The BIG Christmas TVweek: Saturday 19th December – Friday 1st January 2021

by | Dec 15, 2020 | All, TV Week

It’s that time of year again. It’s a BUMPER list of everything new & notable on over the festive period from Saturday 19th December to New Year’s Day 2021.


5.00pm The Masked Singer: The Story So Far ITV – Joel Dommett hosts a one-off special going behind the scenes of TV’s most surreal singing show. The programme features previously unseen interviews and highlights of the series that turned the nation into couch detectives at the start of 2020

5.25pm Celebrity Mastermind BBC One – John Humphrys asks the questions as four more famous faces take to the black chair in tonight’s episode of the classic quiz where celebrities donate to their chosen charities. Comedian Omid Djalili, reality star Charlotte Crosby, TV presenter Dr Zoe Williams and former England rugby international James Haskell answer questions on the Harry Potter Films, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Nelson Mandela, and Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises.

6.00pm Strictly Come Dancing: The Final BBC One – Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman host the final of the pro-celebrity contest, which sees the last four couples perform a dance chosen by the judges, their showdance and their favourite routine from the series.

6.20pm Celebrity Supermarket Sweep ITV – Manager Rylan Clark-Neal invites Diversity’s Jordan Banjo and Perri Kiely, pop icon Martin Kemp and DJ son Roman, and Gavin and Stacey stars Joanna Page and Melanie Walters into his supermarket for the chance to win £10,000 for their chosen charities.

8.20pm What We Were Watching – Christmas 1995 BBC Four – Grace Dent embarks on a trip back in time by setting the remote control for December 1995 and serving an irreverent look back at the festive viewing options that faced the nation.

8.20pm It’ll Be Alright on the Night at Christmas ITV – David Walliams unwraps a batch of brand-new slip-ups for Christmas and reviews the greatest TV blunders of 2020, featuring some of the UK’s most-famous faces.

8.20pm The Home Alone Story Channel 5 – Documentary celebrating the 1990 festive classic written by John Hughes. It’s a movie that turned its then-nine-year-old star, Macaulay Culkin, into the biggest child actor since Shirley Temple. Featuring interviews with film critics, fans, stuntmen and even a reformed burglar, who assesses the home security at the Home Alone house.

9.20pm Idris Elba Meets Sir Paul McCartney BBC One – In a world exclusive, two of the biggest names in entertainment come together for a very special one-off show, as the music icon is interviewed by the Golden Globe-winning actor. Idris finds out what inspires Paul to continue to innovate creatively, on the eve of the release of his 26th post-Beatles album McCartney III, featuring Paul playing every instrument and writing and recording every song.

9.20pm My Generation BBC Two – Michael Caine narrates and stars in his own personal journey through 1960s London. Based on personal accounts and archive footage, this documentary sees Caine travel back through time to talk to the Beatles, Twiggy, David Bailey, Mary Quant, the Rolling Stones, David Hockney and other star names. The film has been assembled over the last six years by Caine working with producer Simon Fuller, writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, and director David Batty, to tell the story of the birth of pop culture in London through the eyes of the young Michael Caine.

9.20pm One Foot in the Grave: Christmas Special 1995 BBC Four – The Meldrews’ wedding anniversary celebrations turn sour as they learn cousin Ursula has died while watching Noel Edmonds – forcing Victor to defy a witch’s grim warning and set out to put her affairs in order.


6.40pm Our Big Yorkshire Christmas Channel 5 – Festive celebrations with Jane McDonald, and Amanda and Clive Owen and family from Our Yorkshire Farm. Plus, there are contributions from Julian Norton and Peter Wright from The Yorkshire Vet, and Friday on the Farm stars Rob and Dave Nicholson. As the people of Harrogate get their town ready for the Christmas festivities, cameras follow busy workers from the county doing their bit.

7.00pm Cruising: From Boom to Bust Channel 4 – Kate Quilton examines how ocean travel was transformed from a simple journey to a luxurious holiday in itself. Once the preserve of the wealthy, in the 1980s and 1990s the cruise industry became one of the most extraordinary boom stories, making luxury affordable to the masses. Then Covid shut the industry down. Joined by experts, Kate explores the boom years, the challenges and disasters that rocked the industry, and also considers the post-pandemic future.

8.00pm Sports Personality of the Year BBC One – Coverage of the ceremony live from Media City UK in Salford, as the year’s key sporting moments are reviewed and the successor to Ben Stokes is crowned following a public vote. The likes of WBC Heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury and seven-time Formula One world title-winner Lewis Hamilton are expected to be in contention for the main reward in a year that saw a number of fine performances despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

8.00pm Michael Palin’s Himalaya: Journey of a lifetime BBC Two – The comedian and explorer revisits his fifth travel series – Himalaya. For Michael Palin, this epic journey across the world’s highest mountain range is the fulfilment of boyhood dreams inspired by the 1953 ascent of Everest by Hillary and Tensing. Beginning in the famous Khyber Pass, he travels through Pakistan and India, ascends into Nepal and Tibet to reach Everest base camp itself.

8.00pm The Cube: Celebrity Special ITV – Back in 2011, McFly singer Tom Fletcher faced the Cube, while his bandmates watched on. Now it’s Danny Jones and Dougie Poynter’s turn. Can they beat Tom’s impressive winnings of £100,000? They’re not the only ones appearing tonight, however. Actress and comedian Emily Atack and her mum, the impressionist Kate Robbins, also tackle the various tasks of mental agility and physical ability in a bid to win a quarter of a million for their chosen charities. Presented by Phillip Schofield.

8.00pm Royal Antique Repairers Channel 4 – Victoria Coren Mitchell meets three royal repairers as they embark on a journey of incredible restoration. From King George IV’s piano to a car that’s believed to have belonged to the Queen Mother, and a very rare copy of King Louis XV roll-top desk, every item provides a glimpse into the lives of the people who owned them and the restorers working on them.

9.00pm Devon & Cornwall: Christmas Special Channel 4 – Documentary celebrating the festive season in Devon and Cornwall with people whose livelihood depends on this busy time of year. The first stop is Cornwall’s Lizard peninsula, to meet the Richards family, who have been farming this region for more than 500 years. Cameras also follow Devon artist Luna North, whose love of the region inspires her to paint her own Christmas card.

9.00pm Victoria Wood: In Her Own Words Channel 5 – A look back at one of Britain’s best loved comedians, featuring interviews with Jo Brand, Jenny Eclair, Gyles Brandreth, Susie Blake and the actors who worked alongside Victoria Wood. The programme charts her rise from her upbringing in Lancashire, via her partnership with Julie Walters on Wood and Walters, As Seen On TV, and her one-woman shows that sold out London’s Royal Albert Hall.

