The Christmas TVweek: Saturday 20th December 2014 – Friday 2nd January 2015

by | Dec 9, 2014 | All, TV Week

Here’s your ultimate guide to this year’s Christmas telly from 20th December to Friday 2nd January 2015!


5.40pm Pointless Celebrities BBC1 – A pantomime special of the quiz; guests include Ann Widdecombe, Christopher Biggins, Mark Little, Bob Carolgees and Spit the Dog and Ashleigh and Pudsey.

6.30pm Strictly Come Dancing Final BBC1 – The finalists take to the floor for one last time as they perform a number of dances including the infamous show dance. The results are announced at 8:50pm.

8.00pm Rewind the Christmas Hits Channel 4 – New performances, surprising reunions, candid interviews and the stars of Christmas past and present feature in Rewind the Christmas Hits as it unwraps a musical genre as unpredictable as the British weather. From the battle between Brummie glam rockers Slade and Wizzard for the 1973 Christmas number one to the secret alchemy involved in choosing the song for the latest John Lewis advert, this 90-minute festive special uncovers the real stories behind the UK’s favourite Christmas hits. Revealing more about the state of the nation than the Queen’s speech, a Christmas hit can – if the artist gets it right – be the gift that keeps on giving, earning them legendary status and a pension for life. But if they get it wrong, they could end up joining a long list of Christmas chart casualties.

8.35pm Christmas University Challenge BBC2 – The first of a ten-part celebrity version of the show featuring famous graduates of some of Britain’s most famous academic institutions.

10.05pm Rik Mayall: Lord Of Misrule BBC2 -Narrated by Simon Callow, Rik Mayall: Lord Of Misrule salutes Rik Mayall and celebrates his part in the UK’s comedy history, using rare and unseen archive footage, and talking to the people who knew or admired him.


6.30pm Celebrity Mastermind BBC1 – The first of a new miniseries of the quiz featuring famous faces; the contestants in this first episode are actress Emma Barton, comedian Zoe Lyons, Casualty’s Tony Marshall and Olympian Jamie Baulch.

7.00pm You’ve Got to Love Christmas ITV – A comic take on the pitfalls and perils of Christmas past, present and future with advice from the TV archives.

8.00pm Surprise Surprise Christmas Special ITV – Holly Willoughby honours more of the country’s most extraordinary people with help from the stars of Night at the Museum 3 and pop group The Vamps.

9.00pm The Apprentice: The Final BBC1 – With just two candidates left battling it out for the £250,000 investment, the finalists receive a call telling them to travel to events venue One Marylebone. There they are met by Lord Sugar, who informs them that their final task is launch their businesses. They must come up with brands and launch campaigns before unveiling them at an event. There is a race to recruit old candidates as the finalists build their teams; the next day, it is straight down to business building brands. In the boardroom, business plans are picked over, and launch campaigns assessed, but only one can win. It’s heartbreak for one and elation for the other as Lord Sugar finally picks his business partner.


8.00pm Gadget’s Man’s Guide to Christmas Channel 4 – Richard Ayoade presents an indispensable guide to how to improve Christmas with gadgets. Aided and abetted by guests including Jonathan Ross, Stephen Merchant and Adam Hills, Gadget Man offers a surreal and funny guide to the best gadgets around – to help do the Christmas shopping, survive the winter weather, cook Christmas dinner, and even wrap presents. Richard uses a robot to help him shop in London’s West End. Actor Reece Shearsmith helps test gadgets for surviving snow, fog and long nights.

8.30pm Would I Lie To You? BBC1 – Christmas episode hosted by Rob Brydon as Ray Winstone, Ricky Tomlinson, Rachel Riley and Josh Widdicombe join team captains David Mitchell & Lee Mack.

9.00pm John Bishop’s Christmas Show BBC1 – John Bishop is performing from the West End’s Lyceum Theatre in a night of roaring festive laughter. Hosting and curating a massive Christmas Show full of his very own favourite comics and artists, Bishop will be treating London and the rest of the UK to a laugh-fest packed full of good cheer.

James Corden and Matthew Baynton return for a 2-part finale of the action comedy

9.00pm The Wrong Mans BBC2 – Having earned their status as hometown heroes in the first series, Sam and Phil are blasted back to zero again. Now in hiding, Phil is relishing the chance to reinvent himself but Sam pines for his old life. Some distressing news from back home forces them to step out of the shadows and embark on a dangerous international quest to get home in time for Christmas and reclaim their lives.Concludes Tomorrow at 9.00pm

9.00pm Tsunami: Suriviors’ Stories ITV – A moving account of the events a decade ago on Boxing Day 2004 when a tsunami swept across eleven countries in the Indian Ocean, killing nearly 250,000 people of many nationalities.

