If there’s one time of the year that TV schedules do matter, it’s Christmas. Below are ALL the highlights of the festive period in the mammoth guide that runs from Saturday 22nd December to Friday 4th January 2019!
5.00pm Big Star’s Bigger Star ITV – Stephen Mulhern hosts the spin-off from ‘Big Star’s Little Star’ where parents of celebrities lift the lid on the lives of their famous offspring. In this episode Coronation Street’s Kym Marsh, McFly’s Harry Judd and Simon Webbe from boyband Blue compete for the 15,000 pound jackpot.
7.00pm Watership Down BBC1 – Adapted for the screen by Tom Bidwell and directed by Noam Murro, this tale of adventure, courage and survival follows a band of rabbits as they flee the certain destruction of their home. Led by stout-hearted brothers Hazel (James McAvoy) and Fiver (Nicholas Hoult), the rabbits begin their journey from Sandleford Warren, through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, towards the hope of a better life. Concludes Tomorrow at 7.00pm
9.00pm The Jonathan Ross Christmas Show ITV – In a special Christmas edition of the show, Jonathan is joined by X-Files and The Fall star Gillian Anderson, Hollywood actor Rob Lowe, Bake Off 2018 winner Rahul Mandal, the hilarious Tom Allen and multi-talented singer and actress Sheridan Smith for some festive games and chat. Plus, there’ll be very special performances from The Kingdom Choir, fresh from their outing at the wedding of Harry and Meghan, and multi-platinum selling musician John Legend.
9.00pm Jane MacDonald and Friends at Christmas Five – All-singing, all-dancing entertainment with Jane McDonald. Festive fun with guests Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet, Zoe Birkett of Thriller Live!, and glam rock pioneer Roy Wood.
10.00pm 20 Years of the Black Eyed Peas ITV – Joanna Lumley presents this very special one-hour spectacular to feature exclusive performances of some of the global super group’s greatest hits.
10.15pm Goodness Gracious Me – 20 years innit! BBC2 – Goodness Gracious Me is 20! And to celebrate this ground-shaking, award-taking and mould-breaking show, BBC Two is looking back at some the funniest and most loved moments as we reveal the ten most memorable sketches – decided by comedy fans on a supporting BBC website. We will feature exclusive interviews with its stars and creators alongside other comedians who are fans of the series.
6.20pm Hold the Sunset BBC1 – Christmas Special of the gentle comedy from John Cleese. It’s the last Christmas that Edith will have with her family before she and Phil set off for their dream retirement in the Mediterranean. Edith’s son Roger enlists her scurrilous one-time flame, Bob The Burglar, to give Christmas its proper flavour. Edith’s sister Joan won’t watch the Queen’s Speech anywhere else. Queenie locks Sandra and Wendy into a wardrobe, and Phil finds himself talking to a ghost.
7.00pm What Would Your Kid Do? ITV – Jason Manford returns with a special Christmas twins episode of the show which asks how well we really know our kids by challenging parents to guess what their children will do in a variety of festive situations. Back in the studio, Jason challenges the parents to predict what their twins will do in each situation: providing a fascinating, surprising and hilarious insight into the developing minds of five, six and seven year-olds.
8.00pm The Chase Bloopers ITV – Featuring outtakes, bloopers, all the bits you were never meant to see and some more bits you’ll want to see again, in an hour-long special, presented by Bradley Walsh.
8.00pm Escape to the Chateau Channel 4 – Dick Strawbridge and his wife Angel are preparing for a magical Christmas at the chateau.
9.00pm Have I Got News For You 2018 BBC1 – A look back at the year with Paul Merton and Ian Hislop and the best bits of the series.
9.00pm Chris and Machela: Under the Christmas Sky BBC2 – Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan take viewers on a Christmas adventure to explore some of nature’s greatest celestial wonders and winter wildlife.
9.00pm 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Channel 4 – Jimmy Carr hosts a very special Christmas edition, as Sean Lock and Kathy Burke take on Jon Richardson and David Mitchell. Plus James Acaster and Joe Wilkinson join Countdown regulars Susie Dent and Rachel Riley for plenty of festive surprises.
9.00pm Trollied Sky1 – Final episode of the comedy set in a Supermarket.
9.30pm ‘King Gary BBC1 – Pilot of a brand new comedy from Tom Davies. Gary’s world is tipped upside down and thrown into utter turmoil when he discovers that a neighbour down his road is having a rival barbeque on the same day as his first barbeque of the year. To Gary this is out-and-out war and he sets about organising the biggest barbeque in history to win over the residents.
10.00pm BROS: When the Screaming Stops BBC4 – After The Screaming Stops is a powerful, raw and fascinating insight into one of pop’s original boy bands: Bros.
11.15pm The Young Offenders Christmas Special BBC1 – It’s Christmas week and the residents of the estate where Conor, Jock and Mairead live have been fighting eviction from the council for over a month. The residents have created a barricade to show that they won’t be moved to make way for the estate to be renovated, afraid that they might not get back into their homes back if they’re forced out.
