All the Christmas listings: Saturday 21st December – Friday 3rd January 2014

by | Dec 9, 2013 | All, TV Week

Well here we go a Bumper TVweek that covers all you need not to miss any of the treats on over Christmas.

Call the Midwife returns Christmas Day.


9.10pm The Illusionists ITV – Six of the world’s top magicians and illusionists give a special performance in front of a celebrity-packed audience at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. The show features dazzling large scale illusions, comedy magic and death-defying escape stunts which have the audience enthralled and on the edge of their seats. Hosted by Stephen Mulhern, with Andrew Basso, Jeff Hobson, Kevin James, Mark Kalin, Jinger Leigh and Dan Sperry.


Martin Sheen stars in ‘The Whale’

9.00pm The Whale BBC1 – Dramatic retelling of the fateful last voyage of the Nantucket whaleship Essex. When the Essex is attacked and sunk by a sperm whale in November 1820, her crew take to three fragile whalers. Alone in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the men must decide whether to head for the nearest islands – a thousand miles downwind to the west – or set out on an epic journey of almost three thousand miles to reach the South American mainland. Fear of cannibals forces them to choose South America. Almost three months later, the first whaler is rescued by another whaleship. Only three men are still alive. A week later the captain’s whaler is also rescued, with just two men aboard. The third whaler is never found.

9.00pm The Choir: Sing While You Work – The Final BBC2 – The final of the competition takes place at Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire, where the three remaining choirs perform the world premier of a piece by composer Paul Mealor and lyricist Brendan Graham. Having been practising intensely for six months, the choirs are now challenged by choirmaster Gareth Malone to interpret the piece however they wish, meaning that within each choir, the members must agree on their strengths, their style and their stars. Performances, backed by the Ely Cathedral Choir, take place in a packed cathedral, where the most beautiful choral singing has resonated for a thousand years. It then falls to the three judges to decide who will be crowned best workplace choir.


7.00pm Celebrity Mastermind BBC1 – John Humphrys presents the celebrity version of Britain’s toughest quiz. BBC Radio 6 Music presenter Shaun Keaveny, comedian Mark Watson, Antiques Roadshow expert Bunny Campione and the writer of the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, Frank Cottrell Boyce answer questions on Led Zeppelin, the Canterbury Tales, Stewart Granger and Oliver Postgate.

8.30pm Would I Lie To You? BBC1 – Rob Brydon is back in the host’s chair for a festive edition of the comedy panel show with David Mitchell and Lee Mack, as ever, the lightning-quick team captains. Over the course of the show, celebrity guests reveal amazing stories about themselves, only some of which are true. The aim of the game is to fool the opposition into mistaking fact for fiction and fiction for fact. David Mitchell is joined by Miranda Hart and Stephen Mangan, while Barry Cryer and Miles Jupp are on Lee Mack’s team.

9.00pm John Bishop’s Christmas Show BBC1 – John Bishop hosts an evening of festive comedy and music from the Lyceum Theatre in London’s West End. John has carefully handpicked his favourite acts to help him celebrate Christmas, and a comedy line-up featuring Jason Manford, Nina Conti, Lee Nelson, David O’Doherty and Tim Vine helps him bring in the festive cheer.

9.00pm Gary Barlow: Journey to Afghanistan ITV – X Factor judge and Take That star Gary Barlow takes a break from the recording studio, flying 4,000 miles to Afghanistan for the toughest gig of his life as he puts on a show for a thousand British servicemen and women in Camp Bastion. He gains invaluable insight into life in camp and enlists the help of some of the soldiers to perform some much-loved songs alongside him, including Just the Way You Are, Home and I Would Walk 500 Miles.

10.50pm Raised by Wolves Channel 4 – This brand new comedy pilot is written by bestselling author and award-winning columinst Caitlin Moran with her sister Caroline. Set on a Wolverhampton council estate, the show is a hilarious modern-day reimagining of the Morans’ real childhood – loads of kids, no money, none of them attending school, but all somehow incredibly well read, culturally aware, witty, curious, and wise. All named after strong women, sisters Germaine, Aretha, Yoko, Mariah and baby Cher live with their brother Wyatt and their mother Della. Germaine and Aretha are the key characters. Germaine is in love with local lout Lee Rind, and dreams of a Jane Austen-style romance. Aretha, with her love of Jung and Barack Obama, has a more realistic outlook. Constantly at loggerheads yet covering one another’s backs, the sisters are trying to live the dream – when all Della wants them to do is mow the lawn.