9.00pm Food Unwrapped at Christmas Channel 4 – Over the past 12 months Jimmy Doherty, Kate Quilton and Matt Tebbutt have travelled the globe exploring some of our favourite Christmas food. Why is farmed salmon pink? Do they colour the fish? Can you grow a chicken as big as a turkey? Is the gold in drinks real gold? Is frankincense edible? How do they make wafer-thin after-dinner mints? And do cranberries grow on water? To find the answers to all these questions, the team travel to Norway, the USA, Oman, Germany and France visiting the factories.

9.00pm Michael Buble’s Christmas 2014 Five – For his fourth annual Christmas Special the multi Grammy Award-winning singer takes to the stage of the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Joining him on festive classics such as ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),’ ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ and more are special guests Barbra Streisand, Ariana Grande, Miss Piggy and The Rockettes.

9.00pm Don’t Tell the Bride BBC3 –  In this Christmas Special, a loving couple from Rotherham switch roles as the groom takes on all wedding planning responsibility. Steve has just three weeks to plan a wedding with an icy twist, but with Emma wanting an upmarket wedding to impress her family and her groom theming it around their kids’ favourite animated movie, will it be a nightmare before Christmas?

9.00pm Stella Sky One – Festive special of Ruth Jones’ sitcom which sees the titular character take on a difficult patient at the children’s ward whilst the rest of the town gathers to audition and rehearse for Auntie Brenda’s charity panto.

9.25pm Panto! Mayhem, Make Up and Magic BBC4 – Documentary following a cast of Nottingham amateur actors who are staging a production of Puss in Boots. It tells the story of how a small community theatre fights to keep afloat in austere times. With arts subsidies slashed, the cast must rely on ticket sales to keep afloat. This amusing backstage glimpse follows their attempts to rehearse, provide costumes and scenery on a minuscule budget.

10.00pm Derek: The Special Channel 4 – Ricky Gervais returns for a final episode of his comedy. . As Broadhill prepares for the wedding of the year, Kev’s behaviour proves too much for Hannah. Vicky prepares to fill her shoes, while Derek tries to hold the home together.

10.00pm Taking New York E4 – Will Best hangs out in the Big Apple and introduces the cast of brand new eight-part structured reality show, Taking New York, which is coming to E4 at the beginning of 2015. Following the lives and loves of a group of British twenty-somethings, the show chronicles the highs, the lows, the heartbreaks, the competition, the clashes and the insecurities as they battle to build their ‘American Dream’ life in New York City.


9.00pm Kids’ Hospital at Christmas Channel 5 – The documentary series focuses on the festive season at the Royal Manchester and in particular Dr. Lewis who has played Santa at the institution for the last 25 years.

9,00pm Lottery Stories: Be Careful What You Wish For ITV – One-off documentary looking at the perils of becoming an instant millionaire.

9.00pm Len Goodman’s Big Band Bonanza BBC4 – The Strictly Come Dancing judge returns to some of his old stomping grounds to present a history of swing and Big Band music.

10.00pm Man Down Channel 4 – Festive special of the sitcom starring Greg Davies as the hapless Dan.

10.40pm Kylie: Kiss Me Once ITV – Highlights from Kylie Minogue’s recent live show in Glasgow featuring her most recognisable hits.

Christmas EVE

Harry Hill takes the lead in a new family adventure.

4.15pm On Angel Wings BBC1 – An animated retelling of the Nativity story based on Michael Morpurgo’s reworking of the tale.

8.30pm The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm BBC1 – Harry Hill stars as in a family comedy based on Norman Hunter’s children’s books. Armed with a multitude of crazy inventions and alongside his eccentric allies Colonel Dedshott, Mrs Flittersnoop and young apprentice Connie, Professor Branestawm takes on scheming businessman Mr Bullimore and officious local councillor Harold Haggerstone, to try and stop their plans to bulldoze his workshop to make way for a giant munitions factory, right in the middle of town.

Lee Mack’s sitcom reaches its end with a Christmas Special

9.30pm Not Going Out BBC1 – The will-they-won’t-they tension reaches new highs in this Christmas series finale that sees Lucy and Lee in previously uncharted emotional waters.

9.30pm Gogglebox 2014 Channel 4 – In this special compilation show; the Goggleboxers take a look at some of the most memorable TV moments of the last year.

9.30pm Julie Walters: A Life on Screen BBC2 – Documentary telling the story behind the success of Julie Walters. Includes interviews with Victoria Wood, Celia Imrie, Rupert Grint, Alan Bleasdale, Willy Russell, Gary Lewis and Hugh Bonneville.

10.25pm Cuckoo BBC3 – Comedy series about the proud father of a Midlands family who is still dealing with the fallout of his daughter’s marriage to crazy hippy traveller, Cuckoo. Now, the Thompsons have to handle another imposter in the family nest, when a mysterious figure from Cuckoo’s past arrives to mess up their lives that little bit more. It’s Christmas in Lichfield and Lorna is full of the yuletide spirit, in more ways than one. Ben and Dale both want to make Rachel’s holiday special – and Ken gets stuck in the middle.