7.15pm All Together Now: Celebrities BBC1 – Hosted by comedian Rob Beckett, All Together Now Celebrities will see a host of famous faces singing their hearts out in a bid to win over TV’s toughest judging panel, the 100, headed up by Spice Girl, Geri Horner. Gemma Collins, Chris Kamara, Alison Hammond, Laurie Brett, Ben Foden, Amber Davies, Omid Djalili, Sara Pascoe and Tyger Drew-Honey are the household names taking to the stage for the one-off TV event. Although not necessarily known for their singing ability, each celebrity will be hoping to give a show-stopping performance that gets as many of the 100 up on their feet and singing along. Because, the more of the 100 who stand up and join in, the higher the celebrity scores…and the nearer they come to being crowned winner.
|Jimmy Carr and Rick Edwards are hoping to defeat the Child Geniuses.|
8.00pm Child Genius vs Celebrities Christmas Special Channel 4 – Quizmaster extraordinaire Richard Osman presents a festive treat as he presides over this special Christmas edition of Child Genius. Four celebrities go up against four of the most formidably talented competitors in Child Genius history, as the teams bid to prove who is the brightest. Stretching their intellects and powers of concentration to the max, can Comedian Jimmy Carr, TV presenter and author Rick Edwards, newsreader Charlotte Hawkins, and comedian Shazia Mirza take on the Child Geniuses and actually win? The Child Genius team is 14-year-old multi-linguist Mog; 14-year-old maths prodigy David, who thrashed Countdown’s maths queen Rachel Riley in a maths-off when he was just 12; maths whizz Aliyah, who is just 12 years old and thinks celebrities’ brains ‘are a bit slow’; and team captain and last year’s Child Genius winner, 13-year-old Rahul – who has an IQ higher than Einstein’s.
8.30pm Bad Move ITV – Festive episode of Jack Dee’s rural sitcom.
8.30pm The Yorkshire Vet Christmas Special Five – Documentary series set in a country veterinary practice. Between festive celebrations with the community, Peter Wright and Julian Norton must still tackle everyday cases, including a barn owl with a badly damaged wing, a highland bull who needs dehorning, and a spaniel who has been helping himself to the Quality Street, wrappers and all.
9.00pm Click & Collect BBC1 – One-off comedy starring Stephen Merchant and Asim Choudry. It’s Christmas Eve and Andrew Bennett has failed to buy his daughter’s main present – the elusive Sparklehoof the Unicorn Princess. His over-friendly neighbour (whom Andrew can barely suffer) Dev D’Cruz, manages to nab perhaps the last one in the UK online – by click & collect. The only problem? It’s 270 miles away. Andrew has little choice but to embark with Dev on a cross-country road trip as he attempts to save his daughter’s Christmas and redeem himself as a dad. For Andrew it’s a nerve-fraying nightmare; for Dev, it’s the beer they’ve never gotten round to.
9.00pm Christmas at St Paul’s BBC2 – For the first time in its history, St Paul’s has granted the BBC privileged access to film behind the scenes in the countdown to Christmas and on the big day itself. With over 45,000 visitors attending 17 magical services and events, the pressure’s on for the team gearing up for cathedral’s busiest time of the year. We’ll be backstage when celebrities like Michael Palin perform at the most glamorous event in the cathedral’s calendar when three huge Christmas trees gifted by the Queen and each weighing more than a tonne are hauled into place.
9.00pm The Keith and Paddy Picture Show ITV – Christmas special of the comedy series in which Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness recreate an iconic Hollywood movie in half an hour with the help of an all-star cast. For this festive one-off, they recreate the ’80s classic Gremlins. Guest stars include Zach Galligan, Kara Tointon, John Thomson, Su Pollard, Les Dennis and Arthur Bostrom.
9.00pm Gogglebox 2018 Channel 4 – Favourite opinionated TV viewers share their sharp, insightful, passionate and sometimes emotional critiques of the year’s biggest and best shows.
9.30pm Michael Buble: Back for Christmas Five – Documentary covering the Canadian crooner’s rise from honing his stagecraft in Vancouver bars to filling out stadiums world-wide, while overcoming obstacles both personal and professional.
10.00pm Would I Lie To You? BBC1 – Christmas edition of the panel show fronted by Rob Brydon with Lee Mack and David Mitchell as team Captains.
|Simon Callow stars in a spooky Tale.|
10.00pm The Dead Room BBC4 – Mark Gatiss brings the Christmas ghost story tradition back to life with The Dead Room, a chilling new tale for BBC Four. Written and directed by Gatiss, the 30-minute film tells the tale of a long-running radio horror series of the same name. Simon Callow plays Aubrey Judd, the radio series’ veteran presenter and national treasure, who finds that he must adapt to changing times and tastes… But whatever happened to the classic ghost stories? The good old days? Aubrey soon discovers that all is not quiet in the eerie radio studio – and that elements of his own past are not as dead and buried as he perhaps hoped…
11.00pm Made in Chelsea’s Big Christmas Quiz E4 – Join Matt Edmondson and Mollie King, plus the entire Made in Chelsea cast, for an end-of-series Christmas Special like no other. This year, your favourite cast members will be going head-to-head, competing in a sackful of festive fun games and challenges, plus they’ll also be having a look back at some of the most hilarious and awkward drama-filled moments of the series. Christmas is about to get competitive as the MiC cast battle it out to be crowned this year’s Made in Chelsea Christmas Champions!
