It’s the most telly-filled time of the Year! Here’s our guide to Christmas 2019 and New Year 2020. Enjoy!
6.50pm Britain’s Favourite Christmas Carols Five – A countdown of the nation’s most beloved carols, as voted for by the British public. A cast of famous faces guide viewers through the results, giving their take on some of the most enduring songs ever written. In between the notes, a team of experts reveal the musical tricks, hidden histories and surprising stories behind these classic carols. Plus, a cast of community and professional choirs from across the UK perform the carols, alongside beloved performances from the TV archives.
9.20pm Jane McDonald’s Christmas Spectacular Five – The singer kicks off a new run of the musical show with a special Christmas episode. Celebrity guests Lee Ryan, Aled Jones and Russell Watson will be joining her to perform some favourite festive numbers, accompanied by a live band. There will also be stories celebrating unsung heroes, surprises for members of the studio audiences, and massive prize giveaways.
5.00pm Pride of Britain: Celebrating 20 Years ITV – Carol Vorderman, who is synonymous with the uplifting annual event, hits the road to visit some of the ceremony’s winners over its two-decade history.
5.10pm Carols at Christmas Five – Aled Jones, Rev Richard Coles and Josie D’Arby present a celebration of festive music, a feast of favourite carols sung by popular choirs from across the country, including the Military Wives Choir, Only Men Aloud and Chorus UK, performing at Cutlers’ Hall and Sheffield Cathedral.
7.00pm Mrs Dickens’ Family Christmas BBC4 – Sue Perkins explores Charles Dickens’ marriage through the eyes of his wife, Catherine – and exposes the reality of their festive family holiday, which was much different to the heart-warming versions he wrote about in A Christmas Carol. Focusing on the woman behind the man, Sue reveals parallels between the female characters he created and in his changing affections for his other half, explores the realities of Victorian marriage and follows Catherine’s recipe for a Twelfth Night cake.
8.00pm His Dark Materials BBC1 – Final episode of the fantasy epic.
9.00pm A Christmas Carol BBC1- Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight’s adaptation of Dickens’ classic, starring Guy Pearce, Stephen Graham, Charlotte Riley, Joe Alwyn and Vinette Robinson. A miserly businessman is visited by ghosts from the past, present and future on a freezing Christmas Eve and is forced to face the impact of his self-interested, penny-pinching behaviour on his own life and those around him. Continues Monday, Concludes Christmas Eve.
9.00pm The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan BBC2 – The comedian explores the Sahara desert, where temperatures rise to 50 degrees celsius. Guided by Bobo, a local of Berber descent who was born and grew up in the desert, Romesh Ranganathan discovers a place that is vast and inhospitable, impossibly bleak and beautiful.
9.00pm Secrets of the Mega Christmas Buffet Five – In August, Channel 5 broadcast a documentary about the JRC Global Buffet, one of the biggest restaurants in the UK which can serve as many as 3,000 people every day. Now cameras visit the Wembley branch to see how staff cope at the busiest time of the year. Christmas dinner with all the trimmings is on the menu in December, meaning the chefs cook an amazing 3,000kg of turkey as well as thousands of sausages and sprouts. But they also serve up festive variations on their traditional Asian treats too, going all out to make the experience as fun as possible for their customers.
6.30pm Pets Do The Funniest Things at Christmas Five
7.00pm Inside the Toy Factory at Christmas Channel 4 – A look at toy-makers around the world, revealing how they work hard year-round to ensure their product makes it onto countless children’s Christmas lists each December. Cameras visit the colourful creations of Crayola in Pennsylvania, the charming home of Steiff teddy bears in Germany and the fun-filled world of Top Trumps in the UK. Plus, there’s a tour of FAO Schwarz, New York’s biggest and most famous toy store, which is behind a proud new addition to Selfridges in London’s Oxford Street, its first UK outlet.
7.30pm The Goes Wrong Show BBC1 – The first of six 30-minute plays featuring the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society sees the cast taking on an overly ambitious endeavour – the story of Santa and his elves trying to bring festive happiness to a sad little girl. However, an already surly Santa indulges in too much Christmas sherry and contrives to ruin everything. Crackers explode, an elf is trapped for the duration of the show and the toy machine tries to eat the snowman. Prolific actor Robert Grove, screen-hogging Sandra Wilkinson and artistically mistrusted Dennis Tyde struggle to contain the chaos.
7.30pm The Christmas Letter Sky1 – Christmas-mad Henry tries to bring some much-needed cheer into a lonely old woman’s life. Festive animation, narrated by Kate Winslet.
8.00pm Gogglesprogs at Christmas Channel 4 – The young TV critics are back, giving their opinions on the TV highlights of the year; from Flirty Dancing to coverage of the Extinction Rebellion, as well as the much-loved Christmas movie classic, Elf.
8.00pm What We Were Watching: 1979 BBC4 – Grace Dent embarks on a televisual trip back in time as she immerses herself in the sights, sounds and schedules of TV from 40 years ago. As well as exploring what the nation’s viewers enjoyed watching on the box , Grace sees if she can beat that year’s Mastermind grand finalist, and sees how well she fares on The Generation Game’s famous conveyor belt game.
8.00pm Don’t Tell the Bride at Christmas E4 – Groom-to-be Steve from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, is given ú12,000 to plan every detail of his nuptials and give his fiancee the wedding of her dreams, while she relinquishes control of the big day. Emma yearns for an upmarket wedding that will impress all the guests, but Steve has ideas to theme the entire occasion on an animated Christmas movie loved by the family.