Christmas Eve

7.30pm The Perfect Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special BBC2 – The very best moments from Eric and Ernie’s festive specials. Des O’Connor has finally had it with the insults, Angela Rippon gets out from behind the news desk, Eric Porter shows his friends he can dance and Andre Previn is shown how to play Grieg.

Les Dennis guests in a Christmas trip to Midsomer.

8.00pm Midsomer Murders ITV – DCI Barnaby has a new sidekick in DS Charlie Nelson as the rural police drama returns for a new series. It may be Christmas, but Charlie is given no time to familiarise himself with his new surroundings. He finds himself thrown straight into an intriguing mystery in the village of Morton Shallows, as furniture maker and serial philanderer Conor Bridgeman is stabbed to death with an antique sword during a ghost-hunting party at the manor house.

9.00pm The IT Crowd Channel 4 – Another chance to see the superb final episode of the comedy.

9.00pm Trollied Sky1 – The supermarket sitcom returns for a festive fix of funny. While Gavin and Julie have a heart-to-heart, a brewing snowstorm threatens to derail everyone’s Christmas plans.

9.45pm Mel Smith: I’ve Sort of Done Things BBC2 – A tribute to British comedian Mel Smith, who died in July 2013, aged 60, featuring home video footage, rare archive material and many classic sketches. Far more than a comic actor, Smith also wrote and edited a host of celebrated TV comedies in the 1980s and 90s. He was a theatre and film director, and as a TV producer was responsible for several innovative comedy series. Friends and colleagues, including Griff Rhys Jones, John Lloyd and Richard Curtis, talk about Smith’s talents both in front of and behind the camera. The programme also traces his time at Oxford and before that Latymer Upper School, where Smith’s talents were first spotted as a precocious schoolboy.

The flat sharing sitcom returns.

10.00pm Not Going Out – In an effort to create the perfect Christmas for Lucy, Lee invites her parents to join the two of them and Daisy in a snug old house in the country which used to belong to his dear dead aunt. But the Christmas spirit is in short supply when Lucy discovers that the house has not been lived in for years and there appears to be a spooky presence. However, the spooky presence turns out to be Lee’s dad Frank, who has also turned up to enjoy Christmas in the house with an old flame, and in an effort to get rid of the unwanted visitors he pretends the house is haunted by playing old music and leaving threatening messages on the cellar wall.

10.00pm The IT Crowd: The Manual Channel 4 – A behind-the-scenes documentary narrated by Stephen Mangan, featuring interviews with Richard Ayoade, Chris O’Dowd and Katherine Parkinson, as well as much-loved guest stars Noel Fielding and Matt Berry. Plus a host of famous fans including Paul Whitehouse.

10.45pm Outnumbered BBC1 – Another chance to see last year’s festive special of the family comedy.

Christmas Day

2.00pm Top of the Pops BBC1 – Presenters Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates celebrate Christmas Day with a special Yuletide edition of Top of the Pops, featuring the biggest hits and brightest talent from across the year and the all-important Christmas Number 1 of 2013. The programme includes performances from John Newman, with his number 1 summer smash Love Me Again; One Republic, performing Counting Stars; Ellie Goulding, singing How Long Will I Love You; Jessie J, performing It’s My Party; and Rudimental featuring Ella Eyre, with their number 1 hit Waiting All Night. Other performers include Chase and Status featuring Moko, The Saturdays, Rizzle Kicks, Naughty Boy and Sam Smith, Tom Odell and James Blunt. Plus pop veterans and mothers’ favourites Boyzone celebrate 20 years in the music business and make a welcome return to the Top of the Pops Christmas studio.

2.00pm River Deep, Mountain High: James Nesbitt ITV – James Nesbitt explores New Zealand, his adopted home for the last two years, in this brand-new documentary. Travelling over 1,000 miles from the tip of the North Island down to the South, James visits areas of stunning natural beauty and learns about the history and traditions of this distant country. Along the way he immerses himself in culture and meets Kiwi legends All Blacks star Jonah Lomu, film director Peter Jackson and actor Sam Neill.