10.30pm Some Santas with Jokes BBC4 – Father Christmases from across Britain take time out of their busy schedules to share their favourite jokes and get the whole nation going ‘ho-ho-ho!’

11.05pm Rude Tube Christmas Cracker Channel 4- Alex Zane presents a selection of popular festive internet clips from around the world.

Christmas Day

2.00pm Top of the Pops BBC1 – Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates celebrate Christmas Day with a special yuletide edition of Top of the Pops featuring the biggest tracks and brightest stars from across the year as well as the Christmas number 1 of 2014

3.10pm The Queen’s Garden ITV – The first of two programmes in which Alan Titchmarsh gets exclusive access to the royal gardens at Buckingham Palace for a whole year. He watches the garden change over the four seasons and reveals its hidden treasures that have evolved over five centuries. In the first part, he arrives along with 8,000 others to attend the Queen’s summer garden party, but unlike the other guests, he has a different itinerary. He begins by venturing into the garden’s wilder spaces where nature has been left to rule. He meets the Queen’s bee keeper John Chapple, delves into the history of the garden and finds its oldest tree.

Bruce Forysth returns to host as some Strictly favourites compete for Christmas.

5.00pm Strictly Come Dancing BBC1 – Sir Bruce Forsyth returns to host the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special with Tess Daly! The show goes to town with a pantomine theme as six of the most memorable celebrities from past series of Strictly compete in a one-off festive special. Len, Bruno, Craig and Darcey get into the panto spirit too – Baron Hardup, the Evil Queen, the Fairy Godmother and Buttons judge the performances. Past champions Chris Hollins and Louis Smith, finalists Sophie Ellis Bextor and Rachel Stevens, plus viewers favourites Russell Grant and Lisa Riley rock around the dance floor as they vie to get their hands on the Strictly trophy. Plus Sir Bruce stars in a very special performance of Winter Wonderland with the professional dancers.

5.10pm James May’s Toy Stories BBC2 – James May attempts to rehabilitate one of Britain’s most derided toys by seeing if it’s possible for Action Man to do what no toy has ever managed – travel faster than the speed of sound. For decades, Action Man, despite his name, has been a disappointment. He promised so much with his eagle eyes, his gripping hands and his natty outfits. But what has he ever achieved? Nothing… yet. After half a century lazing around the back of the toy cupboard, he must prove that he has The Right Stuff, redeem his shattered reputation and boldly go where no Toy has gone before. The challenge is daunting. Breaking the sound barrier and returning Action Man safely to the earth will test James and the team to the limit.

5.50pm Paul O’Grady: For The Love of DogsITV – Paul O’Grady visits Battersea Dogs and Cats Home to help give the residents a fabulous festive season, and hopes to find loving homes for all the dogs in time for Christmas Day. At the top of his wish list is to find new homes for parson’s terrier Peppermint Patty, who was handed in with a massive lump on her neck, and bichon frise Phyllis, who is the suspected victim of back-street breeding.

Nick Frost guests as Santa Claus as Peter Capaldi returns for his first Christmas Special

6.15pm Doctor Who: Last Christmas BBC1 – The Doctor and Clara face their last Christmas. Trapped on an Arctic base, under attack from terrifying creatures, who are you going to call? Santa Claus!

Miranda Hart returns in the first of two final episodes of her sitcom.

7.15pm Miranda BBC1 – Miranda has received two proposals – one from Gary and one from Mike. Will she choose one of them or will she run away from the pressures of relationships and the fear of not coping with being a wife?

7.50pm Call the Midwife BBC1 – 1959 is drawing to a close as the residents of Poplar prepare for Christmas, and the midwives of Nonnatus House are busier than ever. When two pregnant teenagers are sent to a mother and baby home, Chummy and Patsy are horrified by the conditions they find there. They rally to provide the pregnant teenagers with the utmost care and support as preparations are made for them to give up their babies. The girls’ predicament makes Shelagh Turner reflect on her own adopted daughter’s background. Elsewhere, Cynthia gets caught up in the heartbreaking mystery that surrounds a couple struggling to survive after leaving a recently closed mental asylum. She also makes her own momentous decision to join the religious life, whilst other Nonnatuns pull out all the stops to stage a truly memorable Christmas concert.

8.00pm Frozen at Christmas Channel 4 – Frozen at Christmas takes an entertaining and in-depth look at the incredible story of Disney’s Frozen, the most successful animated film of all time. The programme hears from its makers about the film’s creation and production, the writing and performance of its most popular songs, and how ‘just another’ Disney princess movie became the cultural phenomenon of 2014. 