9.00pm David Blaine: Beyond Magic Sky One – The illusionist returns to perform more of his signature brand of street magic, sparking baffled reactions from stars including David Beckham, Johnny Depp, Drake, Steph Curry, Dave Chappelle, John Travolta, Patrick Stewart, Emma Stone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

9.00pm Murder on Middle Beach Sky Crime – Shadowy secrets and long-running rifts come to light as film-maker Madison Hamburg sets out to investigate the brutal murder of his mother, who was found dead in her Connecticut backyard in 2010.

9.15pm Bradley Walsh’s How to win a Gameshow ITV – The Chase host provides an insight into how to triumph on a TV quiz, featuring classic archive clips. Bradley rounds up a gathering of his fellow presenters, including Ant and Dec, who explain how lying can sometimes pay off, and Stephen Mulhern, who describes the mindset needed to beat Catchphrase. Also dropping in are Bradley’s supporting cast of Chasers, who reveal how they prepare for an episode.

9.45pm The Kumars at No.42: Christmas Special BBC Four -Neil Morrissey pops in for a chat and Cliff Richard sings one of his festive floor-fillers as the family decide to stay at home this Christmas instead of visiting their relatives in India. But Sanjay’s hopes of a relaxing holiday are soon forgotten when he is made to parade a frightening collection of garish outfits from Christmases past. Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal star in the comedy chat show. 

10.15pm Goodness Gracious Me: Christmas Special BBC Four – The Coopers sit down to their Christmas dinner and the people of Hounslow stage their very own cosmopolitan nativity play. Asian comedy sketch show, starring Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, Nina Wadia and Kulvinder Ghir with Fiona Allen and Dave Lamb.


8.00pm Inside John Lewis: Trouble at the tills Channel 4 – John Lewis has been one of the most famous names on the British high street for more than a century, but 2020 has been devastating with the chain posting record losses and announcing a slew of redundancies alongside the closures of some flagship stores. Steph McGovern investigates the challenges facing the company and examines what they reveal about the wider future of the nation’s high-street stores as more people turn to online shopping.

9.00pm Celebrity Masterchef: Christmas Cook-off BBC One – John Torode and Gregg Wallace return for the first of two festive specials as they invite memorable celebrities from previous series back to the MasterChef kitchen. Broadcaster and journalist Janet Street-Porter, actor Christopher Biggins, radio presenter Dev Griffin and TV personality Vicky Pattison compete against each other to see who can take home the title of Christmas champion.

9.00pm Upstart Crow: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow: a Lockdown Christmas 1603 BBC Two – David Mitchell and Gemma Whelan star in a two-hander Christmas special, in which Will and Kate find themselves spending Christmas in lockdown far from their families as the plague ravages London. Kate fills her days in isolation with an endless series of projects, Will has more pressing concerns – with James I now on the throne, he needs to come up with a masterpiece to retain favour at the royal court and avoid execution. But while he may have time on his hands to write, inspiration is in very short supply.

9.00pm The Big Soap Quiz: Coronation Street v Emmerdale ITV – Stephen Mulhern hosts a special edition of the quiz show in which teams from ITV’s biggest soaps battle it out.

9.00pm 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown: Christmas Special Channel 4 – Jimmy Carr hosts a festive edition of the words and numbers game, with Countdown regulars Susie Dent and Rachel Riley. Jon Richardson and Sarah Millican face off against Sean Lock and David Mitchell, while David O’Doherty joins Susie in Dictionary Corner.

9.00pm David Jason: Britain’s Favourite TV Star Channel 5 – Sue Johnston narrates a look at the life and career of the actor, the star of Only Fools and Horses, The Darling Buds of May, A Touch of Frost and Open All Hours. The programme examines his early stage career and hear what his fellow thespians thought of him, and there are clips of him in long-forgotten shows, quirky TV adverts and his very first movie. Featuring interviews with industry insiders and former castmates, including Tessa Peake-Jones, who played his long-suffering on-screen wife Raquel in Only Fools and Horses.

9.00pm Moonbase 8 Sky Comedy – Comedy, starring Fred Armisen, Tim Heidecker and John C Reilly as rival astronauts at a remote facility training for a place on a mission to the moon. The crew adopts an unusual approach to dealing with a water shortage, which has unintended consequences.

10.00pm Mock the Week: Christmas Special BBC Two – A special edition of the topical comedy show featuring seasonal material, fond favourites and previously unseen bits, with host Dara O Briain and regular panellist Hugh Dennis.

10.30pm When Classic Comedy goes Wrong Channel 5 – Chris Tarrant narrates a collection of less-than-perfect moments from some of the nation’s favourite shows from the 1960s right up to the present day. Including Steve Martin causing chaos with a pair of scissors on Parkinson, a puppy taking a shine to Gordon the Gopher on Going Live! and Noel Edmonds suffering an injury live in front of millions on The Late Late Breakfast Show.


4.40pm Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers BBC One – Nick Park’s Oscar-winning animation featuring the bumbling inventor and his faithful dog, whose lives are turned upside down after foolishly offering board and lodgings to villainous penguin Feathers McGraw. With the voice of Peter Sallis.

7.00pm The Goes Wrong Show: The Nativity BBC One – The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society put on a Nativity play in this festive special – but with the BBC refusing to fund their disastrous productions, they are forced to seek corporate sponsorship. As usual, the show descends into chaos with an ingenious pop-up book proving a danger to cast and crew alike, the two actors playing the donkey falling out, and the baby Jesus being eaten by a sheep.

8.00pm Nigella’s Eat, Sleep, Repeat: Christmas Special BBC Two – Nigella Lawson prepares a festive feast with a Nordic theme for a group of friends. After a wintery walk through the woods in which she divulges her plans, Nigella gets to work on pickled red cabbage and cucumber salad, no knead black bread, smoked salmon, and Norwegian Pork ribs. A glass of pomegranate fizz accompanies the meal which is followed by the traditional Dutch New Year’s Eve treat of doughnuts lightly dusted in icing sugar.

9.00pm Being Bridget Jones BBC Two – Documentary celebrating 25 years of Helen Fielding’s hapless creation. The programme examines how society’s attitudes to women have shifted in 25 years, along with the ways in which female writers have told their own stories since Bridget made her debut. Featuring interviews with Helen Fielding, and the friends she based the original characters on, as well as tributes from celebrity fans.

9.00pm All Creatures Great and Small: Christmas Special Channel 5 – It’s Christmas Eve and the day before Helen’s much-anticipated wedding to Hugh, and everyone is gathering to celebrate at the Skeldale Christmas party. However, James is called away to help with a dog in labour, so Helen asks to go with him to get away from all the wedding talk, only for a descending fog to trap the pair in the Dales overnight. The vet promises he will get her back in time for her wedding in the morning, all the while wondering if he will be able to suppress his true feelings for her. Festive special of the drama, starring Nicholas Ralph and Rachel Shenton.