5.00pm Strictly Come Dancing BBC1 – Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly present the 2013 Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special. Six new celebrities take to the ballroom for a one-off festive performance, competing to get their hands on the Christmas Strictly trophy. Comedian Rufus Hound, Rochelle Humes from girl band The Saturdays, West End legend Elaine Paige, DJ Sara Cox, EastEnders star Ricky Norwood and musician Matt Goss rock around the Strictly dance floor. Plus choirboy Jack Topping decks the halls with his rendition of Tomorrow, and some familiar faces from Strictly past make this a Christmas to remember.

5.15pm Paul O’Grady: For Love of Dogs ITV – Festive special following Paul O’Grady as he returns to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home on a mission to find some special dogs a loving home in time for Christmas. He meets some of the latest arrivals, including an adorable litter of two-week-old puppies whose survival hangs in the balance, while he falls for Buddy, a three-legged Staffordshire bull terrier who needs an op to remove a potentially malignant lump, and gets to grips with grumpy long-term resident Phyllis, a tiny Yorkshire terrier who hates being handled.

6.15pm Call the Midwife BBC1 – 1958 is drawing to a close as the residents of Poplar prepare for Christmas. Festivities are thrown into chaos when an unexploded bomb is discovered close to Nonnatus House, causing mayhem among the nuns, midwives and residents of Poplar just days before Christmas. Everyone is evacuated from their homes, and the midwives of Nonnatus House are tasked with overseeing the rescue centre until the bomb is made safe. Jenny Lee finds herself drawn into the lives of young couple Yvonne and Alan Bridges, who are expecting their first child. Since fighting in the Korean War, Alan has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and Jenny, with the help of Trixie, becomes instrumental in helping him to overcome his fears. Elsewhere, Shelagh Mannion, formerly Sister Bernadette, and Dr Turner prepare for their understated wedding.

7.30pm Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor BBC1 –  Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars. And amongst them, the Doctor. Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe. The episode marks the end of Matt Smith’s Doctor.

8.30pm Morecambe & Wise in Pieces: Leading Ladies BBC2 – An in-depth look at all things Morecambe and Wise. Penelope Keith presents a celebration of Eric and Ernie and their stalwart band of funny women.

8.30pm Downton Abbey ITV – It is summer and debutante Rose is to be presented at Buckingham Palace. The family are at Grantham House, their London home, preparing for the busy social programme. Never one to miss out on such a grand occasion, Martha Levinson sails in from New York with Cora’s recently disgraced brother Harold in tow. Both outspoken and larger-than-life, they create quite an impression amongst certain members of London’s high society. When the Crawleys are implicated in a scandal that threatens to engulf the monarchy, Robert goes to great lengths to protect the royal family, as well as his own.

8.30pm Bear’s Wild Weekend with Stephen Fry Channel 4 – Adventurer and survival expert Bear Grylls returns with another intense and exhilarating Wild Weekend, taking Stephen Fry out of his familiar environment on a once-in-a-lifetime expedition to one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in Europe. The actor and comedian is pushed to his limits with a series of incredible challenges. Over the course of two days, high in the Italian Dolomites, Stephen travels on the skids of a helicopter, climbs down a raging 500-foot waterfall, sleeps in a First World War trench and abseils down a towering cliff face.

The first of 2 new episodes.

9.30pm Mrs Brown’s Boys BBC1 – With Christmas just around the corner, nobody knows what Bono wants for a present. He has already posted his letter to Santa, so how can Mrs Brown find out in time? Meanwhile, at her family games night, Agnes struggles to control her temper when none of the guests will play by her rules. But at least Agnes knows there should not be any problems with the Christmas tree – she is having a very special one delivered.

9.30pm The Tractate Middoth BBC2 – Mark Gatiss adapts the chilling festive ghost story by MR James. When a family relative comes to find a particular book at the University library, a young student is drawn into a feud over a will and its legacy.

9.30pm Alan Carr: Chatty Man Channel 4 – Guests sharing the Christmas cheer are Russell Brand, Davina McCall and the duke of daytime telly, David Dickinson. Music is from Little Mix who perform their latest single.

10.35pm Man Down Channel 4 – Festive edition of the sitcom from Gregg Davies.