Secrets are exposed as the Carters sit down for Christmas Dinner

9.00pm EastEnders BBC1 – With secrets rife, the Carters are set to explode. The Beales do their best to enjoy Christmas despite their beloved Lucy not being there, but there is a particularly eerie twist coming amid the Christmas presents. Is it a message from Lucy’s killer?

9.00pm Tim Rice – A Life in Song BBC2 – A celebration of one of our greatest musical lyricists. Tim Rice, in the company of Michael Grade, reminisces over 40 years of hit songs that conquered the world. 

9.00pm Downton Abbey ITV – Feature-length special of the widely-acclaimed period drama. It is the autumn of 1924 and Rose’s father-in-law Lord Sinderby has rented Brancaster Castle in Northumberland for the grouse shooting season. The Crawleys are invited to join the party. Although there is good sport, a butler with an axe to grind and a scandalous secret threaten to derail the holiday. As the two families get to know each other better, some new faces arrive on the scene. 

10.05pm Mrs Brown’s Boys BBC1 – Festive edition of the sitcom about a loud-mouthed Irish matriarch and her family. Christmas is just around the corner and Agnes already has her tinsel in a twist. Rory is getting plastic surgery, Cathy is hiding something and the family are insisting upon a cost-cutting secret Santa! To make matters worse, Winnie drops a Christmas bombshell. Maybe her unusual new Christmas tree will bring Agnes some festive cheer?

9.00pm Alan Carr: Chatty Man Channel 4 – In this Christmas special there’s a feast of festive frolics plus the odd song or two from Alan’s very special Christmas house band. Joining Alan on the sofa for some Christmas cheer are presenting legend Terry Wogan, comedian Sarah Millican, actor Dan Stevens – star of the forthcoming film Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb – and TV presenter Emma Willis. All the guests join in with Gino D’Acampo for some festive cooking

10.35pm Michael McIntyre’s Very Christmassy Christmas Show BBC1 – Christmas comedy entertainment special hosted by stand-up comedian Michael McIntyre, featuring celebrity guests, audience games and live music. Michael embraces as many eclectic Christmas rituals as possible – serving up the ultimate treat to cap off Christmas Day around the UK. Jamie Oliver cooks up a storm in the kitchen, demonstrating how to make the ultimate Christmas leftovers sandwich. Mrs Brown drops in to share her unique take on the big day. Robbie Williams surprises some unsuspecting Christmas shoppers with an unforgettable performance. Comedian Rob Brydon and national treasure Barbara Windsor provide even more glamour and comedy, while best-selling jazz musician Jamie Cullum gathers everyone around the piano for an old-fashioned sing-song to end the show.

11.00pm Marvellous BBC2 – Another chance to see the uplifting drama starring Toby Jones.

Boxing Day

6.25pm Still Open All Hours BBC1 – David Jason returns as Granville, who has inherited the famous corner shop from his beloved but miserly uncle Arkwright. Now running the business with his cheerful and good-looking son Leroy, Granville continues to serve the local community with a keen eye on a profit from some familiar and new faces. In this opening episode Granville is forced into taking extra security precautions for the shop’s takings, which cause him no end of discomfort. Eric suffers a curious injury. Love is in the air for some as Mavis receives a special delivery, and Granville begins to play matchmaker.

Adaptation of the first children’s book from David Walliams. Kate Moss stars.

6.55pm The Boy in the Dress BBC1 –  Dennis is an ordinary boy but he feels different. He is frustrated by the boring grey world he inhabits. Life has never really been the same since his mum left. In Raj’s newsagent a fashion magazine seems to be calling Dennis – can it be that Kate Moss is really telling him that it’s okay for boys to like Vogue? Aided by Lisa, the coolest girl in the school, Dennis creates a whole new persona and puts it to the ultimate test – but can a boy wear a dress, and what will the headmaster, his dad, and his friends on the football team think if they find out? A celebration of creativity, difference, football and fashion, based on David Walliams’ best-selling children’s book.

8.00pm A Christmas Cracker ITV – Bradley Walsh hosts a Christmas spectacular from The Hammersmith Apollo, where he is joined by The Muppets and Katherine Jenkins – who has a duet with Kermit. Comedy comes from Al Murray the Pub Landlord, and the world-renowned Cirque de Soleil put on a show-stopping routine. There are performances by dance act Flawless, the cast of the hit West End musical White Christmas and music from The Vamps. 

8.30pm Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death Sky1 – Feature length comedy starring Ashley Jensen as a PR whiz caught up in a murder mystery.

Michael Ball stars in a new Musical drama from Victoria Wood

9.00pm The Day We Sang BBC2 – One-off musical drama written by Victoria Wood and starring Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton.  The story is set in Manchester of 1929 and 1969. It is the story of two lonely middle-aged people, Tubby and Enid, who are able to grab a second chance at life when they are reconnected to their emotions by the power of music.