12.30pm Top of the Pops BBC1 – Fearne Cotton and Clara Amfo present Top of the Pops Christmas as it returns for a special yuletide edition featuring the hottest and biggest stars from across the year and, as is tradition, wrap up the show with the Christmas Number One.
4.50pm Zog BBC1 – Magic Light Pictures, the multi-Oscar-nominated production company is bringing much-loved children’s picture book Zog to BBC One this Christmas.Written in 2010 by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, creators of the modern classic The Gruffalo, this heartwarming and enchanting half-hour animated special will be voiced by a stellar cast of British acting talent, featuring Sir Lenny Henry as the narrator, Tracey Ullman as Madame Dragon, Hugh Skinner as Zog, Patsy Ferran as Princess Pearl and Kit Harington as Sir Gadabout.
5.55pm Paul O’Grady’s: For Love of Dogs at Christmas ITV – Paul O’Grady returns to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in a one-hour special. Paul faces his biggest challenge yet as he tries to find homes for dozens of dogs who’ve all arrived together. Top of Paul’s Christmas list is a West Highland Terrier called Sylvester who is very withdrawn and needs to brought out of his shell. Paul enlists the help of a beautiful bichon frise called Harlow, who becomes Battersea’s resident ‘therapy dog for dogs’ to help him spread festive joy.
6.45pm Micheal McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show BBC1 – In this entertainment special recorded at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Michael presents a night packed with Christmas treats and unmissable surprises – including hilarious stand up from Michael and live music from Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins. Former footballer and TV presenter Chris Kamara – better known as Kammy – plays Send To All.
7.45pm Call The Midwife BBC1 – As Poplar prepares for Christmas, the nuns travel to the Mother House to elect a new mother superior. Sister Julienne is the obvious replacement and must face this possibility as her future at Nonnatus House hangs in the balance. As they ready to leave, Sister Mildred (played by Miriam Margolyes), an indefatigable sister from their order, arrives unexpectedly with her hands full with four Chinese orphans on route to the Children’s Home at the Mother House. Touched by the plight of the children at the Home, the Nonnatus family and two new nuns, Sister Hilda (played by Fenella Woolgar) and Sister Frances (played by Ella Bruccoleri) come together to give them a Christmas Nativity that they will remember. Back in Poplar, Trixie returns from Portofino refreshed and with her troubles well and truly behind her, and Valerie leads the baby ballet Christmas performance.
|Familiar Faces return to compete in the tent.|
8.00pm The Great Christmas Bake Off Channel 4 – Sandi Toksvig, Noel Fielding, Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith are back in the tent for their traditional Christmas get-together. Also invited to the celebrations are Liam and Flo from 2017, and Jane and Andrew from 2016, back and ready to do battle in the festive fight for the title of Christmas Star Baker.
8.35pm Upstart Crow BBC2 – t’s a bleak midwinter in the Shakespeare household as the family comes to terms with a cruel loss. But when a mysterious stranger (Kenneth Branagh) offers to share with Will (David Mitchell) a tale of redemption he becomes filled anew with love and light and hope.
9.15pm EastEnders BBC1 – Christmas is rarely a quiet time in Albert Square and this year is no exception when at least one person is left with blood on their hands.Alfie is determined to give Kat the perfect Christmas but his dreams come to a sudden halt when the truth about him and Hayley unravels in catastrophic style. As Kat’s world is shattered into pieces, chaos ensues with consequences no one can see coming. Mick Carter is finally reunited with his beloved Linda but with revenge on his mind, Christmas will be anything but peaceful for the Carters.
9.15pm Merry Christmas Baby – with Gregory Porter & Friends BBC2 – A seasonal cocktail of music and song with a warm and joyful, festive jazz vibe.Gregory’s special guests include singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae and legendary jazz saxophonist Courtney Pine who join him for an evening of traditional Christmas classics and jazz standards. Filmed in front of an intimate live audience in Cardiff Bay.
|One-off drama that tells the story of the early days of Torvill & Dean.|
9.15pm Torvill & Dean ITV – Starring Will Tudor and Poppy Lee Friar as the iconic leads, ITV’s one-off feature-length film explores Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean’s early years and the creative impetus that finally drove them to become ice dancing royalty.
9.15pm First Dates at Christmas Channel 4 – The First Dates restaurant has been decked with boughs of holly – and plenty of mistletoe – as Fred Claus and his matchmaking elves welcome some very special singletons who have love at the top of their Christmas wish list.
9.15pm Tommy Cooper: In His Own Words Five – An affectionate look back at Tommy Cooper’s life and career. Sir Michael Parkinson, Jimmy Tarbuck and Chris Tarrant and others reflect on what made Tommy Cooper one of the greatest ever comedians. Colleagues talk about working with him, and his daughter Vicky reveals her feelings about her father.