10.00pm Cliff Richard: A Christmas Story Channel 5 – With a career spanning eight decades from the 1950s, Sir Cliff has a long association with Christmas, from TV spectaculars and unforgettable guest appearances with the greats to Pantomime at the London Palladium. This celebration focuses on the people who helped make him a festive staple, including those behind his Christmas No 1 singles, friends Gloria Hunniford, Paul Gambaccini, Anita Harris and Christopher Biggins – and his all-important fans.


6.30pm Mary Berry Saves Christmas BBC One – Mary comes to the aid of three members of the public who claim to be hopeless in the kitchen. She gives them a crash course in creating a surprise festive feast for their families, with simple recipes that capture all of the essence and flavours of the season. Helping out in the kitchen will be celebrity sous chefs Jay Blades, Tom Allen and Angela Scanlon.

8.00pm Burnt Bits ITV – In a special selection of comical bloopers, famous TV cooks including Gino D’Acampo, James Martin, Ainsley Harriott and Lisa Faulkner look back at times they made mistakes live on air for millions of viewers to see.

8.00pm The Yorkshire Steam Railway: Christmas Special Channel Five – It’s Christmas at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, and cameras follow staff as they prepare for the festive season. 

8.00pm Jack & The Beanstalk: After Ever After Sky One – The tale of what happened after Jack felled the beanstalk and defeated the giant. Family comedy, starring Sheridan Smith, David Walliams and Blake Harrison.

8.30pm Ghosts: Christmas Special BBC One – Christmas comes to the haunted household of Button House in this festive special, and Alison and Mike prepare to host a family Christmas for the first time. Alison finds her phantom housemates less than filled with festive cheer, and learns that Christmas is never easy when you’re dead. Mike comes up with a dubious plan to get his parents into the holiday spirit, while Julian is confronted by a new arrival, who forces him to relive memories of his life and come to terms with his past misdeeds.

9.00pm Motherland: Christmas Special BBC Two – Christmas special of the sitcom in which Amanda organises her annual festive soiree, complete with a strict code of conduct on when and where to drink mulled wine and an evil Santa. Meg is the only other mother to earn an invite, but Julia, Kevin and Liz all tag along anyway. For Julia, the party is a welcome distraction from hosting her in-laws, while Liz is trying to ignore Christmas altogether and Kevin is single-handedly stuffing, wrapping, roasting, parboiling, laying up, washing up and decorating everything he can lay his hands on.

9.00pm Jennifer Saunders’ Memory Lane ITV – Jennifer slips behind the wheel of a classic red Jaguar E-Type, joined in the passenger seat by Hollywood actor Michael Sheen whom she quizzes about his life and times. Heading to Port Talbot where Michael grew up, they stop at key locations to prompt personal stories from his childhood right up to the present day. Drawing on evocative family photos and colourful local archive, Michael’s recollections are by turns funny, surprising and incredibly poignant.

9.00pm First Dates at Christmas Channel 4 – Fred Sirieix and his team head for the British countryside to celebrate love in the most festive of locations, where 28-year-old Holly goes on a date with 32-year-old Shane. Elsewhere, Paul, who has never had a boyfriend, is set up with 35-year-old IT worker Alex from London, and Shauna and James, who are both from Dewsbury, enjoy a festive date.

9.00pm Wartime at Christmas Channel 5 – A family experience what it was like to celebrate the first three Christmases of the 1940s, and the challenges and deprivations families faced during these times. In the first episode, the family learns how to black out a home and build a shelter in the event of an air raid, and prepares a Woolton pie for Christmas dinner. Historians Joshua Levine, Carol Harris and Mike Brown offer an insight into the impact of rationing and evacuation on family life.

9.30pm QI: Rejoice: A Christmas Special BBC Two – Sandi Toksvig hosts a festive edition of the panel game, joined by Chris McCausland, Justin Moorhouse, Holly Walsh and regular Alan Davies. The panel is posed questions on topics like how to get a reindeer into a submarine, why the children of Dijon rebelled against Santa Claus and what the immaculate conception really means. Along the way, the show sets two Christmas-themed world records.

10.00pm King Gary: Christmas Special BBC One – In this festive special, Gray is looking forward to the Butterchurn Crescent Christmas lights display, which he hopes will brighten up the end of a difficult year – only for the event to be cancelled due to expense. Having landed a lucrative new contract at work, he takes it upon himself to save the lights – and Christmas.

Christmas Eve 

5.30pm Carols from Kings BBC Two – This year there will be no congregation and the choir will be socially distanced as they sing carols old and new, including the Sussex Carol, In the Bleak Mid-Winter, Still, Still, Still, Candlelight Carol and O Come All Ye Faithful, with poetry and bible readings by members of King’s College.

5.45pm Celebrity Catchphrase: Christmas Special ITV – Dancer Jordan Banjo, actress Helen George and former football manager Harry Redknapp line up to `say what they see” as they try to guess the familiar phrases depicted by festive-themed animated clues and win thousands of pounds for their chosen charities. Stephen Mulhern hosts.

5.55pm Worzel Gummidge BBC One – Mackenzie Crook returns as the walking, talking scarecrow of Scatterbrook Farm. When he and his teenage friends Susan and John visit a scrapyard, Worzel hears the grumbling of a foul-mouthed old friend – carved ship’s figurehead Saucy Nancy, who has been languishing there for years and longs to return to the sea. Worzel and the kids promise to get her there – but will her ship be waiting? Family adventure, with Shirley Henderson, Vanessa Redgrave, India Brown and Thierry Wickens.

6.40pm Reindeer School at Christmas Channel 4 – This documentary follows a dedicated community of herders as they nurture and train their antlered wards – skills include learning to pull the Christmas sleigh – and prepare them for Christmas in a year like no other.

6.45pm Remarkable Places to Eat at Christmas BBC Two – Michel Roux Jr takes Fred Sirieix for a Christmas treat in his favourite British city, Bristol. First up is a French bistro where they enjoy a stunning cote de boeuf and Michel makes aligot, known as the best mashed potato in the world. The duo then enjoy a swim in one of Britain’s oldest lidos, which has an award-winning restaurant serving up a delicious breakfast. Escaping to the countryside, they visit a countryside hotel and restaurant when Fred makes buffalo mozzarella while Michel samples the hotel’s own cider, before a return to the city and the multicultural neighbourhood of St Pauls, where they learn to cook Caribbean jerk turkey.

6.55pm The Wall: Celebrity Special BBC One – Danny Dyer hosts this special celebrity edition of the game show, which sees Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood teaming up with documentary-maker – and Strictly winner – Stacey Dooley to take on the Wall. Their aim is to win as much cash as possible for their chosen charities. But their chances rest on the unpredictability of the Wall and their unflinching trust in one another.