Boxing Day

6.50pm Gangsta Granny BBC1 – Comedy drama based on David Walliams’ best-selling children’s book. Ben hates spending time with his boring granny while his parents are off ballroom dancing. Little does he know that his granny has a secret. Together they go on an adventure and become the best of friends.

David Jason reprises his role as Granville in a one-off festive episode.

7.45pm Still Open Hours BBC1 – One-off special edition of the much-loved sitcom set in a grocer’s shop. Granville has inherited the shop from his beloved Uncle Arkwright, and now he is assisted by his son Leroy, a good-looking lad with more female admirers than Granville ever had. But if times have changed, some of the customers haven’t, and (retired) Nurse Gladys Emmanuel and the Black Widow are still regulars. As Granville attempts to get a date with old flame Mavis without her terrifying sister Madge finding out, Leroy shuns the old delivery bike and finds a more attractive way to deliver the orders, and a sneaky new plan to shift a lot of anchovy paste has some rather surprising side effects.

An impressive all star cast star in this 3-part adaptation to air over three nights.

8.15pm Death Comes to Pemberly BBC1 – Three-part adaptation of PD James’s bestselling homage to Pride and Prejudice. It’s the eve of the Darcys’ annual Lady Anne ball at their magnificent Pemberley home. Darcy and Elizabeth are relaxing with their guests after supper when the festivities are brought to an abrupt halt by an unexpected visitor and news of a murder in Pemberley woods. Continues Tomorrow.

8.15pm Idris Elba: King of Speed BBC2 – Actor Idris Elba charts the origins and history of underground racing and examines how a love of speed has s haped the cars of today. Idris travels from his childhood home in east London to ‘Motor City’ – Detroit – and then on to New Jersey where he delves into the history of the first boy racers and explores how the quest for high speed has shaped professional motorsport and popular culture.

9.00pm The Big Fat Quiz of 2013 Channel 4 – Jimmy Carr puts a panel of A-List celebrity teams to the test as they battle it out to see who remembers most about the events of 2013. This year’s teams are Jack Whitehall with Jonathan Ross, Dara O Briain with Kristen Schaal, and Noel Fielding with Richard Ayoade.

9.15pm Ben & James Verses the Arabian Desert BBC2 – James Cracknel and Ben Fogle trek deep into the Empty Quarter of the Arabian Desert in the footsteps of explorer Wilfred Thesiger. They train with Bedouin tribesman and, with only four grumpy camels for company, push themselves and their friendship to the limit. Concludes Tomorrow.

9.20pm Len Goodman’s Perfect Christmas BBC1 – Len Goodman invites us to share his perfect Christmas Day, as seen on TV, in this festive clips show.

10.05pm I Am Britney Jean: Britney Spears in Las Vegas ITV – Documentary taking an intimate look at the life of pop superstar Britney Spears as she faces one of her biggest challenges ever. The programme chronicles the next chapter of the singer’s career as she prepares for her two-year Las Vegas residency, finishes writing and recording her eighth studio album and discusses her personal and professional life in one of her most candid and revealing interviews to date.


9.00pm Vicious ITV – Christmas special of the sitcom following the lives of an elderly gay couple. Freddie and Stuart are throwing a Christmas Day celebration for their friends – with a little help from their young neighbour Ash. With Ash cooking dinner and Stuart organising the party games, everyone seems set for a fun time. Managing in the kitchen is proving difficult for Ash though, and a game of truth or dare leads to some unexpected revelations. Meanwhile Freddie is preparing for his big new role.

Saturday (28th December)

7.00pm All Star Family Fortunes ITV – Vernon Kay presents a special festive edition of the game show, as an all-star Dancing on Ice team comprised of Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean, Christine Bleakley, Ashley Roberts and Robin Cousins take on Corrie stars Catherine Tyldesley, Jennie McAlpine, Cherylee Houston, Alison King and Antony Cotton as they attempt to win thousands of pounds for their chosen charity, with a possible 30,000 pounds up for grabs for whichever team makes it through to the Big Money round.

8.00pm 100 Years of The Palladium BBC2 – Cliff Richard, Bruce Forsyth, Michael Crawford and Andrew Lloyd Webber are among the stars sharing the gossip, glamour and behind-the-scenes shenanigans of the world’s most famous theatre as it celebrates its 100th birthday.