9.00pm Birds of a Feather ITV – Christmas Special to begin the new series of the popular comedy. Dorien is treating Sharon and Tracey to a Christmas trip to the Canaries, but with Tracey’s fear of flying, Sharon’s hopes for adventure, and Dorien’s eagerness for anything in trousers, will it be plane sailing?

9.00pm The Big Fat Quiz of the Year Channel 4 – Join Jimmy Carr as he tests a panel of A-list celebrities to see who knows the most about 2014. Who purred down the phone in September? What became the most tweeted-about sporting event ever in July? And why did Bono have to say sorry to the whole world in October? Celebrating the end of 2014, Jimmy challenges Richard Ayoade, David Mitchell, Mel B, Micky Flanagan, Sarah Millican and Kevin Bridges to battle it out to win the coveted Big Fat Quiz crown.

9.00pm Wallander BBC4 – New series of the original Sweedish crime drama. Kurt Wallander and his team investigate the callous murder of an elderly man in his remote farmhouse, but there is no obvious motivation or reason for the brutal beating his wife received from the attackers. Further research indicates that the victim possessed several different bank accounts, but the source of his income remains a mystery. (In Swedish with English subtitles)

9.30pm Through the Keyhole ITV – Keith Lemon presents a seasonal edition of the show snooping around more homes of mystery celebrities. The studio panel are Jonathan Ross, X Factor’s Louis Walsh and Corrie’s Kym Marsh, who attempt to work out the identities of the homeowners.

Saturday 27th December 

6.05pm You Saw Them Here First ITV – Robert Webb narrates the show that raids the archives to reveal the television debuts of some of Britain’s best-loved actors and actresses, presenters and pop stars. The programme exposes the bare facts about Alexander Armstrong’s TV beginnings, Casualty’s Derek Thomson is confronted with his folk singing past, Will Mellor longs for the days when he was paid in chocolate bars, and how a shy and retiring Australian housewife became international megastar Dame Edna Everage. Other TV firsts include Bradley Cooper, Michael McIntyre, Martin Freeman, Nigella Lawson, Freddie Flintoff, Katy Perry and more.

8.30pm Bruce’s Hall of Fame BBC1 – Some of the biggest names in entertainment celebrate the artists who inspired their careers. Hosted by Sir Bruce Forsyth and featuring special performances from Jamie Cullum, Jessie Wallace, Alfie Boe, Ben Miller, Jon Culshaw and Jason Manford.

The Top Gear trio return for a first of a 2-part special

8.30pm Top Gear: Patagonia Special BBC2 – Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May take three V8-engined sports cars on a gruelling 1600 mile journey through the spectacular landscapes of Patagonia. Along the way they encounter rough roads, collapsed bridges, broken bones and a cow as they press onwards against the odds in a quest to reach the southernmost city in the world. Concludes at 8.00pm Tomorrow

9.30pm 50 Funniest Moments of 2014 Channel 4 – Comedians, celebrities and other famous faces help count down the funniest moments of 2014 – the year’s mostly unintentionally hilarious incidents, television programmes, blogs, vlogs and snogs. The traditional seasonal mixture of sport, politics, music and television combines with the most tasteless filth the internet and social media has to offer to create a Christmas cocktail that goes straight to the funny bone.

9:35pm The Haunting of Radcliffe House Channel 5 – Olivia Williams and Matthew Modine star in this feature-length chiller as eerie events begin to occur when a family move to a cottage on the Yorkshire moors.

9.50pm Darcy Oake: Edge of Reality ITV – Christine Bleakley presents a magic special starring illusionist Darcy Oake.

11.05pm Not Going Out: The Outtakes BBC1 – A compilation of all the outtakes from over the series.

Sunday 28th December 

7.30pm Still Open All Hours BBC1 – The comedy moves to its normal timeslot.

7.00pm Unbelievable Moments Caught on Camera ITV – Alastair Stewart presents some astonishing eyewitness footage shot by members of the public on mobile devices over the past year, including extreme weather and dramatic rescues.

8.00pm All Star Family Fortunes ITV – Vernon Kay presents a festive special as Team Coronation Street – headed by Jimi Mistry along with Shelley King, Marc Anwar, Sair Khan and Qasim Akhtar – battle it out against Team Emmerdale – headed by Natalie J Robb along with Adam Thomas, Anthony Quinlan, Joe Gill and Bill Ward – for the chance to win thousands of pounds for charity.

8.00pm The Hotel Channel 4 – Channel 4 cameras return to Torquay to follow the latest exploits of calamitous hotelier Mark Jenkins. It’s two years since Mark was forced to sell his own hotel, the Grosvenor. Now he’s back in town for one summer season only, in the new role of entertainments manager at the struggling family-run 90-bed Cavendish Hotel, alongside his friend and former colleague Alison. It’s the start of the summer.