10.15pm Mrs Brown’s Boys BBC1 – It’s the festive season once again in the Brown household, and Father Damian has organised a Christmas decoration contest to support the local football team. Agnes is keen to enter, especially as it might mean getting one over her old nemesis Hilliary Nicholson. But when Dermot and Buster give Agnes a wifi assistant she is soon distracted, as she tries to figure out what to do with it.
10.15pm Alan Carr’s Christmas Cracker Channel 4 – Alan Carr hosts an A-List Christmas extravaganza from his very own Alpine lodge. Joined by an amazing array of famous faces including Channing Tatum, Danny and Dani Dyer, Lily Allen, Sharon Horgan, Olly Murs, Russell Howard, Alesha Dixon, Emilia and Freddie Fox, Vicky McClure and Martin Compston, and Chris Kamara, this is set to be the biggest festive party of the year. Pull on your Christmas jumper, pour yourself a large glass of eggnog, and settle in for a feelgood Christmassy knees-up with surprise sketches, merry musical performances, and plenty of presents.
7.30pm The Midnight Gang BBC1 – Based on the original book by David Walliams, The Midnight Gang tells the tale of a young boy called Tom who finds himself in the Children’s Ward at Lord Funt Hospital after being hit on the head by a cricket ball. At the hospital he meets a scary porter, the kid-hating matron and newly qualified, and slightly nervous Dr Luppers.
7.50pm The Morecambe & Wise Show: The Lost Tapes BBC2 – For the first time since their original broadcast in 1968, two episodes of Morecambe and Wise will be played on BBC Two this Christmas after the original colour tapes were lost for 50 years. The two, black and white episodes were found in a derelict cinema in Sierra Leone and have been transformed back into colour by decoding colour information within the copies. Both 30-minute episodes featured in the first series when the comedy duo returned to the BBC, and one includes an appearance from Michael Aspel.
8.00pm The Crystal Maze Channel 4 – In this festive special, a bemused Richard Ayoade guides a celebrity team of haplessly enthusiastic adventurers around a special panto-themed Maze. Captaining the team is Christopher Biggins, leading Deborah Meaden, Jamie Laing, Frankie Bridge and Chris Kamara with some surprising celebrity cameos and a pantomime cow along the way.
8.00pm The Dog Rescuers at Christmas Five – Documentary series following the work of RSPCA officers. Presenter Alan Davies joins the team at RSPCA Putney, experiencing first-hand just what life is like treating sick and injured canines in the cold winter months.
|John Malkovich stars as Poirot in new adaptation.|
9.00pm The ABC Murders BBC1 – This Christmas, the next instalment in the collection of Agatha Christie stories adapted for the BBC is The ABC Murders. Bafta-nominated writer Sarah Phelps returns to explore the 20th Century through Christie’s work in this adaptation of the classic 1936 title. John Malkovich leads the cast as Hercule Poirot alongside Rupert Grint as Inspector Crome, Andrew Buchan as Franklin Clarke, Eamon Farren as Cust, Tara Fitzgerald as Lady Hermione Clarke, Shirley Henderson as Rose Marbury, Jack Farthing as Donald Fraser, Bronwyn James in the role of Megan and Freya Mavor as Thora Grey. It’s 1933 and a killer travels the length and breadth of Britain via the railway network. The killer uses the alias ABC, and strikes in a methodical pattern, leaving a copy of the ABC railway guide at the scene of each of murder. As Poirot attempts to investigate he is thwarted on every front. If he is to match his most cunning nemesis, everything about him will be called into question: his authority, his integrity, his identity. Continues Tomorrow, Concludes Friday.
9.00pm Ken Dodd: How Tickled we were BBC2 – Documentary that explores the life and work of the man described by many as “the last great music hall entertainer”. Sir Ken’s performing career spanned 70 years: his first professional stage engagement was in September 1954 and his final performance in his home city of Liverpool was in December 2017.
9.00pm The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2018 Channel 4 – Who stole the show at the Royal Wedding? What does Danny Dyer think about David Cameron? What is Kanye West’s passcode? All of these questions and more will be answered on 2018’s biggest, fattest, and most thoroughly GDPR-compliant quiz. Question master Jimmy Carr is joined by quizzers Richard Ayoade, Noel Fielding, Mo Gilligan, David Mitchell, Claudia Winkleman and Michelle Wolf as they battle it out to see who can remember most about the last 12 months. As always, he’ll be helped by Jon Snow, Charles Dance and a whole host of celebrity question-setters to recall the year’s biggest events and truly separate the Yannys from the Laurels.
9.00pm Rich House, Poor House at Christmas Five – Inspirational life-swap series. The well-off Hogan family swap places with the less-well-off Buck family for a festive Christmas week at the opposite end of the wealth divide.
7.00pm The Secret Life of 5-Year-Olds on Holiday Channel 4 – Channel 4’s award-winning The Secret Life of 5-Year-Olds returns for a one-off special taking eight of the much-loved cast and their families for an adventure abroad in Turkey. A cast of four girls and four boys including Jack, Harper, Iris and Sienna have dusted off their bucket and spade for some fun in the autumn sun.