8.00pm The Cube: Christmas Special ITV – Phillip Schofield presents a special celebrity edition of the tense game show. Denise Welch, Sherrie Hewson and Lisa Maxwell from Loose Women face the Cube together, and Olympian Greg Rutherford applies his competitive nature to see if he can match Mo Farah’s record in a bid to win money for their chosen charities.

8.00pm Moonfleet Sky1 – Ray Winstone stars in a spirited adaptation of the classic novel, following a young orphan and a grizzled smuggler thrown together on a danger-filled quest. Concludes Tomorrow.

9.00pm The Jonathan Ross Show ITV – Jonathan Ross presents a special festive edition of his show with guests Sir David Attenborough, comedian John Bishop, actor Ray Winstone, farmer Jimmy Doherty and chef Jamie Oliver who will be preparing a seasonal feast live in the studio. Music is provided by Susan Boyle.

9.00pm 50 Funniest Moments 2013 Danny Dyer, Charlotte Crosby, Russell Kane, Helen Flanagan and a sackful more of celebrities and comedians take a look back at the funniest, jaw-dropping, and quite frankly wrong moments of 2013. Everything from Prince Harry on flying helicopters to Miley blazing a trail on her wrecking ball.

9.00pm Mad Dogs Sky1 – Max Beesley, Philip Glenister, John Simm and Marc Warren return for the fourth and final chapter as the boys hatch a plan to turn their lives around. Concludes Tomorrow.

10.40pm Charlie Brooker’s 2013 Wipe BBC2 – it is time to put on your party hat and reflect on 2013 with Charlie Brooker’s annual Christmas and New Year shindig. This is a high-octane glance back at a year in which almost nothing happened – apart from meteors, edible horses, cyclists on steroids, insurgents in Mali, fake space monkeys, Splash!, Oscar Pistorius, the Pope resigning, a new Pope, Christopher Dormer, The One Show, Chris Huhne, Gogglebox, Bedtime Live, Thatcher’s death, a Beiber backlash, Miley Cyrus, twerking, Dogging Tales, the Castro kidnappings, snooping, Snowden, a royal baby, Your Face Sounds Familiar, Egypt, Godfrey Bloom, the Damian McBride diaries, Diana (the film), GTA V, Sex Box, hurricanes, storms, Russell Brand on Newsnight and an American government shutdown.

Sunday (29th December)

7.00pm Catchphrase ITV – Stephen Mulhern hosts a special festive edition of the game show, as celebrities Carol Vorderman, Michael Ball and Michelle Collins compete to identify well-known phrases in order to win thousands of pounds for their chosen charities.

8.00pm Morecambe & Wise in Pieces: The Curtains BBC2 – An in-depth look at all things Morecambe and Wise. Penelope Keith presents a celebration of those famous tan-coloured drapes and that great double act who cross-talked in front of them.

8.00pm Marple: Endless Night ITV – While staying with a recently widowed friend, Miss Marple makes the acquaintance of charming young drifter Mike Rogers. Then events take a sinister turn when Mike and his new wife Ellie move into the cursed Gipsy’s Acre. A killer strikes, one so dangerous that even Miss Marple herself may be at risk.

8.00pm Speed With Guy Martin Channel 4 – otorcycle racer and lorry mechanic Guy Martin loves pushing the boundaries of speed in search of a buzz. He claims that nothing can match the adrenaline rush he gets when he’s racing on public roads around the Isle of Man TT course at 200mph. Now he wants to see if he can find anything that can give him the same kick. In this new series, he creates four-speed based challenges, exploring the boundaries of physics and learning about the science of speed. Whether it’s slip-streaming a racing driver to ride a bicycle at over 100mph using pedal power, or seeing if he can ride a motorbike across a lake, Guy finds out what makes things go fast, by getting his hands dirty in a range of unique engineering projects. Celebrities who are well known in the world of speed help him in his challenges.

9.00pm Michael Palin in Wyeth’s World BBC2 – Michael Palin heads for rural Pennsylvania and Maine to explore the extraordinary life and work of one of America’s most popular and controversial painters, Andrew Wyeth.