8.00pm Got to Dance Sky1 – Join Davina McCall, judges Ashley Banjo, Kimberly Wyatt and Adam Garcia, and a selection of colourful contestants as they look back at the show’s most memorable moments.

9.00pm Last Tango in Halifax BBC1 – The award winning drama starring Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid returns for a third series. An unexpected visitor forces Alan to think about his past. Gillian and Caroline are anxious – his decision to keep his secret from Celia is sure to backfire. Meanwhile Caroline and a heavily pregnant Kate set a date for their wedding.

9.00pm Racing Legends BBC2 – Jim Moir (Vic Reeves) tells the life story of 70s icon, Motorcycle World Champion – Barry Sheene and rides the bikes that are part of the Sheene legend.

9.00pm All New It’ll Be Alright on the Night ITV – Griff Rhys Jones reveals a brand-new collection of never-seen-before flubs that the celebrities would rather we did not see

9.00pm Most Shocking Moments 2014 Five – This programme takes a light-hearted look at the most outlandish and outrageous behaviour by the rich and famous this year, featuring meltdowns, break-ups, booze-ups and punch-up.

10.00pm House of Fools BBC2 – Christmas Special of the zany comedy starring Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer.

Monday 29th December

8.00pm Mini Cooper For the Love of Cars Channel 4 – ow Philip Glenister and internationally renowned car designer Ant Anstead aim to find, rescue and restore one back to its former glory. But they’re looking for no ordinary model – Phil has set his hopes on an incredibly rare Mk 1 Cooper. Ant finally tracks one down in Dublin; a rusting heap at the back of a barn. Philip explores the story of the Mini and meets Stirling Moss. He then throws one around one of the most dangerous roads in the county, and the show concludes with a Mini flash mob.

9.00pm Snow Wolf Family & Me BBC2 – Gordon Buchanan’s dream is to get closer to wild wolves than anyone before to discover the true nature of this feared predator. He travels to the remote Canadian Arctic in search of wolves that have never seen people – wolves that have no fear of humans. Using his skills as a wildlife cameraman Gordon begins to gain the trust of a white wolf family. As spring turns to summer he becomes accepted by the pack, including mother Luna and her three newborn pups. This could be the closest anyone has been to wild wolves since they were domesticated more than 10,000 years ago. Continues Till Wednesday

9.00pm Christmas Epic Fails ITV – Angus Deayton takes a wry look at the funny side of Christmas, including everything from cringe-worthy gifts and festive fads to cheesy songs and unsettling Santas. Festive foul-ups include Christmas light failures, an unfortunate reindeer stuck on a rooftop, and probably the most disappointing grotto ever.

9.00pm 8 Out of Cats Does Countdown Channel 4 – 8 out of 10 Cats host Jimmy Carr and team captains Sean Lock and Jon Richardson are back with a Christmas Special. Familiar faces from the worlds of comedy and entertainment join the team for more comic innuendos, unpredictable conundrums and laughs a plenty. With guests David Mitchell and Kathy Burke. Plus Alex Horne and the Horne Section join Countdown’s resident lexicographer Susie Dent in Dictionary Corner, and Joe Wilkinson ‘assists’ the queen of numbers, Rachel Riley.

9.00pm Al Murray’s Great British Spy Movies BBC4 – Comedian and history buff Al Murray is joined by former director of MI5 Dame Stella Rimington, political comedian Matt Forde and film expert Matthew Sweet for a fresh look at the Great British spy movie

Steve Pemberton’s three-part retelling airs over consecutive nights.

9.05pm Mapp & Lucia BBC1 – 1930s comedy drama based on EF Benson’s novels. In the quaint village of Tilling, all seems as quiet as a mill pond. But its eccentric inhabitants exist in a world seething with gossip, faddishness and petty one-upmanship. From her centrally located house, Miss Elizabeth Mapp reigns supreme over them all until the arrival of Mrs Emmeline ‘Lucia’ Lucas. With her passion for music, art and high culture of all kinds, Lucia is quite an addition to Tilling’s social scene. It is not long before Mapp is indulging in all kinds of foul plots to undermine her accomplished tenant. Continues Till Wednesday

10.30pm Darcey Bussell’s Looking for Audrey BBC1 – Documentary in which Darcey Bussell travels from Holland and London to Rome, Switzerland and Hollywood to reveal how the Oscar-winning actress, who started out as a dancer and who risked her life during WWII, encountered heartache and broken dreams.

Tuesday 30th December 

7.05pm Come Dine with Me Channel 4 – This celebrity Christmas special sees infamous Corrie star turned glamour model Helen Flanagan compete again presenter Kristen O’Brien, comedian Mark Dolan and former Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder to win cash for their favourite charity.

