6.00pm A Very JLS Christmas Sky1 – The boyband perform and celebrate Christmas with fans.
6.30pm – The Nation’s Favourite Christmas Song ITV – A countdown of the nation’s most popular top twenty festive hits as voted for by the public in a nationwide poll. It marks the 70th anniversary of the best-selling Christmas song of all time – Bing Crosby’s White Christmas. Featuring classics such as Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day, Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas?, Fairytale of New York by the Pogues and and Kirsty MacColl, and Slade’s classic Merry Xmas Everybody. The programme includes the stories behind the songs and how they were made from the performers, musicians and producers. With contributions from Chris Rea, Noddy Holder, Aled Jones, Shane MacGowan, Greg Lake, Sir Cliff Richard as well as family members of the late Bing Crosby and Kirsty MacColl.
8.00pm Paddy’s 2012 Show and Telly ITV – Paddy McGuinness hosts the end of the year TV quiz show pitting three celebrity pairs together to see how much they can remember about the televisual events in 2012. Taking part are Denise Van Outen and Nicky Byrne, Kate Garraway and Nicholas Owen, and Antony Cotton and Chris Fountain.
9.00pm The Jonathan Ross Show ITV – With guests Michael McIntyre, Sheridan Smith, Sienna Miller, Paralympic gold medallists Ellie Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock, and chef Jamie Oliver who will be preparing a seasonal feast live in the studio. Music is provided by Charlotte Church.
6.30pm Mr. Stink BBC1 – A magical, heart-warming story for Christmas, based on David Walliams’s best-selling book. Daydreaming schoolgirl Chloe is unhappy at home and has no friends at her new school, so she befriends a stinky tramp and his dog in the local park. In uncovering Mr Stink’s sad past, she ends up on a journey that takes her to Number 10 Downing Street and eventually brings her dysfunctional family back together again.
7.00pm Ade’s Christmas Crackers ITV – Ade Edmondson delves into the archives to find the best and worst of Christmas TV over the last 60 years. This is a fascinating insight into how we have changed as a nation over the years.
8.00pm The Cube ITV – Celebrity edition of the gameshow featuring TV presenter Melanie Sykes and Diversity dancer Ashley Banjo.
8.30pm – Loving Miss Hatto BBC1 – One-off drama written by and starring Victoria Wood inspired by the true story of classical pianist Joyce Hatto who, after years of frustration and broken dreams, finally found international fame in her 70s, despite suffering from cancer. Dubbed ‘the greatest living pianist no-one has ever heard of’, she had critics raving about her sublime recordings. Yet six months after her death, many of these recordings were discovered to be by other pianists – the greatest hoax in classical music had been orchestrated from the small town of Royston, Hertfordshire.
8.30pm Dragons’ Den Christmas Special BBC2 – The Den opens its doors purely for commerce at Christmas. Budding businessmen and -women pitch their festive companies in the hope of securing a much-needed cash injection from the five multimillionaires.
9.00pm Joanna Lumley: The Search for Noah’s Ark BBC2 – Documentary in which Joanna Lumley crosses three continents in search of the truth behind the story of Noah’s Ark.
9.30pm James May’s Toy Stories: Fight Club BBC2 – James May gets to the heart of the nation’s childhood love affair with the model plane and sets out to achieve what seems an impossible dream: the first cross channel flight ever achieved by an engineless, homemade supersized toy. If it survives the perilous 22 mile journey, James’s classic toy glider, lovingly built from over 1,000 pieces of balsa, will smash the British distance record.
10.30pm The Sarah Millican Television Programme BBC2 – Christmas Special of the comedy chat show.
6.00pm Rolf’s Animal Christmas Five – In a special Christmas edition we see how some of the animals have fared following their treatment and after they have returned home to their grateful owners. The show has seen everything from calving emergencies and life-saving surgery on horses to overweight dogs and irritable, spitting alpacas.
8.00pm The Snowman and the SnowdogChannel 4 – A brand new, charming animated sequel to Raymond Briggs’s classic The Snowman. When a young boy, Billy, and his mother move house, he discovers a box hidden under the floorboards of his bedroom. In the box, he finds a hat, scarf, some lumps of coal and a shrivelled tangerine – it’s a snowman-making kit! When it begins to snow the child builds a Snowman and, with some spare snow, a Snowdog.
8.30pm The Spice Girls Story: Viva Forever! ITV – Documentary telling the definitive story of one of pop music’s biggest ever all-female groups, as 15 years after they first took the world by storm, a new musical about the girls called Viva Forever! is about to hit the West End. The programme looks at the creative process behind the show that is produced by Judy Craymer, creator of the West End hit Mamma Mia!, and written by Jennifer Saunders in collaboration with the Spice Girls themselves. The documentary traces the five girls’ journey in their quest for fame, a story which is actually in parallel with the plot of the stage show. Featuring contributions from the Spice Girls themselves, some of the people who shared their experience including two of their mothers, and some of the songwriters who helped them with hits such as Wannabe, Stop and Who Do You Think You Are. The cameras also go behind the scenes at rehearsals as Viva Forever! prepares to open
9.00pm Trollied Sky1 – Christmas Special of the sitcom set in a fictional supermarket.