Monday (30th December)

7.05pm Gok Does Panto Channel 4 – With just three weeks to prepare for opening night, Gok Does Panto follows Gok Wan as he attempts to fulfil a lifelong dream of becoming a star of the stage. Appearing alongside fellow cast members John Partridge, Stephanie Beacham and Gary Wilmot, Gok has to learn to sing and master the art of flying on a wire under the watchful eye of panto director Michael Harrison. The programme follows the cast as they rehearse Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Birmingham Hippodrome and offers an insight into the enduring appeal of pantomime. From building the set to creating the costumes, the magic of this Christmas tradition is revealed.

8.00pm Jamie’s Festive Feast Channel 4 –  Filmed at his Essex home, Jamie takes a walk through his perfect winter wind-down foods, including some stress-free, big hitting winter warmers like oozy cheesy pasta and simple one-pot wonders like bloody Mary beef. He also brings back some stand-out treats such as his breakfast waffles with epic hot chocolate and festive fiesta tacos. And with New Year’s Eve on the horizon, Jamie runs through his top ideas for party meals, from build-your-own posh pork kebabs to a Keralan fish curry.

8.30pm Sacred Wonders of Britain BBC2 – Neil Oliver goes on a journey to reveal the sacred face of Britain, an ancient landscape of belief and ritual that still lies hidden just below the surface of our modern world. He begins by going in search of the very first stirrings of religion in Britain. In Nottinghamshire he discovers clues to a world of magic and ritual etched into the rock of Creswell Crags by Ice Age hunters.

9.00pm Doggy Styling Channel 4 – This documentary explores the extraordinary, obsessive world of extreme creative dog grooming, and meets the British dog trying to beat the American canines at their own game.

9.30pm Mrs Brown’s Boys BBC1 – Agnes is on a mission to make sure grandson Bono is not sent to the infamous local primary school, in spite of his parents’ wishes. And as if her house is not normally noisy enough, Agnes finds herself lumbered with a brand new house guest in the form of a homeless parrot. She is still looking forward to her New Year’s Eve party – until her guests start dropping like flies. Suddenly it looks like Agnes might be seeing in the New Year without her family around her.

Miss 2013 Olivia Colman stars in this spooky one-off drama.

9.30pm The Thirteenth Tale BBC2 – One-off drama starring Vanessa Redgrave and Olivia Colman. Biographer Margaret Lea is summoned to the Yorkshire home of dying novelist Vida Winter who has handpicked Margaret to write her biography. Though initially hesitant, Margaret becomes fascinated by the details of Vida’s dark and disturbing childhood and is compelled to finally face the trauma of her own past. But as time runs out, Margaret, desperate to hear the end of Vida’s story, begins to wonder if she is hearing the confession.

10.00pm Twit of the Year Channel 4 – An entertaining look back at the year 2013, revealing its social media gaffes and triumphs. Opinionated comics and prolific celebrity tweeters decide on a Twit of the Year: the celebrity who has made the most funny, cringe-worthy or downright stupid comments in 140 characters.

New Year’s Eve

8.00pm Nature’s Weirdest Events BBC2 – Documentary series exploring bizarre and extraordinary natural events on the planet. Using eyewitness footage, first hand accounts and scientific explanations, presenter Chris Packham unpacks the strange fiction facts behind what really happened.

Scottish comedy drama ‘Two Doors Down’

9.00pm Two Doors Down BBC1 – Beth and Eric Baird’s Hogmanay goes horribly wrong as family, friends and neighbours descend on their home. As they count down to the bells in traditional Scottish style, a lively evening is assured as drink flows and Beth’s legendary steak pie comes out of the oven. Secrets are revealed, tempers fray, scores are settled and a gazebo is destroyed. Alex Norton, Arabella Weir and Greg McHugh star.

9.00pm Alan Carr’s New Year Specstacular Channel 4 – Once again Alan and his celebrity guests run riot around Channel 4 HQ to bring in 2014 with unpredictable madness, party games and special guests appearing in various guises. Guests include James Corden, Keith Lemon, Ben Cohen and Abbey Clancy. Plus live music from Tinie Tempah and Katy B.

10.00pm Mock the Week BBC2 – Dara O’Briain and the team deliver their traditional seasonal silliness. As well as all the usual hilarious Christmas chat covering everything from exploding chutney to inappropriate moose behaviour, the team have promised festive films, revealing out-takes and a wrapping master class from Dara O’Briain. Guests include Josh Widdicombe, Milton Jones, Ed Byrne, Stewart Francis and Katherine Ryan.

