Every year there’s a blizzard of Christmas TV, here our picks for the festive period.
TFI Friday Christmas Special
Friday 18 December at 9pm, Channel 4
Aha! Two of the country’s most popular radio presenters unite to co-host this special edition of TFI Friday – the incumbent Chris Evans and Norfolk’s prodigal son Alan Partridge. Guests include James Corden, Sir Tom Jones and Jack Whitehall.
Alan Davies: Xmas Untitled
Wednesday 23 December at 10:00pm, Dave
Reverend Richard Coles, Jo Joyner, Joe Lycett and Jason Manford are Alan’s guests in this special edition, as they chew the (goose) fat on all things festive including nativity upgrades, yuletide stains, and midnight meetings in underwear.
The Sleigh Ride
Thursday 24 December at 8:00pm, BBC Four
It’s exactly what it says on the tin. This new ‘Slow TV’ programme will show a sleigh ride through the fairy tale wilderness of Lapland with no commentary to disturb – ideal for those tensely competitive Christmas board games.
Friday 25 December at 5.15pm, BBC One
Series nine has only been and gone, but you can already look forward to the Doctor Who Christmas Special. The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is reunited with his wife River Song (Alex Kingston) in what must be the most complicated relationship in the universe. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some family bickering.
Although, expect a more light-hearted tone than the previous series, special guests include comedians Matt Lucas and Greg Davies.
Friday 25 December at 8:45, ITV
Sadly, the Abbey closes its doors for good this Christmas. So handkerchiefs at the ready, because we’re expecting an emotional send-off. Will the unlucky-in-love Edith have her happy ending? Will Daisy and Andy get together? Can we expect a guest appearance from the Crawleys? It’s all too much…
Saturday 26 December at 7:00pm, BBC One
‘Another Dickens adaptation’, you cry? Well, hold your horses (or reindeers), this is in fact a mash-up of the writer’s greatest hits. The likes of Scrooge, Fagin and Miss Havisham all intertwine in this 20-part drama…yes 20 parts. No one said Dickens was brief, you know.
And Then There Were None
Saturday 26 December at 9pm, BBC One
It’s such a joyful time of year, now even more so for the ladies. In Poldark, women were swooning at his shirtless scythe work – yep, you guessed it, Aidan Turner is back (albeit with less hair). This Agatha Christie adaption sees ten strangers arrive on a remote island in Devon for a party, where some dark secrets are revealed.
Harry Price: Ghost Hunter
Sunday 27 December at 8:30pm, ITV
A fascinating look at real-life ghosthunter Harry Price, starring Rafe Spall. Set in the 1920s, fiction and fact are mixed in a tale in which Harry is working as a fake medium to earn money, until a tragedy makes him reassess.
Wednesday 30 December at 11am, Drama
This adaption of Herman Melville’s classic novel boasts a stellar cast including William Hurt as the rancorous Captain Ahab, Ethan Hawke as Ahab’s first mate Starbuck, Gillian Anderson as Mrs Ahab, Daredevil’s Charlie Cox as Ishmael and Donald Sutherland as Father Mapple.
David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef
Wednesday 30 December at 9:00pm
Like Santa Claus, Sir David Attenborough has been whizzing around the globe for what seems like an age. And in his new three-part series, Attenborough takes us on another eye-opening journey. Using pioneering technology, this documentary reveal the effects of climate change on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Friday 1 January at 9:00pm, BBC One
Deerstalker, pipe, and cape all return in this one-off episode. The Abominable Bride sees Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freemen reprise their roles of Sherlock and Dr Watson in this snowy, ghostly tale – the perfect cure for that New Year’s Day hangover.