8.00pm Masterchef: The Professionals – The Rematch BBC2 – Over the past decade MasterChef: The Professionals has become one of the most important culinary competitions in the country with hundreds of the most ambitious chefs putting their careers on the line to battle for the coveted title. Along the way, the Judges have unearthed some exceptional talent and in this one-off special they get out of the kitchen and catch up with five finalists for whom taking part in MasterChef: The Professionals has had a career-changing impact.
8.00pm Supershoppers Sales Special Channel 4 – It’s sales time but don’t open your wallet until you’ve watched this Supershoppers special. Anna Richardson and Sabrina Grant are back with a programme stuffed full of money-saving tips, revelations and insights into what our favourite brands and retailers are up to.
8.00pm Paddington Station 24/7 at Christmas Five
9.00pm The Snow Wolf: A Winter’s Tale BBC2 – Deep in the Dolomites, a pack of wolves led by an alpha female and her mate have raised their family to become powerful and formidable hunters. But a tragic event turns their lives upside down, and the mother must flee the pack and embark on a perilous journey through the frozen Alps, in search of a new territory and a new life. On the way, she gives birth to six cubs which she must protect from humans and predators in what will be the biggest challenge of her life.
9.00pm Travel Man: 48 Hrs in Jordan Channel 4 – Comedian and author David Baddiel joins Richard Ayoade for a supersized seasonal minibreak in Jordan.Â Over four frenetic days they visit world-class wonders, jaw-dropping deserts, and over-salted seas. They follow in the footsteps of prophets and legends, and criss-cross the country by road, rail, rotor and hoof – picking up some special Christmas presents along the way.
9.00pm Michael Palin in North Korea: Special Edition Five – Following the success of his world exclusive two-part series, this feature-length special edition is a chance to show Michael’s extraordinary journey in its entirety, and includes new footage which hasn’t been seen before.
10.00pm Frankie Boyle’s New World Order BBC2 – Frankie Boyle’s 2018 New World Order sees Frankie tackle the year’s biggest news stories in his own unique satirical style. The show features Frankie and guests chewing the fat over their stand out moments of the baffling year that has been 2018.
7.00pm Take That: We’ve Come A Long Way BBC1 – Documentary on celebrating 30 years of the boyband.
9.00pm Billy Connolly: Made in Scotland BBC2 – Two-part documentary built around intimate interviews with the great man himself and provides a unique insight into the early influences and motivations that made this comedy legend the man he is today.
9.00pm Re-play 2018 With Richard Osman ITV – Richard Osman and Scarlett Moffatt join forces for a brand-new quiz, testing the nation’s best-loved celebrities on the most-talked-about events of the year.
9.00pm Most Shocking Celebrity Moments 2018 Five – A light-hearted look at the most outlandish and outrageous antics of the rich and famous this year. Featured incidents include Kanye West’s outbursts and Ant McPartlin’s drink driving. Megan Markle’s outspoken family make the list, as does Madonna’s off colour tribute to Aretha Franklin at the VMAs, and the standoff between Kim Woodburn and Colleen Nolan on Loose Women.
9.00pm Delicious Sky1 – Third series of the comedy/drama starring Emilia Fox and Dawn French.
10.00pm Rob Rinder’s Good Year, Bad Year Channel 4 – In this end of year review show, Rob Rinder casts an unflinching eye, razor-sharp legal mind and acerbic tongue over the events of 2018 to judge once and for all whether the year will be chalked up as being a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ one. With the help of celebrity guests Anthony Scaramucci, Deborah Frances-White, Ed Balls and Clare Balding, Rob delves deep into all the news stories, people and talking points of the year.
Saturday 29th December
8.00pm The London Studios: Home Of The Stars ITV – Hosted by Dermot O’Leary, the programme revisits some of the best-loved shows filmed at the famous studios which has now closed its doors.
8.00pm Blind Date Five – Classic dating show hosted by Paul O’Grady. Laura chooses between a sales advisor, an entrepreneur and an impersonator. Jean-Paul picks from a psychic, a kickboxer and a super-glam granny. Plus last week’s winners return to tell the tale.
9.00pm Bradley Walsh: When Dummies Took Over the World ITV – Bradley Walsh tells the story of Britain’s most famous puppet stars including Orville, Emu, Sooty, Lord Charles, Dicky Mint, Spit the Dog, and Nookie Bear.
10.00pm Celebrity Game Night Five – Lisa Tarbuck, and captains Danny Baker and Susan Calman, are joined by a gaggle of famous faces for an evening of traditional games, played with a twist. On Susan’s team are Olympic gold medalist Greg Rutherford, comedian Kerry Godliman, and Strictly champion Ore Oduba. Danny is joined by Girls Aloud’s Kimberley Walsh, queen of the jungle Scarlett Moffett and comedian Dom Joly.