10.15pm The Graham Norton Show BBC1 – Graham is joined by the stars of Anchorman 2 – Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd and David Koechner, a rare appearance together by sisters Joan and Jackie Collins, and a historic gathering of the Monty Python team – John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam. Plus comedy from Frank Skinner, and music from Michael Bublé.

10.15pm 2013: A Funny Old Year ITV – Jason Manford hosts a one hour special giving his unique and personal take on everything from TV to sport, as well as all the gaffes, feuds and trends of the year.

11.15pm Gary Barlow’s Big Ben Bash Live BBC1 – Gary Barlow sees in the New Year and bids farewell to 2013 as he performs a collection of his greatest hits as well as some new material at a specially staged concert in central London in front of 2,000 people. Gary will be joined by some special guests in the build-up to midnight and the start of the spectacular annual fireworks display over the Thames.

11.30pm Jools’s Annual Hootenanny 2013 BBC2 – A host of musical stars, from Ray Davies to Rudimental, join Jools Holland as he reflects on 2013 and celebrates the arrival of the new year. Rock veteran Davies joins Jools and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra for classic singalongs, while east London outfit Rudimental, one of the big success stories of 2013, bring songs from their debut LP, Home. They are joined by guest vocalists including Ella Eyre and Emeli Sandé.


New Year’s Day 

Martin Freeman and Benedict return for the hugely anticipated third series.

9.00pm Sherlock BBC1 – Two years after the devastating loss of his best friend, Dr John Watson has got on with his life. New horizons, romance and a comforting domestic future beckon. But with London under threat of a huge terrorist attack, Sherlock Holmes is about to rise from the grave with all the theatricality that comes so naturally to him. Even though it is what he wanted more than anything, for John Watson it might well be a case of ‘Be careful what you wish for’.

9.00pm Glasgow Big Night Out BBC2 – An affectionate portrait of Glasgow’s rich entertainment history, featuring interviews with the stars who braved some of the toughest venues in showbusiness, alongside footage of classic performances and archive of a city that has played host to everyone from Laurel and Hardy to The Beatles.

9.00pm David Blaine: Real or Magic Channel 4 – This special programme follows Blaine’s signature brand of street magic and mystifies some of the most recognisable celebrities in the world, including Jamie Foxx, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Ricky Gervais, Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Will Smith, to name a few. Blaine goes into the homes of Kanye West and Olivia Wilde, and visits Stephen Hawking at his office at Cambridge University. He also travels the world, astonishing people from all walks of life with never-seen-before, inconceivable magic.

Thursday (2nd January 2014)

8.00pm Dolphins – Spy in the Pod BBC1 – The award-winning team behind Penguins – Spy in the Huddle use hidden cameras to go into the heart of the dolphins’ world. The camera eyes of thirteen different ‘Spy Creatures’ allow behaviour to be captured that has never been filmed before, including a vast superpod of spinner dolphins hunting huge shoals of lanternfish while dodging the gaping mouths of giant rays.

8.00pm The Restoration Man Channel 4 –  George Clarke returns for a brand new series as he travels up and down the country to new locations, new restorations and amazing stories of people who have gone to extraordinary lengths to build their dreams homes by restoring and rejuvenating some of Britain’s most cherished but forgotten buildings. George is passionate about restoration, and helping people realise their property dreams.

The comedy returns for 8 new episodes.

8.30pm Birds of a Feather ITV – Return of the Essex-set sitcom about two sisters. Sharon is back living in her council flat and Tracey is still in Chigwell with younger son Travis – but what has become of Dorien? What can bring the sisters back together, and who else might return to the nest?

9.00pm Silent Witness BBC1 – Series 17 of the hit crime drama series. Top-flight footballer Isaac Dreyfus’ days at the top are numbered when a sex tape links him to the brutal murder of a young woman, threatening to destroy his reputation and marriage. Nikki struggles to come to terms with Leo’s death following the arrival of the new Lyell Centre boss, pathologist Thomas Chamberlain. However, her feelings surface when DI John Leighton and DS Anne Burchett demand results in two unsolved cases – a mother and son murdered in their wealthy London home and the disfigured body of a young woman. Continues Tomorrow.