7.30pm Christmas on the Farm Channel 5 – Helen Skelton and Jules Hudson present a very seasonal edition of the farming series from Cannon Hall Farm in South Yorkshire. Rob and Dave find out about the history of wreath-making, before hitting the countryside to forage for festive greenery for their own masterpieces. 

7.40pm The Great Christmas Bake Off Channel 4 – Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith and Matt Lucas are joined by Tom Allen to celebrate Christmas in the famous white tent. Joining in the festivities are Jamie and Rosie from 2019, Ruby from 2018 and James from 2017, all back and ready to battle in the festive fight for the Christmas Star Baker title.

7.45pm Would I Lie To You at Christmas? BBC One – Jo Brand, Joe Lycett, Joe Swash and Ruth Madeley join team captains David Mitchell and Lee Mack for this festive edition of the comedy game show. Did one of the panellists really program a satnav so their mother’s trip to Lakeside ended up in the Lake District? And would one of the captains really hold up a train to get his daughter’s cuddly toy back? Or were they just festive fibs? Rob Brydon hosts the fun.

8.15pm Cinderella: A Comic Relief Pantomime for Christmas BBC Two – The worlds of theatre, film, TV and comedy collide in this at-home pantomime read-through, written by Richard Curtis and the Dawson brothers, aiming to raise money to fight loneliness, hunger and cold at home and abroad. Olivia Colman is the Fairy Godmother, with her Crown co-star Helena Bonham Carter as Devilia. Real-life brother and sister Daisy May and Charlie Cooper are the Evil Stepsisters, Guz Khan takes on Buttons and Tom Hollander is Baron Hardup.

8.15pm Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow: The Price is Right ITV – The comedian revives another classic game show with a special festive edition of The Price Is Right. Eight members of the studio audience will be invited to `Come on Down” and spin the famous wheel, guess the value of assorted items, and compete in the Epic Showcase for the chance to win a mountain of Christmas prizes.

8.15pm Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse
Sky One – Comedy drama inspired by the true story of when a six-year-old Roald Dahl set off on a big adventure to meet his favourite author Beatrix Potter. Starring Dawn French and Harry Tayler, Jessica Hynes, Rob Brydon, Alison Steadman, Nina Sosanya, Bill Bailey and Nick Mohammed.

8.40pm Gavin & Stacey: Christmas Special 2019 BBC One – Another chance to see last year’s festive special.

9.00pm One Night in Hamleys Channel 4 – Christmas special in which comedians get to live out their childhood fantasies by spending the night in London’s famous toy shop, with no security guards to keep them out of mischief. The comics face a series of ridiculous festive games and challenges with only two rules – nobody is allowed to go to sleep and anything they break, they have to pay for.

9.00pm Father Ted: A Christmassy Ted More4 – This festive episode from 1996 finds the Craggy Island clerics and six other priests lost in what seems to be the world’s largest lingerie department, with only Ted’s quick thinking preventing the Catholic Church being rocked by a major scandal. His bravery earns him the coveted Golden Cleric award, which is when his troubles really begin.

9.15pm Birds of a Feather
ITV – Christmas is just around the corner in Chigwell, and there are big changes in the women’s lives. Dorien is now ruling the roost, having bought the house, and she and Tracey have been getting on each other’s nerves. To make matters worse, Sharon is missing sister Tracey, who is stuck on a cruise ship in Costa Rica, and Dorien is up to her old tricks with a rich dentist. Does he know what he’s getting himself into? Return of the comedy, starring Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph, with Les Dennis and Ami Metcalf.

9.20pm The Royle Family: The Queen of Sheba GOLD – Almost seven years have passed since Baby David’s christening, but Jim is still picking his nose and setting the world to rights from his armchair. Nana is now the centre of attention after moving in and Antony is a successful businessman. Denise is pregnant again and sporting fancy hair extensions, while Cheryl is still trying to lose weight and looking for love. Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash and Ricky Tomlinson star.

9.45pm Miranda’s Games with Showbiz Names BBC One – Miranda Hart hosts this entertainment show in which three celebrity duos join her from the comfort of their own homes to compete in a series of riotous Christmas games. Those taking part are Shirley Ballas and actor boyfriend Danny Taylor, Robbie Williams and drummer Karl Brazil, and Jermaine Jenas and wife Ellie, while Shirley’s fellow Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood also puts in an appearance.

10.00pm The Jonathan Ross Christmas Show ITV – Jonathan presents an hour of festive fun and chat, joined by comedian and presenter Bradley Walsh and his son Barney, soon to be seen in another series of their thrill-seeking travelogue Breaking Dad, and Olympic star Mo Farah, most recently seen battling the bugs on I’m a Celebrity. His other guests are actress Michelle Keegan, popular stand-up Kevin Bridges and chart-topping singer Jess Glynne, who also performs in the studio.

10.15pm Have I Got 30 Years For You? BBC One – This year marks Have I Got News for You’s 30th anniversary. BBC One celebrates the past three decades with memories of the greatest moments, remembering the battles, the bust-ups, the guest hosts, seven prime ministers and five presidents – and not forgetting the tub of lard. Contributors include Paul Merton, Ian Hislop, Germaine Greer, Gary Lineker, Victoria Coren Mitchell, Ken Livingstone and Alexander Armstrong.

11.15pm Carols at Christmas ITV – Michael Ball and Alfie Boe host a traditional Christmas Eve celebration from St Elizabeth’s Church in Greater Manchester. The duo lead the musical performances, which also feature acclaimed jazz singer Jamie Cullum, singer-songwriter Ella Henderson, the Kingdom Choir and West End star Marisha Wallace.

Christmas Day

11.55am TOTP: Christmas Special BBC One – Fearne Cotton and Clara Amfo review the hottest stars and biggest songs of the last 12 months from a very different year in music. Featuring performances from AJ Tracey and Aitch, Becky Hill, Celeste, Clean Bandit and Mabel, Ella Henderson, Jamie Cullum, Joel Corry and MNEK, and KSI featuring Craig David and Digital Farm Animals. Plus, the Christmas number one is revealed.

2.35pm Zog and the Flying Doctors
BBC One – Animated adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s second children’s book about the accident-prone dragon. Zog is helping his friend Princess Pearl to provide much-needed medical care to all manner of creatures, assisted by knight Sir Gadabout. However, when a storm forces them to return to Pearl’s home at the palace, her uncle the king does not approve of her career – at least until he falls ill himself. Narrated by Lenny Henry, with the voices of Hugh Skinner, Patsy Ferran and Rob Brydon.