Sunday 30th December
8.00pm Dragons’ Den: Pitches to Riches BBC2 – Dragons’ Den: Pitches to Riches returns to relive extraordinary encounters between brave entrepreneurs and those formidable Dragon investors. Den expert Richard Osman guides viewers through the most outstanding, shocking and emotional pitches of the last two years.
8.00pm Britain’s Wildest Weather 2018 Channel 4 – At times funny and at times frightening, Britain’s Wildest Weather 2018 tells the story of an incredible extreme weather year through first-hand accounts and eye-popping footage filmed by the people who were caught in the eye of the storms.
|Dominic West and Olivia Colman are among the all-star cast.|
9.00pm Les Miserables BBC1 – Six-part drama. 1815. War-torn France has been defeated at the battle of Waterloo. Convict Jean Valjean (Dominic West) is nearing the end of his sentence in Toulon after serving 19 years for a petty crime and is released by the ambitious prison guard Javert (David Oyelowo). Convinced he will re-offend, Javert forms a deep personal hatred of Valjean. Haunted by his past, Valjean experiences a brutal life as an ex-convict, with prejudice at every turn. But an encounter with the wise bishop of Digne (Derek Jacobi) forces Valjean to consider his own morality and the life he wishes to lead. Little Marius Pontmercy is being raised as a royalist by his grandfather, Monsieur Gillenormand (David Bradley). Marius’ father, Baron Pontmercy (Henry Lloyd-Hughes), a colonel in Napoleon’s army, is accidentally saved from death at Waterloo by a passing looter, Thenardier (Adeel Akhtar). Returning from Waterloo, Pontmercy confronts Gillenormand over his parental rights to Marius – but with tragic consequences.
9.00pm Cities: Nature’s New Wild BBC2 – Building on the final episode of Planet Earth II, this innovative series features a diverse cast of animals who are adjusting to this new world better than could have been predicted, not only applying their natural born skills and abilities to life in the city, but also making amazing physical or behavioural adaptations. With an emphasis on beauty and the highest cinematographic standards, this definitive series on urban wildlife behaviour follows animals at critical times of their lives, and showcases the urban world with the same epic scale, ambition and techniques used to film the natural world.
9.00pm Big Ben: Countdown to The New Year Channel 4 – Big Ben is a global icon and one of the most photographed buildings in the world. But in 2017 its bells were silenced and tower covered in scaffolding as a historic conservation project swung into action. As the famous clock tower is dismantled into thousands of pieces and for the first time in its history, sent away for repair to workshops right across Britain, architectural historian Anna Keay has exclusive access to the unprecedented operation.
9.00pm Britain’s Favourite Chocolate Bar Five – Chocolate-loving celebrities lick, nibble and scoff their way through the Top 20 while reminiscing about classic chocolate TV adverts. Chocolate’s biggest secrets are uncovered, we catch up with a former Milky Bar Kid, and a top competitive eater attempts a world record.
10.30pm Happy New Year, Colin Burstead BBC2 – Tragicomedy directed by Ben Wheatley about the difficulty of family relations. Middle-aged Colin organises a New Year’s Eve gathering for his extended family at a country mansion in Dorset. Long-standing divisions bubbling under the surface erupt with the arrival of Colin’s estranged brother, David.
New Year’s Eve
9.00pm Raymond Briggs: Snowmen, Bogeymen & Milkmen BBC2 – Forty years ago Raymond Briggs used a pot of coloured pencils to create The Snowman, a wordless book of illustrations which would inspire the film enjoyed by millions of British households every Christmas. This moving and often emotional portrait is told through interviews with Raymond, specially commissioned animation illustrated by Chris Riddell, and contributions from friends, colleagues and admirers, including Andy Serkis, Nick Park, Steve Bell, and Posy Simmons.
9.00pm The Last Leg of the Year Channel 4 – The award-winning series is supersized this New Year’s Eve with a special two-hour extravaganza to give 2018 a glorious send-off. The Last Leg of the Year hosts Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker are joined by a plethora of celebrity guests, big-name bands and some famous faces from the past year to take a satirical swipe at the news we’ve loved and loathed in 2018. Katherine Ryan, Johnny Vegas, Nish Kumar and more join in the end of year fun.
9.00pm Jane and Friends at New Year Five – Break open the champagne with soul singer Billy Ocean, classic crooner Gilbert O’Sullivan, singer and actress Alexandra Burke, disco collective Odyssey and hunky vocal group Collabro.
11.15pm Jools Holland Hootenanny BBC2 – The annual countdown to a new year begins.
New Year’s Day
00.10am Madness Rocks Big Ben BBC1 – The ska group ring in 2019 with a live performance.
|Jodie Whittaker returns a New Year’s Special|
7.00pm Doctor Who BBC1 – As the New Year begins, a terrifying evil is stirring from across the centuries of Earth’s history. As the Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz return home, will they be able to overcome the threat to planet Earth?
|Idris Elba returns a new series shown over four nights.|
9.00pm Luther BBC1 – Idris Elba reprises his iconic role of DCI John Luther for a fifth series. The series is comprised of four episodes which will air until Friday. A new spate of nightmarish murders brings DCI Luther (Idris Elba) to once again face the depths of human depravity on the streets of London. While the monstrous and seemingly indiscriminate killings become ever more audacious and public, Luther and new recruit D.S. Catherine Halliday (Wunmi Mosaku) are confounded by a complex tangle of leads and misdirection that seems designed to protect an untouchable corruption.