8.00pm Phil Spencer: Secret Agent Channel 4 – Phil Spencer returns for a new series, going undercover as a Secret Agent and coming to the rescue of frustrated house sellers across the country. This time he’s in the cathedral cities of Hereford and Gloucester. Nick and Carolyn have recently separated and are desperate to get their house sold after seven months on the market. Lorna and Stuart have had three kids since they bought their house and have outgrown it.

10.00pm Charlie Brooker’s 2014 Wipe BBC2 – Charlie Brooker is back for his annual review of the year in which he reviews the year known formally as 2014. Mixing the biggest news of the year with the funny and bizarre, along with a mix of brilliant guests it provides a welcome break from the family who still haven’t left. The end of the year is often marked by a morbid sense of self-reflection, so why not join Charlie and laugh at others instead?

New Year’s Eve 

4.15pm Top Of the Pops New Year’s Eve BBC1

7.00pm Tigers About the House: What Happened Next BBC2 – Sumatran tiger cubs Spot and Stripe are now approaching a year old, and living at Australia Zoo in Queensland under the care of their surrogate dad, British tiger expert Giles Clark. Giles must guide the brothers to adulthood in a few weeks time, and deal with the teenage rebellion that ensues. To add to Giles’ responsibilities Spot is almost blind, and Giles must help him adjust to life at the zoo. Spot and Stripe have been raising awareness about the plight of critically endangered tigers in Sumatra, and the Clark family make a big decision to safeguard the cub’s wild cousins – It’s time to hit the road! Giles’ wife Kerri and nine-year-old son Kynan join Giles on a road trip through Indonesia, getting up close and personal with the jungle’s iconic species; from orang-utans, to elephants, to tigers. It’s a million miles away from the suburbs they’re used to, but they’re determined to make a difference.

8.00pm Rita & Me ITV – Barbara Knox first appeared in Coronation Street in 1964. This documentary celebrates her character Rita’s greatest moments and tells the story of the Oldham girl who went on to become one of Corrie’s biggest stars.

9.00pm A Funny Old Year Channel 4 – Jason Manford looks at the highs and lows of 2014 in this end of the year comedy review show.

9.00pm Alan Carr’s New Year Specstacular Channel 4 – Alan again celebrates New Year’s Eve and welcomes in 2015. Along with celebrity guests, Alan runs riot around Channel 4 HQ, bringing in the new year with unpredictable madness and party games. Guests appear in various guises throughout the evening – including VT sketches, entertaining games and top musical performances – and the raucous studio audience also participates in the festivities. Guests include Jonathan Ross, Gok Wan, Alesha Dixon, Mark Wright, James Corden, Caroline Flack and Seann Walsh. Live music comes from Tulisa and Professor Green.

9.00pm Britain’s Favourite Sitcom Channel 5- A three-hour countdown of the nation’s favourite sitcoms from both sides of the pond which is based on the results of an online poll; Mel Giedroyc narrates. 

10.15pm The Graham Norton Show BBC1 – Get ready for the bells with a special New Year’s edition of the Bafta award-winning talk show

10.50pm Mock the Week BBC2 – Dara O’Briain is joined by Ed Byrne, Sara Pascoe and James Acaster for a special New Year’s Eve edition of the satirical quiz. 

11.15pm Queen and Adam Lambert Rock Big Ben Live BBC1 – US Rocker Adam Lambert joins forces with Roger Taylor and Brian May as they bring in the New Year with some of Queen’s greatest hits. The special also includes the famous New Year’s Eve fireworks from 11:55pm 

11.20pm Jool’s Annual Hootenanny BBC2 – Jools is joined for his annual New Year’s party by Ellie Goulding, Paloma Faith, Joss Stone, Ed Sheeran, Wilko Johnson and Hayseed Dixie among others.  


New Year’s Day

Dustin Hoffman and Dame Judi Dench in this family film from Richard Curtis

6.30pm Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot BBC1 – Dustin Hoffman and Dame Judi Dench star in the Roald Dahl story adapted by Richard Curtis. Retired bachelor Mr Hoppy is hopelessly in love with his neighbour Mrs Silver, but she is only interested in her pet tortoise Alfie, until Mr Hoppy hatches an audacious plan to win her love.

7.00pm The First to Fly Sky1 – Sir David Attenborough charts the story of animals who defy gravity, starting with the planet’s first flyers: the insect.

8.00pm Miranda BBC1 – The last ever episode of the popular comedy. Will Miranda finally learn to accept herself and find contentment? And will she find her one true love?

8.30pm Birds of a Feather ITV – The second ITV series moves to its normal timeslot. Sharon amazes the others when it turns out that she has a high IQ, and Dorien, under pressure to find a heroine for her next book, decides to push her towards a surprising career. Tracey however, has got her hands full with a despondent Garth, but the household joins forces to put Sharon through her paces and make sure she is the man for the job.