4.45pm Strictly Come Dancing: The Christmas Countdown BBC One – A chance to see the 25 most memorable dances of all time, voted for by the public, and a brand-new Christmas-themed group number. Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman are also joined by judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood, the show’s regular professionals and some very special celebrity guests to take a look back at some of the most iconic moments ever to grace the Strictly ballroom.

5.00pm The Chase: Celebrity Christmas Special ITV – Colin Jackson, Anne Diamond, Josie Long and Nicky Campbell answer general knowledge questions and work as a team to take on all five of the ruthless Chasers and secure a charity prize. Anne Hegerty, Mark Labbett, Jenny Ryan, Paul Sinha and Shaun Wallace have donned their glam rags for the show, but will the celebs outshine the Chasers? Bradley Walsh presents.

6.00pm Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel BBC One – The comedian hosts a special celebrity edition of the game show, with contestants Holly Willoughby, Alan Carr and Oti Mabuse competing to win a cash prize for the charity of their choice. Helping the contestants to win as much money as possible will be a panel of seven celebrity experts, each with their own Christmas specialist subject. Alexander Armstrong, Christopher Biggins, Clare Balding, Howard Donald, the Rev Kate Bottley, Olly Smith and Ainsley Harriott will help to answer questions on topics ranging from Christmas dinner to panto.

6.25pm Britain’s Favourite 80 Songs Channel 5 – Memories of a musical decade like no other – the weird, wild and wonderful 1980s, an era in which the UK gave the world synth-pop, the New Romantics and a Hit Factory. Featuring the top 50 1980s songs as voted for by the public and interviews with the stars who sang them, the producers who made them and the celebrity super-fans who loved them – and still do

7.00pm Blankety Blank: Christmas Special
BBC One – Bradley Walsh is in charge as the popular game show returns for a one-off festive special. Members of a panel comprising comedian Jimmy Carr, pop star Danny Jones, actress Emilia Fox, boxer Amir Khan, comedian Sue Perkins and presenter Anita Rani do their best to fill in the blanks to help the contestants win a selection of prizes – or at the very least go home with the famous Blankety Blank chequebook and pen – before the winner goes through to the supermatch game to play for the jackpot.

7.00pm Coronation Street ITV – This year’s festive trip to Weatherfield. 

7.40pm Call the Midwife
BBC One – December 1965, and everyone at Nonnatus House is looking forward to the festive celebrations, but nothing seems to go quite to plan. Sister Monica Joan is rushed to hospital, and Trixie is incensed that her dress allowance has been replaced with a marriage bureau consultation. Elsewhere, the circus arrives in Poplar, leading to an exciting adventure for Nurse Phyllis Crane.

7.40pm Clown
Channel 4 – Animation, based on the book by Quentin Blake, bringing to life the adventures of a little toy clown, thrown away with a load of old discarded items, as he goes on a journey to find a new loving home for himself and his friends. His journey takes him through the helter-skelter streets of the city, dodging scary dogs and even scarier adults. He even finds himself mistaken for a child and performs in a school Christmas assembly. However, each time Clown thinks he might just have found a perfect new owner, and his hopes start to rise, he gets thrown away again.

8.00pm Britain’s Got Talent’s Christmas Spectacular ITV – Ant and Dec welcome the most memorable and talented acts from the past 14 years, inviting them to collaborate and perform together for the ultimate Christmas extravaganza. Joining the hosts are judges Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon, David Walliams and Ashley Banjo, who will be ready to be impressed by a whole host of talent. All four will also be stepping out from their seats and into the limelight for the very first time in what promises to be a festive-filled show.

8.10pm Escape to the Chateau Channel 4 – Dick, Angel, Dorothy and Arthur, as well as Angel’s parents Jenni and Steve prepare to celebrate a family Christmas in France. With an old 19th-century chateau ledger found in the attic and classic cookbooks to hand, the Strawbridges take inspiration from Christmases past, discovering what food, festivities, gifts and games would have been like in bygone eras.

9.10pm EastEnders BBC One – Christmas Special of the Walford set soap.

9.10pm Victoria Wood: The Secret List
BBC Two – With a career spanning more than 40 years and crossing every possible genre, Victoria Wood amassed a back catalogue bulging with sublime comedy moments. The first of two documentaries offers a unique opportunity to see the very best bits of Victoria’s work that she loved the most, drawing on some of the 20 sketches chosen by her in a notebook discovered after her death. Plus, contributors including Russell T Davies, Ken Loach, Winsome Pinnock, Jane Wymark and Joan Armatrading discuss Victoria’s broad catalogue of award-winning comedy. 

9.10pm Gogglebox 2020 Channel 4 – A round-up of memorable moments from the show over the course of the year, as armchair critics including Giles and Mary, Jenny and Lee, Ellie and Izzi, Mary and Marina, the Siddiquis, and Amira and Iqra give their thoughts on the year’s TV output.

9.55pm It’s Clarkson on TV ITV – The acerbic host passes judgement on what the great British public watched in 2020 – and didn’t – and highlights some fascinating foreign TV shows that managed to make it to air. Shows under his gaze include gripping dramas White House Farm, Quiz and Des, as well as the latest offerings from the streaming services including dating shows such as Love Is Blind and property shows like Selling Sunset.

10.00pm Mrs Brown’s Boys BBC One – Brendan O’Carroll’s indomitable matriarch returns for the first of two festive specials, which finds the family adjusting to the new normal.

10.40pm George Michael’s Last Christmas Channel 5 – A profile of the much-missed singer who died unexpectedly on Christmas Day 2016, including an examination of his early years with Wham! and his solo career. The documentary seeks clues to explain why George Michael spent his early life chasing pop fame, and the rest of his time rejecting it.

Netflix – Coming to Netflix on Christmas Day, this Shonda Rhimes period drama set during the Regency era. The Bridgerton family are beautiful, wealthy and respected and expect to have no trouble finding their latest debutant, Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), a husband. That is until anonymous gossip writer Lady Whistledown (voiced by none other than Julie Andrews) declares her unworthy…

Boxing Day

5.15pm In For a Christmas Penny ITV – Stephen Mulhern is in Bath for this festive special, challenging Christmas shoppers with a series of challenges to win £1,000 and a holiday. 

6.00pm The Chase: Celebrity Special ITV – Bradley Walsh presents as celebrity contestants Tim Lovejoy, Kay Burley, Eni Aluko and Richard Herring pit their wits against one of the ruthless Chasers in the hope of winning a potential charity prize pot worth thousands of pounds

6.45pm The Repair Shop at Christmas
BBC One – Vicar Steve Stewart and his wife Amanda bring their cherished rocking horse to the barn. The toy was a Christmas gift for their daughter Tamsin, who passed away at the age of seven. Also arriving at the barn is a treasured but tired stereogram, once the centrepiece of a family’s festive celebrations, and a treasured toy truck made by a team of Second World War engineers.