As the body count rises, and gangster George Cornelius (Patrick Malahide) applies his own pressure, can Luther catch a killer and save his own neck?
9.00pm Earth’s Greatest Rivers – Amazon BBC2 – This landmark wildlife series pioneers the latest technology and breath-taking photography to take viewers on three incredible River voyages from the source to the mouth of three of our world’s most iconic rivers, the Nile, the Mississippi and the Amazon. Each episode reveals the surprising wildlife, astonishing landscapes, and remarkable people who live along their banks. Exclusive and surprising stories along with exciting filming techniques, give the audience a fresh and new perspective. This is a series full of surprise, awe and wonder. This episode is a pioneering exploration of the Amazon’s latest discoveries and secret locations.
9.00pm Who Wants to be a Millionaire? ITV – Jemery Clarkson returns for a four-night run of the revived gameshow.
9.00pm The Inbetweeners: Fweinds Reuntined Channel 4 – The Inbetweeners are reunited for one night only. Together again for the first time in four years, Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison and Joe Thomas, aka Will, Jay, Neil and Simon are all on board for an action-packed, fun-filled celebration of 10 years of The Inbetweeners. The show celebrates the huge cultural phenomenon of our four favourite teenagers and features a succession of much-loved faces from the cast of the massively successful TV series and films. With star interviews, fun games, and clips of everyone’s favourite Inbetweeners moments, as well as the first ever Inbetweeners Awards, plus many more surprises.Â Grab your briefcases and enjoy the party!
9.00pm The Yorkshire Vet: Winter Special Five – Documentary series set in a country veterinary practise. Peter Wright and Julian Norton must face ice and blizzards to reach their patients, including a prized sheepdog with a large tumour, a Hebridean ram who’s a danger to his own children, and a fox who needs spaying before unwelcome suitors come calling.
9.00pm Escape at Dannemora Sky Atlantic – Benicio Del Toro, Paul Dano and Patricia Arquette star in the story of a prison escape, a statewide manhunt, and a stranger-than-fiction love triangle.
10.00pm Mrs Brown’s Boys BBC1 – There’s a storm blowing in Finglas and it soon claims its first victim, when the pipes in Winnie and Sharon’s house burst. Thank goodness, therefore, for Mrs Brown, who is on hand to offer a roof over their heads while repairs are carried out.
Wednesday 2nd January
8.00pm Tom Kerridge’s Fresh Start BBC2 – Last year in ‘Lose Weight for Good’, Tom inspired a group of struggling dieters with his great recipes to lose weight while still loving their food. ‘Fresh Start’ sees Tom turn his attention to families and the belief that bringing them together through home-cooked recipes will make them healthier, fitter and happier. In the first episode, Tom meets eight volunteer families for the first time. He introduces them to the first of six steps they will be following over the next six episodes; to simply get the families cooking together and more often.
8.00pm Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad ITV – Actor Bradley Walsh and his 20-year-old son Barney are hitting the road together for a brand-new four-part series, travelling over 2000 miles from Los Angeles to New Orleans.
8.00pm Kirstie’s Love It Or List It Channel 4 – Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer are back for a brand new series of the show that unites warring households across the UK, by answering that age old question: should you stay, or should you go? In each episode, the property gurus meet a family who have fallen out of love with their house. After listening to their problems and seeing how they use their home, Kirstie tries to convince them that transforming their home is the best bet; whereas Phil reckons that selling up is the easier option.
8.00pm Animals After Dark Five – Wildlife experts use low-light cameras to discover what Britain’s animals do after dark. Steve Backshall helps at the hedgehog hospital and meets a family of otters. Miranda Krestovnikoff finds out if Lorraine the slow loris is pregnant, and Lindsey Chapman sends out Coco the cat as a roving reporter.
8.00pm The Goldbergs E4 – Sixth Season of the US comedy series.
8.30pm The Twinsitute BBC2 – This brand new series will show you how to live your life better. Identical twin doctors Chris and Xand van Tulleken have set up a unique centre for science, crammed full with 30 pairs of identical twins – to put rival health theories to the test and find out how we could all improve our lives.
Notable Continuing Series: Luther, 9.00pm, BBC1
9.00pm What Britain Bought in 2018 Channel 4 – Mary Portas takes the retail pulse of the nation to find out how the biggest showbiz, political and weather events of 2018 sent us racing off to spend our hard-earned cash. In this one hour special, Mary discovers what the Beast from the East, the World Cup, and a female Doctor Who meant for our shopping baskets; whether Kate or Meghan had the biggest influence on our fashion buys; and how the stars of Love Island and Made in Chelsea sold us everything from crochet dresses to breaded jackfruit.
9.00pm The Big Fat Lies About Diet and Exercise Five – Countdown show revealing the dark side of dieting. The UK diet and fitness industry is worth £6b a year, but how are you supposed to know what works? Nutritionists, dieticians, GPs, cardiologists, fitness trainers and psychologists break down the pros and cons.