9.00pm Benidorm ITV – Sixth series of the comedy set in Spanish holiday resort. The Garveys are stopped at the airport when white pills are found in Madge’s luggage, but it’s Mick who is detained at the airport as Janice, Madge and Michael carry on to the resort. Kenneth has been getting strange messages from the head of the hairdressing mafia, but Lesley and Liam come to his aid. Donald and Jacqueline stage a protest when Joyce refuses to give them the free room she promised them last year. A new family, the Dyke family, are not impressed with the Solana.

9.00pm My Big Fat Gypsy Holiday Channel 4 – Although many Gypsies and Travellers are spending less time on the road, they continue to be people with travel and adventure in the blood. This special episode follows gypsies and Irish Travellers as they prepare for the most amazing trip of their lives.

10.00pm Rab C. Nesbitt BBC2 – Facing hard times that are harder than ever, Rab turns to a life of crime to help make ends meet. He soon restyles himself as a new breed of heroic outlaw – not so much Robin Hood as Rab in Hoodie, as he rages against the state with his band of Merry Men and his long-suffering wife Mary-Doll, who becomes ‘Maid Mary-on’. Rab not only has a system to overthrow, he also has a grand-daughter, Peaches, who desperately needs the price of a ticket for the school cruise. Meanwhile, Jamesie strikes up an affinity with the local wildlife.

10.00pm Secrets of the Scammers Channel 4 – This one-off special reveals the tricks of a trade so widespread that it represents a crime epidemic in the UK. From the ‘three cup trick’ to the ‘bogus cop’ scam, to the sophisticated online computer scams that cost Britons an estimated £3.5 billion a year, it seems scammers are everywhere. Half the population was targeted by would-be scammers last year – on the street, in their homes and online.

10.00pm Fake Reaction ITV2 – Brand new second series of the wacky comedy panel show. Matt Edmondson hosts as two teams – headed by Joe Swash and Ellie Taylor – try to keep a straight face and earn points for their team while secretly enduring bizarre, painful or embarrassing distractions.

Friday (3rd January 2014)

8.00pm The Martin Lewis Money Show ITV – Martin Lewis and Saira Khan return for a new series of the money-saving show, timed to help with New Year cost-cutting resolutions. Financial guru Martin delivers a weekly masterclass of tips and advice, while reporter Saira gets his guidance on seeing how she can manage her own money. In the first episode, they tackle post-Christmas money blues with practical help on how to deal with debt, cut monthly outgoings and stay in the black for good.

8.00pm Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking Channel 4 – Gordon shows how to cook some of his favourite comfort food dishes, including beef stew with dumplings; tasty sausage hot pot; shepherd’s pie; and a sticky pudding with creamy butterscotch sauce.

8.00pm Robson’s Extreme Fishing Challenge Channel 5 – Actor and enthusiastic fisherman Robson Green travels to extreme locations around the world, challenging local champion anglers to a fishing competition. In Greenland, he catches redfish and is shown how to cook it by his opponent, he takes part in a colossal ‘Cod-fest’, charms an Arctic char from under a rock by tickling it and fishes for Greenland shark against a father-and-son Inuit team inside the Arctic Circle.

James May attempts another ‘Toy Story’

9.00pm James May’s Toy Stories: The Motorcycle Diary BBC2 – James May attempts to build a motorbike and sidecar entirely out of Meccano to take round the Isle of Man’s famous TT circuit. But designing a machine capable of carrying James and his passenger, wine expert Oz Clarke, around the daunting 37-mile course is not a task for the faint-hearted.

9.00pm Piers Morgan’s Life Stories ITV – Piers Morgan talks to actress June Brown, who has played Dot Branning (formerly Cotton) in EastEnders for nearly 30 years. She reveals how she juggled work as an actress with giving birth to six children in seven years, talks about landing the role of Dot at the age of 58 and looks back at some of her character’s most memorable scenes.

9.00pm 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Channel 4 – Jimmy Carr returns to host a new edition of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown along with regular 8 Out of 10 Cats team captains Sean Lock and Jon Richardson who play the famous words and numbers quiz against each other.

9.00pm Celebrity Big Brother: Live Launch Channel 5 – Live coverage of the launch of the latest series of Celebrity Big Brother, as another group of famous faces enter the house.

Custard TV Staff

Custard TV Staff


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