6.45pm World’s Strongest Man Channel 5 – Action from heat one of the annual event, held this year in Bradenton, Florida. Great Britain’s Luke Richardson battled it out with Americans Jerry Pritchett and Robert Oberst in events including the farmers walk and deadlift.

7.00pm The Masked Singer ITV – Joel Dommett hosts the return of the singing contest, in which a celebrity panel and a studio audience must guess the famous faces performing behind elaborate costumes. Rita Ora, Jonathan Ross, Davina McCall all return on the panel, joined by newcomer Mo Gilligan, and this opening episode sees the first six mystery celebrities battling it out – Robin v Alien, Swan v Dragon and Sausage v Badger.

8.30pm Family Fortunes: Celebrity Christmas Special ITV – Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas introduces her family, who take on Irish model and TV presenter Vogue Williams, her husband Spencer Matthews and their clan, for a chance to win a £30,000 jackpot prize for charity. Presented by Gino D’Acampo.

9.05pm The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2020 Channel 4 – Question-master Jimmy Carr is joined by a panel of celebrity quizzers – James Acaster, Stacey Solomon, David Mitchell, Maya Jama, Richard Ayoade and Joe Lycett – who compete to find out who remembers the most about the past 12 months. Jimmy is helped by Jon Snow, Charles Dance, Mitchell Brook Primary School and a host of celebrity question-setters to find the funny in 2020.

9.30pm Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?: Celebrity Special ITV – Good Morning Britain anchor Piers Morgan and Diversity’s Jordan Banjo take up the challenge, hoping to win as much as £1million for their chosen charities. As ever, lifelines including Phone a Friend, Ask the Host and 50-50 are available to them if they get stuck. Presented by Jeremy Clarkson.


2.10pm Britain’s Favourite Novel Channel 5 – A look at the top 30 greatest novels written by British authors. Comedian Jo Brand discusses the power of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Prue Leith shares her passion for Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Plus, Gregg Wallace reveals how his heart strings were plucked by Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and Konnie Huq empathises with Bridget Jones, while Fern Britton shares her memories of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

8.00pm The Story of SMTV: Live ITV – Ant and Dec reunite with Cat Deeley to look back on making the Saturday morning kids’ show, revisiting the studio where the series was filmed and reminiscing about their favourite segments and running gags, including Wonky Donkey, Chums, and Dec’s obsession with Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Featuring classic clips and contributions from guests and celebrity fans, including Kylie Minogue, Stephen Mulhern, Fleur East and Scarlett Moffatt.

8.00pm The Supervet at Christmas Channel 4 – A festive edition from Fitzpatrick Referrals, featuring some famous faces hoping that Noel Fitzpatrick can perform wonders for their much-loved animal family members. Pop star Will Young brings in his pitbull Labrador cross Diamond, which has been suffering with a painful limp, and Noel suspects cruciate ligament damage, while supermodel Yasmin Le Bon and her daughters rush in when their three-year-old French bulldog Willow collapses at home.

9.00pm Black Narcissicus
BBC One – Sister Clodagh and her group of Anglo-Catholic nuns travel from Darjeeling on a mission to the Palace of Mopu in the Himalayas. The order starts to repair the palace and opens a school. However, the unsettling atmosphere of their surroundings reawakens disturbing memories in Clodagh. Adaptation of Rumer Godden’s novel, starring Gemma Arterton. Continues Tomorrow, Concludes Tuesday.

9.00pm Last Woman on Earth with Sara Pascoe BBC Two –  The comedian travels the world to meet people doing rare crafts and jobs that are rapidly becoming lost skills, and tries to pick up their unusual talents. Her journey begins in Cuba, where she finds many professions are being put at risk by increased commercialism and meets a mattress magician, a cigar factory reader and a family who climb giant coconut trees to make a local sweet.

9.00pm Back to the 80s with Lenny Henry Channel 4 – Lenny Henry is the first of four celebrities taking viewers on a guided tour of all things Channel 4. He examines how Mary Whitehouse was decrying blasphemy in Brookside within a week of the channel’s launch, and looks at the success of Countdown. Cameras also focus on cult live music strand The Tube, and hit shows Whose Line Is It Anyway, and The Comic Strip Presents.

9.00pm We Love Only Fools & Horses Channel 5 – Celebrity fans, including Jonathan Ross, Theo Paphitis, John Thompson, Paul Whitehouse, Nina Wadia, and Martin and Shirlie Kemp, talk about why they love classic sitcom Only Fools and Horses. There are also contributions from the crew, and insight into how such iconic comedy moments were devised and executed, including the chandelier scene, and the much-loved bar fall.

9.15pm Who Wants to be a Millionaire?: Christmas Special ITV – Host Jeremy Clarkson turns up the pressure for Prue Leith, Kym Marsh and Ronni Ancona as they try to answer 15 questions with the help of four lifelines to win a million pounds for their chosen charities.

Monday 28th December

6.05pm Deep Fakes: Can You Trust Your Eyes? Channel 4 – Morland Sanders investigates the world of fake internet videos and the effect they have on the lives of celebrities, ordinary people, and even whole nations. From embarrassing famous figures and influencing elections to bringing people back from the dead, the reporter asks how these fake videos and images have changed the world, and also learns how to make one, meets people whose lives have been made a misery by such fakes, and is taught how not to be fooled into believing everything you see.

7.00pm Richard Osman’s Christmas House of Games Night BBC One – Sarah Hadland, Alex Horne, Craig Revel Horwood and Charlene White compete in a festive edition of the general knowledge quiz, taking on a series of quiz rounds selected by the host. A winner will be declared following a quick-fire round at the end of the show, and the victor takes home a prize and the House of Games Christmas trophy.

7.30pm Meerkat: A Dynasties Special BBC One – David Attenborough narrates the story of young meerkat queen Maghogho on her quest to establish a clan in one of the harshest places on earth. The territory on the Makgadikgadi salt pans in Botswana is at the limit of what meerkats can endure and yet it is here that she must raise her pups in the face of rivals, predators and immense dust storms.

8.00pm Britain’s Most Expensive Houses Channel 4 – Documentary going behind the scenes with UK Sotheby’s International Realty, with the coronavirus pandemic having seen a surge of super-rich buyers leaving towns and cities. The brokers set out to sell a property in Highgate, north London, that is on the market for £40 million, as well the home of former Liverpool FC CEO Peter Moore on the Wirral.

8.30pm Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad – The Unseen Show ITV – The actor and his son Barney reflect on their travels around America, picking their favourite moments and revealing previously unaired footage of their adventures. 

9.00pm Two Doors Down Christmas Special BBC Two – The neighbours head off on a rare trip away from Latimer Crescent, but the break at a luxury lodge in the Highlands threatens to derail their friendship when Cathy pushes Beth too far.