10.00pm Insert Name Here BBC2 – Return of the panel show hosted by Sue Perkins.
10.00pm Dispatches: The Truth About Vegans Five – Dispatches investigates the rising popularity of veganism. It’s better for your health, the environment and animals but why do some activists resort to such extreme tactics to promote it? Reporter Morland Sanders meets farmers who feel increasingly worried about some vegan protests and looks into the ideology behind the diet, speciesism.
Thursday 3rd January
8.00pm Back in Time For School BBC2 – Starting in 1895, 15 pupils and three teachers are fast-forwarded through 100 years of education, as they explore what schools taught and the way they were taught it, reflecting the transformation in Britain far beyond the school gates. From a time when only 4 percent of children went to secondary school, these pupils form part of the lucky few, as they get to grips with their Victorian classroom. Strict rules, formality and ceremony inform the Victorian school day, a world away from the pupils’ modern-day experiences.
8.00pm Food Unwrapped: Diet Special Channel 4 – Kate Quilton hits the surf in Australia to find out if replacing carb and meat classics with popular veg and fruit-based alternatives is a good way to cut calories. Dr Helen Lawal follows nine people who have been on three of the nation’s favourite diets for nine months, to uncover the truth about long-term dieting. Jimmy Doherty finds out which foods and drinks can help during endurance training, and Matt Tebbutt goes dry for a month to see if ditching booze can make him look younger.
8.30pm The Cruise: Shanghai to Sydney ITV – The Cruise returns with a brand new six-part documentary series travelling through Asia, Australia and New Zealand – following the lives of almost 5,000 passengers and crew.
Notable Continuing Series: Luther, 9.00pm, BBC1
The Good Place, 9.00pm, E4
9.00pm 21 Kids & Counting Channel 4 – Britain’s biggest family is about to get even bigger as 21 Kids and Counting follows the chaotic and fascinating lives of Britain’s largest family in the lead up to the birth of their 10th baby girl. And for every baby that parents Sue and Noel welcome to the family, another one is preparing to fly the nest. The cameras return to the family home in Lancashire, as the teenage Radfords grapple with big life decisions, such as moving out of the home, learning to drive, choosing a career, and how to get any privacy in a house that’s packed to the rafters with kids.
9.00pm The Secret Life of the Holiday Resort Five – Documentary series following life in a Spanish all-inclusive resort. Checking in this week are tattoo model Ryan and his mates from Sheffield, former military chef Ian Dean and his smooth-talking grandson Jack, and newly engaged fast-food workers, Kurt and Lizzi.
10.00pm Island of Dreams BBC2 – Comedy pilot for BBC Two from writers Bert Tyler-Moore and George Jeffrie. Island Of Dreams will draw heavily on a rich heritage of island-set TV shows, from Fantasy Island to Lost to Thunderbirds. Necker Island has white sands, turquoise sea and girls in bikinis serving drinks. We all know that. What we may not know is that Sir Richard Branson (aka Harry Enfield) has a great talent for solving the problems of our most-loved and messed-up celebrities while they’re enjoying some well-deserved island luxury. But does Sir Richard have a more important masterplan – a dark secret involving interplanetary travel?
Friday 4th January
8.00pm Jeremy Wade’s Mighty Rivers ITV – Jeremy goes in search of two giant beasts: a fish so valuable criminals are hunting it out of existence, and a man-sized predator that’s become the stuff of dreams. What does the fate of these creatures say about the health of this great river?
8.00pm Celebrity 5 Go Camping Five – Michelle Collins, Joe Swash, Bobby Davro, Stephen Bailey and Cheryl Baker learn about life under canvas.
Notable Continuing Series: Luther, 9.00pm, BBC1
9.00pm Big Fat Quiz of Everything Channel 4 – What was Pierce Brosnan banned from doing while he played James Bond? Which film was released in Poland as Electronic Murderer? And who is Digger The Crab? All of these questions and more will be answered in Big Fat Quiz of Everything, the super-sized quiz that takes in over 100,000 years of human history. Question master Jimmy Carr is joined by Sandi Toksvig, Joe Lycett, Katherine Ryan, Big Narstie, David Baddiel and Frank Skinner as they battle it out to see who knows the most about music, science, film, TV and more. As always, he’ll be helped by Jon Snow, Charles Dance and a host of celebrity question-setters for the biggest, fattest quiz you’ll ever play.
9.00pm TOTP: The Story of 1987 BBC4 – Terence Trent D’Arby, Curiosity Killed the Cat, PWL stablemates Rick Astley and Kim Appleby, Andy Bell (Erasure), Carol Decker (T’Pau) and Belinda Carlisle lead us through a smorgasbord year in music.
9.00pm Jane McDonald: Cruising Down Under Five – The singer and host explores the west coast of Australia by plane, train and automobile, mingling with expats, aborigines, Aussies, crocs, dingos and koalas. From the comfort of her cabin, Jane also discovers the pleasures of an Australian cruise.