service will air this new psychological series. It’s produced by and stars Vicky McClure (Line of Duty) who plays Stella, a woman trying to cope with the loss of her 14-year-old daughter, Maisy, who’s found dead at the family home with a man called Charles standing over her. Three years later, Charles is behind bars and Stella agrees to visit him alongside a justice mediator.

Mayflies, 9pm, BBC1

In the summer of 1986, Jimmy (Martin Compston) and his best mate Tully (Tony Curran) ignite a brilliant friendship based on music, films and the rebel spirit. With school over and the locked world of their fathers before them, they rush towards the climax of their youth – a magical weekend in Manchester, the epicentre of everything that inspires them in working-class Britain. There, against the greatest soundtrack ever recorded, a vow is made: to go at life differently. Thirty years on, half a life away, the phone rings. Tully has the worst kind of news, and a request that will test their friendship, love and loyalty to the limit…


Prince Andrew the Musical, 9pm, Channel 4

Kieran Hodgson (How Europe Stole My Mum, Two Doors Down) leads a cast of comics in a satirical send-up of the life and times of Prince Andrew. The storyline of the musical centres on the key events, relationships and controversies of Andrew’s life, including a reimagining of the former HRH’s bombshell interview with Emily Maitlis.

Marie Antoinette, 9pm, BBC2

This new eight-part period drama starts tonight. Based on the life of the young French queen, Marie Antoinette (Emilia Schüle) is drawn into a dark, manipulative court of Versailles. Her duty is to bear an heir, but her fate will set a country on fire.


White Noise, Netflix

Based on the novel by Don DeLillo, White Noise stars Oscar nominees Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig and Don Cheadle. A Noah Baumbach film, it will land on Netflix on 30th December. At once hilarious and horrifying, White Noise dramatises a contemporary American family's attempts to deal with the mundane conflicts of everyday life while grappling with the universal mysteries of love, death and the possibility of happiness in an uncertain world.

Celebrity MasterChef Festive Extravaganza, 9pm, BBC1

Another group of celebs will enter the MasterChef kitchen for a series of culinary challenges, this time in a bid to win the Christmas title. Judges John Torode and Greg Wallace will welcome contestants including Happy Mondays legend Bez, athlete Iwan Thomas, popstar Josh Cuthbert and opera singer Lesley Garrett.


The Graham Norton Show New Year’s Eve Special, 10.25pm, BBC1

Graham Norton hosts a special episode of his award-winning chat show for New Year’s Eve. Oscar winner Olivia Colman joins him on the sofa to promote her new movie Empire of Light. She’s joined by her co-star Micheal Ward, Hugh Laurie, Romesh Ranganathan and Lioness footballer Leah Williamson.

Jools’s Annual Hootenanny, 11.30pm, BBC2

Jools Holland will be on hand for another year of music and festivities to ring in 2023. Expect performances from a mix of music royalty and recent breakout acts, including George Ezra, Self Esteem, Cat Burns, Andy Fairweather, Gabrielle and more.

Sam Ryder Rocks New Year’s Eve, 11.30pm, BBC1

After coming second at the Eurovision Song Contest this year  and releasing his debut album, Sam Ryder returns to the stage to host New Year’s Eve concert. He’ll be joined by Melanie C, Sigrid and Justin Hawkins.


Happy Valley, 9pm, BBC1

The third and final season of Happy Valley will ring in the New Year on BBC1. Police officer Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) investigates a gangland murder that leads all the way to the evil Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton). Her 16-year-old grandson Ryan is getting older and keen to know more about his father despite Catherine's attempts to keep them apart.


Stonehouse, 9pm, ITV1

The three-part series will tell the life and times of disgraced Labour minister John Stonehouse (Matthew Macfadyen). In the early 70s, Stonehouse became embroiled with Czech intelligence and had a scandalous affair with his secretary. To cover it up, he hatched a far-fetched plan to disappear leaving behind his loving wife Barbara (Keeley Hawes) and their three young children.

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