9.00pm Back to the 90s with Vic Reeves Channel 4 – The comedian examines Channel 4 in the 1990s, when its output included The Word, The Big Breakfast, Father Ted, Brass Eye and Drop the Dead Donkey, and viewers were introduced to future stars Ricky Gervais, Sacha Baron Cohen, Simon Pegg and Dermot O’Leary.

9.30pm Billy Connolly: It’s Been a Pleasure ITV – Celebration of the comedian’s greatest performances, made to mark his retirement from stand-up. Featuring interviews with Billy and his wife Pamela Stephenson at their home in the Florida Keys, and contributions from famous fans including Paul McCartney, Elton John, Lenny Henry, Dustin Hoffman, Russell Brand, Whoopi Goldberg, Aisling Bea, Armando Iannucci and Sheridan Smith.

10.20pm Secrets of the Apollo BBC Two – Comedians who have appeared on Live at the Apollo over the show’s first 16 years take a seat in the stalls of the famous Hammersmith theatre, and share their memories of the series. New interviews with the comics provide a unique insight into how it feels to take to British TV’s most famous stand-up stage, alongside classic archive clips from the show.

Tuesday 29th December 

6.30pm Penguins: Meet the Family BBC One – Documentary following penguins living in unexpected environments, including satellite imagery of previously undiscovered colonies of flightless birds. Among their habitats are dense forests, desert burrows and city streets. The programme reveals the challenges they face in making their homes in these challenging environments, from evading predators to scaling rocks, and captures the lifelong bonds formed between family groups.

7.00pm Celebrity Snoop Dogs at Christmas Channel 4 – A special festive edition of the show in which celebrities’ dogs provide a unique perspective on their homes. The special twist this time is that celebrity dog owners Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Gok Wan and Joanna Page are watching on and competing against each other to throw the others off the scent as their four-legged friends roam around their lavishly decorated homes.

8.00pm Masterchef: The Professionals BBC One – The first of two special Christmas episodes of the culinary challenge, in which eight finalists and semi-finalists from past years return to face a festive test of their skills.

8.00pm TV Gameshows: Then & Now Channel 5 – A look at the history of the genre, discovering how the humble quiz went from schedule filler to a staple of primetime, featuring interviews with hosts, producers and creators. There archive clips from The Generation Game, Catchphrase and Blankety Blank as well as industry game-changer Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, as well as the stories of people including Fred Housego, the taxi driver who won Mastermind, and Anneka Rice, who blazed a trail for female presenters.

9.00pm Celebrity: A 21st Century Story BBC Two – The world of celebrity has been transformed since the turn of the century, driven by some of the most dramatic technological and cultural developments in recent times. The first episode examines how the Beckhams changed the model of the celebrity power couple, while the rise of reality TV led to a gigantic influx of people gaining overnight fame, fed by a press that saw an easy source of material. The programme also examines how leaked sex tapes changed the nature of celebrity scandal.

9.00pm Jamie and Jimmy’s Festive Feast Channel 4 – Sam Smith and Joe Wicks join Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty for an early New Year celebration. 

9.00pm Bob Monkhouse: Master of Laughter Channel 5 – A celebration of the comedian and quiz show host, exploring his 55 years in entertainment. The programme features a selection of classic archive clips from throughout his career, from his early days in radio variety to hosting some of television’s most popular game shows, and culminating in his acclaimed final appearance at the Royal Variety Performance, shortly before his death in 2003.

9.00pm Christmas At Chatsworth House More4 – Behind the scenes at the stately home, belonging to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The first episode follows preparations for this year’s Christmas festivities – and planning for Christmas begins at the height of summer. After months with no paying visitors due to Covid-19, the budget has had to be drastically cut, but the staff delve into the storerooms to recycle decorations from years past. Plans are also underway to make an ambitious light trail through the gardens.

10.00pm Back to the 00s with Davina McCall Channel 4 – The Big Brother presenter looks back on a decade of Channel 4 programmes, sharing a first-hand perspective on the dawn of the groundbreaking reality show. Davina reveals how shows from You Are What You Eat and How to Look Good Naked also reflected a fascination with the details of other people’s lives, as well as celebrating dramas like Skins, Teachers and Sugar Rush and flagship favourites Come Dine with Me, Coach Trip and Embarrassing Bodies.

Wednesday 30th December 

7.00pm A Year at Jimmy’s Farm Channel 4 – As 2020 comes to an end, this special edition returns to Jimmy Doherty’s Suffolk farm and wildlife park where there is festive spirit in the air. As the winter jobs get ticked off the list, Jimmy looks back at the spring and autumn highlights, from escaping meerkat Steve McQueen and Littlefoot the lamb, to frolicking tapirs and tiny piglets. Now, in the season of goodwill to all, Jimmy and the team prepare a very special Christmas present for Fern, the orphaned roe deer.

8.00pm Kirstie and Phil’s Love It Or List It Channel 4 – In the first episode of a new series, Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer meet Lucy and Lynton in East Grinstead who are unsure whether to sell their home or renovate instead. Lucy is set on staying where they are as it’s the first place she has owned, but Lynton finds the house claustrophobic and longs to find a new home they could fall in love with.

8.30pm Stephen Fry’s 21st Century Firsts ITV – Stephen Fry explores the biggest social and technological changes of the past 20 years, with the aid of archive footage and contributions from experts and famous faces. He reflects on how social media has transformed the way people interact, while sites like Airbnb and Tinder have drastically changed dating and holidays. Stephen also reflects on sweeping social changes like same sex marriage and the smoking ban, looks back on Stormzy’s groundbreaking headline show at Glastonbury 2019, and examines how the likes of Greta Thunberg and Captain Sir Tom Moore have transformed grass roots politics.

9.00pm Not Going Out
BBC One – Lee and Lucy plan some New Year’s Eve festivities in this Christmas special, with both inviting their parents to join them. Things soon go badly wrong as party games give way to an uncompromising round of guests pointing out what New Year’s resolutions everyone needs to make – with a distinct lack of festive spirit on display. Starring Lee Mack and Sally Bretton, and featuring the final appearance of Bobby Ball as Lee’s feckless father Frank.

9.00pm Tom Allen Goes to Town Channel 4 – The comedian visits the West Yorkshire town of Wakefield, taking in one of the world’s biggest rhubarb crops, exploring its beautiful cathedral and visiting one of the only drive-in fish and chip shops in the world. He also buys a round of Wakefield’s famous steak pies and helps renovate the nearby Caribbean restaurant for the family he’s been staying with. At the Theatre Royal, Tom is joined by a special assistant for a comedy show – none other than Spandau Ballet’s Martin Kemp – entertaining host a full house of locals.