9.35pm Outnumbered BBC1 – The Brockman family have decided to foster a sense of community by throwing a Christmas party for their neighbours. However, as expected, festivities do not go as smoothly as planned. They are visited by some colourful guests, including, among others, an opinionated neighbour, a traumatised ex-weatherman and that most unwelcome of guests, a seasonal gastric virus.
9.40pm The Many Faces of Ronnie Barker BBC2 – A portrait of Ronnie Barker, a quiet dedicated actor who might have been a bank manager but went on to become one of the country’s favourite comedy stars. Ben Elton, Michael Grade, David Renwick and Josephine Tewson are among friends and colleagues who remember his genius. Famed as one half of the Two Ronnies and the likeable convict Fletcher in Porridge, he was also a prolific writer and admired actor in serious roles.
10.00pm Uncle Womsley’s Christmas Sky Atlantic -Animation narrated by Steve Coogan. This cautionary Christmas tale about love, greed and a giant crab features the voices of Julian Barratt, John Thomson and Julia Davis.
10.15pm Mrs. Brown’s BoysBBC1 – It may be a time for peace and goodwill, but there is trouble brewing in the Brown household this Christmas. Cathy takes exception to having her mother opening her mail and instigates a clever plan for revenge. Agnes is shocked when the annual nativity play is cancelled. She vows to stage her own Christmas play. The new priest puts his foot down – but nobody gets in the way of Agnes Brown.
10.30pm Friday Night Dinner Channel 4 – Christmas episode of the comedy series. t’s Christmas Day. Mum has made a fantastic Christmas dinner, although Adam is, as usual, a bit confused: ‘Don’t you think it’s a bit weird we do all this Christmassy stuff?’ ‘Why?’ Says mum. ‘Um, maybe because we’re Jewish,’ says Adam. The boys are delighted that Grandma is coming round, but horrified that dad’s mother – ‘Horrible Grandma’
2.00pm Top of the Pops Christmas Special BBC1 – Includes Robbie Williams, Coldplay, Girls Aloud, Rita Ora and Carly Rae Jepson.
4.35pm Room on the Broom BBC1 – Animated film telling the story of a kind witch who invites a collection of animals to join her on her broom, though her cat thinks it will get too crowded. Her new friends make themselves useful, however, when the witch is threatened by a fearsome dragon. From the producers of The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child.
5.15pm Doctor Who BBC1 – It is Christmas Eve, 1892, and the falling snow is the stuff of fairytales. When the fairytale becomes a nightmare and a chilling menace threatens Earth, an unorthodox young governess, Clara, calls on the Doctor for help. But the Doctor is in mourning, reclusive and determined not to engage in the problems of the universe.
6.00pm Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs ITV – Paul O’Grady returns to Battersea Dogs Home.
7.30pm Call the Midwife BBC1 – Festive instalment of the period drama. Christmas is coming, and in Poplar the midwives of Nonnatus House are busier than ever. When an abandoned baby is discovered on the steps of the convent, the whole community rallies round to provide food and clothing, and to try and trace his mother. Nurse Jenny Lee, meanwhile, gets caught up in the heartbreaking mystery that surrounds an elderly, semi-vagrant local woman, Mrs Jenkins. For newly married Chummy, other challenges await, as she pulls out all the stops to mount a truly memorable children’s nativity play.
8.45pm The Choir: A Year with the Military Wives BBC2 – Looking back at Gareth Malone’s project to set up a choir for the wives of Chivenor military base with interviews with Gareth and key members of the group. Following his first visit in February 2011, the choir eventually performed a specially written song at the Royal Albert Hall and went on to even greater things. This film looks back as the women of the choir visit 10 Downing Street, perform at the Golden Jubilee, win a Classical Brit and even launch a number one Christmas single. It also reveals the legacy of the choir, showcasing the charitable foundation established to provide supports for a growing network of military wives choirs across the UK, Europe and the Falkland Islands.
8.45pm Downton Abbey ITV – The family receive a warm welcome at Duneagle Castle when they visit Rose and her parents in the Highlands. But there is no disguising the tensions between their hosts. Back at Downton, Carson is determined to keep the servants working hard, but with a country fair coming up, will some be tempted to push their luck? Could romance be on the cards for Mrs Patmore?
9.00pm Alan’s Carr: Chatty Man Channel 4 – Alan is joined by houseband Mcfly, JLS, Hilary Devey and David Walliams.
The Royle Family BBC1 -. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Royles’, and Barbara has gone overboard with the presents, having spent a whole two hours in a pound shop. A new neighbour moves onto the street with an impressive cleavage, but will she be welcome on the sofa? In a flash of seasonal entrepreneurial spirit, Dave reveals the idea he intends to pitch to Dragons’ Den. Will it take off and make them rich? Or is Jim’s scratch card more likely to bring in the Christmas cheer?