9.00pm The Big Fat Anniversary Quiz Channel 4 – The Big Fat Quiz returns for a 10-year anniversary special. Jimmy Carr hosts alongside an A-list team of panellists: Russell Brand, Noel Fielding, Jonathan Ross, Jack Whitehall, Warwick Davis and Claudia Winkleman, who take on the events of the last 10 years, 

9.35pm Mrs. Brown’s Boys BBC1 – Second of the two festive specials.  Agnes asks Buster Brady to fit a new alarm system. Unfortunately there are a few teething problems with Buster’s state-of-the-art technology. Determined to help son Dermot set up a new business, Agnes must face old rival Hilliary Nicholson in the poker final. Meanwhile, Agnes’s new chair turns out to be comfier than she could ever have imagined.

Friday 2nd January 2015

8.00pm Show Me Your Garden Sky1 – Green-fingered enthusiasts go head-to-head in this new gardening contest. Three couples compare and score each other’s backyards in a bid to win a cash prize.

8.00pm Jimmy and Jamie’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4 – Childhood pals Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty are back in their pop-up cafe on the Southend Pier, creating blow-out feasts to share with family and friends. Tonight’s highlights include Hollywood star Kate Hudson cooking a Goan Curry and Jamie making a Southern Fried Chicken pizza.

8.30pm Room 101 BBC1 – Frank Skinner hosts the comedy panel show as comedian Tim Vine, Strictly’s Len Goodman and actress Ronni Ancona compete to have their pet hates and peeves consigned to Room 101. The show consists of three rounds: going out, modern life and the wildcard round.

9.00pm The Musketeers BBC1 – Second series of the action drama from Adrian Hodges. The Musketeers are sent to retrieve the Comte de Rochefort, the Cardinal’s man in Madrid, who has escaped from a Spanish prison and brings news that the chief author of France’s military strategy against Spain, General De Foix, has been captured. The Musketeers must join forces with Rochefort to rescue De Foix before this critical information falls into the wrong hands, but can Rochefort be trusted, and will the Musketeers succeed against the traps laid for them?

9.00pm The Big Allotment Challenge BBC2 – Nine individual gardeners go head to head in a competition hosted by Fern Britton. Over six weeks, the amateurs are put to the test in a series of Make, Grow and Eat challenges. In episode one, the gardeners are challenged to grow and present five matching new potatoes and three perfect zinnia stems. In the surprise Make challenge it’s floral baskets. Finally, for a place in the next round, they have to make two Sunday roast sauces.

9.00pm Benidorm ITV – Return of the Costa del Sol-set sitcom following British families on their summer holidays. The Garveys arrive back at the Solana to find a fax waiting for Madge. It informs her that she has just inherited a fortune and an American is trying to contact her to explain everything – but is she being stalked? Tiger Dyke is back too, on holiday with a friend. When he wakes up one morning, he discovers that his mate has scarpered – taking all his money with him. In desperation he phones his dad. Clive and his sister fly out and join Tiger on holiday. Donald and Jacqueline are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary with a week’s wife swap. Jacqueline cannot help being disappointed as Glynn proves not to be as enthusiastic a swapper as she had hoped. Things may be about to look up – Donald has organised a surprise for her at Neptune’s Bar. Joyce Temple-Savage has been told she has to make cuts and when Les/Lesley is demoted to cleaner, the other staff have had enough.

9.00pm Top of the Tops: The Story of 1980 BBC4 – 1980 was the year that both pop music and TOTP changed. A new generation of British pop arrived with Dexy’s, Adam Ant, the Human League and OMD. The show changed as the veteran TOTP orchestra was laid off, the studio audience doubled in size, new sets were built and a range of celebrity co-hosts from Elton John to Kevin Keegan to Russ Abbott arrived. This documentary explores these dramatic changes in Top of the Pops, British pop and British society with a cast including Adam Ant, the Human League, OMD, Kevin Rowlands, Coronation Street actress Sally Lindsay (who appeared with St Winifred’s School Choir), Kelly Marie, Ray Dorset, Johnny Logan, the Vapors, the Piranhas and Richard Skinner.

9.00pm The Big Fat Anniversary Quiz Channel 4 – Jimmy Carr marks a decade of this annual event by quizzing some of its notorious panellists, including Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand, on the most famous happenings of the last ten years.

11.00pm Coldplay in Concert 2014 BBC4 – In December 2014, the BBC’s historic Radio Theatre opened its doors to Coldplay, one of the biggest stadium rock bands in the world. The Grammy award-winning group perform a selection of classic tracks from their big-selling catalogue through to their sixth album Ghost Stories.

11.05pm The Last Leg of The Year Channel 4 – Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker review 2014’s biggest news stories and look ahead to what 2015 will bring.

Custard TV Staff

Custard TV Staff


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


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