10.00pm Back to the 10s with Jimmy Carr Channel 4 – The comedian Jimmy Carr looks back on a decade of Channel 4 programmes from 2010 to the present day, a period when the channel became the go-to destination for the realest of reality television, as well as envelope-pushing drama, entertainment and comedy. Featured programmes include One Born Every Minute, 24 Hours in Police Custody, Chewing Gum, Catastrophe and First Dates.

9.30pm Pandemonium BBC One – Alison Steadman stars in this one-off video diary comedy, in which a boy documents his family’s disastrous year. With their summer holiday to California having been cancelled and their finances devastated due to the pandemic, family morale is at an all-time low. But the Jessops make one final stab at trying to salvage something from 2020 with a trip to Margate in the middle of December.

New Year’s Eve 

7.00pm News at Five and a half ITV – A review of the year’s biggest news stories from a surprising perspective. Children aged between five and 10 have hijacked over the newsroom and are giving their take on everything from Donald Trump’s hairstyle to TikTok dance crazes. They also enjoy some of the great viral clips from 2020, including jumping loo roll dog and Lockdown Tina Turner.

7.00pm Britain’s Favourite Toys Channel 4 – Keith Lemon presents this countdown of the greatest playthings of the past 50 years, remembering the Christmas must-haves and big crazes from the 1970s to the present day. Famous faces tell their childhood stories, while social historians, toy designers and advertising experts discuss which toys didn’t quite make the list, those that have stood the test of time and which ones were more than likely broken by Boxing Day.

9.00pm The Big New Year’s In BBC One – Paddy McGuinness kicks off the countdown to 2021 with a star-studded live extravaganza promising fun, music and games. Viewers are also invited to play along with a hilarious quiz looking back at an extraordinary 12 months.

9.00pm The Last Leg Of The Year Channel 4 – Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker present a bumper show in which they say goodbye – and good riddance – to 2020. They are joined by Tom Allen, Lorraine Kelly, James Acaster, Judi Love and Asim Chaudhry to poke fun at an unprecedented 12 months, and ask what the new year might have in store. House band Alex Horne and the Horne Section provide musical entertainment and there’s another ground-breaking challenge for Alex as he attempts to do as many Paralympic sports as he can in the studio.

10.00pm Before They Were Famous BBC Two – A look back at the best of Angus Deayton’s Before They Were Famous series, which sees him digging into the archives in a quest for clips of the world’s most celebrated stars before they had started twinkling.

10.45pm Mock the Week BBC Two – Host Dara O Briain, regular panellist Hugh Dennis and many of the comedians who have appeared this year mark the end of 2020 with a special show looking back on the year’s events, along with unseen material, out-takes and all the usual fun.

11.15pm Jools’ Annual Hootenanny BBC Two – The piano man returns with his annual new year music show, although like most things this year, there are a few changes. Jools and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra are joined by artists including Celeste, Tom Jones, Michael Kiwanuka, Roisin Murphy, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Ruby Turner and Rick Wakeman, and there are archive clips of Hootenanny performances from the likes of Jamiroquai, Rudimental and Ella Eyre, Madness, ABC and Aloe Blacc.

11.30pm Alicia Keys Rocks New Year’s Eve BBC One – The multi-award-winning singer-songwriter Alicia Keys takes to the stage to perform many of her hits and plenty more besides in this special concert, recorded on location in Los Angeles and building up to the imminent arrival of 2021.

New Year’s Day

6.45pm Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks
BBC One – The Doctor is locked away in a high-security alien prison. Isolated, alone, with no hope of escape. Far away, on Earth, her best friends, Yaz, Ryan and Graham, have to pick up their lives without her. However, it is not easy as old habits die hard – especially when they discover a disturbing plan forming. A plan that involves a Dalek. Sci-fi adventure, starring Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh and John Barrowman.

7.30pm Chitty Rides Again with David Walliams Channel 4 – To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic musical film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the comedy actor, children’s author and die-hard Chitty fan attempts an engineering feat like no other – bring the magic of this timeless classic to life by building a real-life Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car. To help him in this world first, madcap experiment, he recruits aircraft engineer Tony Hoskins and a class of enthusiastic eight-year-old pupils. Along the way David delves into the history of this timeless gem, from its inception by James Bond author Ian Fleming, to its adaption to the screen by literary legend Roald Dahl.

9.00pm The Serpent BBC One – Eight-part drama inspired by real events, telling the remarkable story of the capture of the French fraudster and killer, Charles Sobhraj. When a junior diplomat at the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok unwittingly walks into Charles Sobhraj’s intricate web of crime, he sets off an extraordinary chain of events as he attempts to bring Sobhraj to justice for his crimes. Starring Tahar Rahim, Jenna Coleman, Billy Howle and Ellie Bamber.

9.00pm Dancing on the Ice with Torvill & Dean ITV – Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean fulfil a lifelong dream by travelling to Alaska to skate on natural ice, having only ever performed on artificially created rinks in their 45 years dancing together. Travelling by train and husky sled, they encounter first-hand the dramatic effects of climate change on the wilderness. Alaska’s hottest year on record means there is not a lot of ice to be found, so Jayne and Chris’s trek becomes a hunt, skating wherever they can hoping to find a magnificent natural setting to dance a special new version of their iconic Bolero.

9.00pm Taskmaster Channel 4 – The comedians are challenged to taste-test some mystery baby food, Russell Howard presents a nightmarish fairy tale and Liza Tarbuck introduces a plastic lizard to a cordless drill.

9.00pm In His Own Words: Michael McIntyre Channel 5 – An affectionate look back at the comedian’s life and career thus far in a documentary charting his early struggles to launch his showbusiness career through to hosting the Royal Variety Performance and his arena-filling tours. Contributors include McIntyre himself, alongside Jonathan Ross, Eamonn Holmes, Marcus Brigstocke, Rob Rinder, Kate Copstick and Andi Osho.

10.00pm Mrs Brown’s Boys BBC One – The second of two festive specials of the comedy.

10.00pm Frankie Boyle’s 2020 New World Order BBC Two – With the the help of guests including Miles Jupp and Sophie Duker, the comedian tries to make sense of the bewildering year that was 2020, using a combination of stand-up, review, discussion and audience interaction to dissect the past 12 months’ news.

10.00pm Later – with Jools Holland BBC Two – Jools Holland takes a look back at some of the many artists that have joined him and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra on that very special night of nights to see in each new year. Featuring performances by global stars like Adele and Michael Bublé to soul, reggae and jazz legends such as Desmond Dekker, Betty Wright and Gregory Porter. Plus, classic duets from the likes of Amy Winehouse and Paul Weller, and Ronnie Wood and Slash.

Custard TV Staff

Custard TV Staff


All the latest TV news and TV listings from the staff of the site.


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