8.00pm Blackpool: Big Night Out BBC2 – Documentary exploring Blackpool’s history as the beating heart of British entertainment.
8.00pm That Dog can Dance! ITV – Christine Bleakley presents the show where the nation’s most talented dancing dogs perform their unique routines in front of pooch-loving celebrity judges Bill Bailey, Sharon Osbourne and Ashleigh Butler. The judges will pick their top three performers but ultimately the studio audience will decide who who will get their paws on the trophy. Special guest Pudsey also shows why he was top dog in Britain’s Got Talent.
9.00pm – Miranda BBC1 – Third series of the sitcom beginning with a Christmas Special Penny is threatening to cancel Miranda’s Christmas if she does not sort her life out. Amongst other things, she forces her daughter on a detox. Stevie has a new executive job and Miranda tries to follow her in to an office job but it all proves too much. Meanwhile, are Gary and Miranda able to just be friends?
9.00pm The Girl BBC2 – Single drama about Alfred Hitchcock’s obsession with actress Tippi Hedren and how his obsession ruined both their careers.
9.00pm Doors Open ITV – Stephen Fry and Douglas Henshall star in an adaptation of Ian Rankin’s novel. Businessman Mike Mackenzie is incensed by wealthy patrons hiding works of art away in private collections. After an evening’s drinking with his close friends, art expert Professor Gissing and banker Allan Cruickshank, the trio devise a plan to rip-off one of the most high-profile targets in the country – Edinburgh’s private art collection owned by a national bank. By swapping priceless masterpieces stored in the gallery’s warehouse with brilliantly accurate forgeries Mike aims to save the paintings and win back Laura Stanton, the girl who broke his heart five years ago.
9.30pm Mrs. Brown’s Boys BBC1 – The second of the two Christmas Specials. Agnes Brown has finally been given permission to stage her own nativity play and is determined to put on the greatest show on earth. The only thing standing in her way now is local priest Father Damien who is insisting that Agnes makes some last-minute changes to her rather unusual script
8.00pm Racing Legends BBC2 – High-profile motoring enthusiasts retrace the steps of Great British racing legends. Hollywood actor Sir Patrick Stewart tells the enthralling story of Sir Stirling Moss’s glittering race career. The pair travel to Florence in a classic Gull Wing Mercedes to retrace the route of Italy’s most famous road race, the Mille Miglia, and discuss how Stirling’s near-fatal crash may have been the best thing that ever happened to him.
9.00pm Restless BBC1 – 2-part adaptation of William Boyd’s spy thriller. Ruth Gilmartin finds out from her mother that they have been living a double life. She is not respectable Sally Gilmartin but in fact Eva Delectorskaya, a spy for the British Secret Service who has been on the run for thirty years. Concludes Tomorrow.
9.00pm World’s Most Dangerous Roads BBC2 – Angus Deayton and Mariella Frostrup drive up Madagascar’s eastern coast during the tail end of the rainy season.
9.00pm Panto! ITV – Comedy drama set behind the scenes of a Lancashire pantomime production on its opening night. The awaiting audience is unaware of the real life tension and drama occurring backstage as local DJ Lewis Loud falls for soap starlet Tamsin, producer Di strives to realise her lofty ambitions, and director Francis tries desperately to hold everything together for the big night. A ramshackle cast including a faded theatre luvvie, a clumsy ex-pop star, and a nervous female lead can only lead to disaster during the dress rehearsal. Stars John Bishop and Sheridan Smith.
9.00pm The Restoration Man Channel 4 – Architect George Clarke returns for a new series of the show where he follows owners as they restore unusual, often listed buildings, by converting them into beautiful dream homes. To begin the third series, George meets James and Lois Denning, who inherited an historic estate which has been in James’ family for the last 234 years.
8.00pm Racing Legends BBC2 – Sir Chris Hoy tells the story of Britain’s first-ever World Rally Champion, Colin McRae. Along with Colin’s father, Jimmy, himself a five-time British Rally Champion, Sir Chris visits the scenes of Colin’s greatest triumphs. From exploring Colin’s roots as a Scottish trials bikes champ to driving the route of the Dakar rally over the dunes of the Sahara desert.
9.00pm World’s Most Dangerous Roads BBC2 – Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes pair up for a terrifying road trip through the former Russian state of Georgia.
9.00pm It’ll Be Alright on the Night ITV – Griff Rhys Jones returns to host a new edition of the popular Outtake series.
9.00pm The 50 Funniest Moments of 2012 Channel 4 – Stacey Solomon, Russell Kane, Rob Beckett, Katherine Ryan and a sackful of comedians and celebrities take a look back over 2012 at the funniest, most outrageous and quite frankly wrong moments that made 2012 what it was: everything from Boris Johnson dangling from a zip wire to the phenomenon of the hit single Gangnam Style.