8.30pm Still Open All Hours: Christmas Special BBC1 – Granville tries to put the magic back into the festive season by practising a few conjuring tricks – but things do not always go according to plan and people keep disappearing. Eric and Cyril aim to persuade their wives to try Arkwrights’ special French custard, while Mrs Rossi invites Mr Newbold round for Christmas lunch. What will the Black Widow have to say when she finds out?
9.00pm A Life on Screen: Hugh Grant BBC2 – From his early days in comedy troupe The Jockeys of Norfolk, to his breakthrough role as Charles in Four Weddings and a Funeral, Hugh Grant has become one of Britain’s best-loved stars, with hits including two Bridget Jones movies, Notting Hill, Love Actually, and Paddington 2. More recently, he has turned his talents to television in the acclaimed drama A Very English Scandal, playing notorious politician Jeremy Thorpe. Aside from the Bafta-winning actor discussing his career, friends and colleagues including Andie MacDowell, Richard Curtis, Sandra Bullock, Colin Firth, Ang Lee, Stephen Frears and Nicholas Hoult also add their thoughts.
9.00pm Gordon, Gino and Fred: Road Trip: The Three Unwise Men ITV – Gordon Ramsay, Gino D’Acampo and Fred Sirieix reconvene after their European travels to rediscover the spirit of Christmas, heading to the unlikely festive destination of Morocco to see what the North African country has to offer in the way of culture, cuisine and adventure. The trio journey through the Agafay desert by camel, on through the mountains and end up deep in Marrakesh’s marketplace and souks, with their trip culminating in a festive feast inspired by their travels, the people they have met and the experiences they have had.
9.00pm 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown: Christmas Special Channel 4 – Jimmy Carr hosts a special Christmas edition packed with festive surprises. Sean Lock and Bob Mortimer take on Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont in the classic words and numbers quiz. They’re joined by guests Adam Buxton and Joe Wilkinson, and Countdown regulars Susie Dent and Rachel Riley.
9.00pm Classic Christmas Comedy Moments Five – Looking back at some of the most memorable comedy moments from Christmas specials over the decades, including Morecambe and Wise, The Office, Absolutely Fabulous and The Good Life. The programme also features contributions from celebrities and performers such as Barry Cryer, Lionel Blair, Susie Blake and Andrew Collins.
9.00pm Mark Kermode’s Oscar Winners: A Secrets of Cinema Special BBC4 – Mark Kermode celebrates one of the most perennial of all movie genres – the Christmas film. He unwraps a glittering selection of festive cinematic treats, from Hollywood blockbusters to family favourites, revealing the techniques and storytelling secrets that make them so successful. Touching on styles ranging from fairy-tale fantasy to high-octane action, family drama to horror, Mark considers how the best of these films are able to capture something magical – the Christmas spirit. But how do they do it?
10.00pm Live at the Apollo BBC2 – Sara Pascoe introduces a special festive edition of the comedy show recorded before a packed house at London’s Hammersmith Apollo, warming up the audience and then introducing routines by Chris McCausland and musical comedy double act Flo & Joan.
10.00pm Celebrity Crystal Maze Christmas Special Channel 4 – Catherine Tyldesley, Shirley Ballas, Gareth Malone, Scarlett Moffatt and Nish Kumar take part as Richard Ayoade guides them through the four zones, tackling a range of skill, mystery, physical and mental challenges The Maze Master refuses to enter into the festive spirit – especially when he discovers there is a Santa’s Grotto installed in the Aztec zone – with Richard Wilson playing Father Christmas.
10.00pm The Reluctant Landlord Sky1 – Festive edition of the comedy, starring Romesh Ranganathan.
7.30pm The Chase: Bloopers ITV – Outtakes from the gameshow.
7.30pm The Tiger Who Came to Tea Channel 4 – Hand-drawn animated version of Judith Kerr’s much-loved tale, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018. A tea-guzzling tiger turns up unannounced and eats and drinks young Sophie and her mummy out of everything in the house, even draining the water from their taps. Narrated by David Walliams, with David Oyelowo providing the voice for the big cat alongside seven-year-old Clara Ross as Sophie, with other characters played by Benedict Cumberbatch, Tamsin Greig and Paul Whitehouse.
7.30pm The Last Igloo BBC4 – Documentary following a day in the life of an Inuit hunter in Greenland, who builds one of the traditional ice dwellings while fishing through the sea ice. While igloos are no longer used as permanent homes, the traditional skills behind their construction are still used in building temporary shelters in the wilderness.
8.00pm Take off With Bradley and Holly BBC1 – Bradley Walsh and Holly Willoughby present a special Christmas family entertainment show, which offers members of the audience the chance to win the holiday of a lifetime to Lapland. The show will also feature special games, surprises and appearances by celebrity guests.
8.00pm Dragons’ Den: Pitches to Riches? BBC2 – Angela Scanlon discovers what happened to some of the most memorable businesses and entrepreneurs who have exited the famous Den doors over the past 17 series.
8.00pm Child Genius v Celebrities Christmas Special Channel 4 – The annual Christmas special of the game show for gifted youngsters returns, pitting more of the show’s cleverest contestants against a team of famous faces. In 2018, Jimmy Carr led the celebrity team to an unprecedented victory and now returns to defend his title alongside Jo Brand, Richard Bacon and Vick Hope. They will have their work cut out for them taking on 10-year-old spelling and memory master Dan, 12-year-old Latin scholar and chess champion Fabio, and Rahul and Nishi, two teenagers with IQs higher than Einstein.
8.00pm The Wonderful World of Chocolate At Christmas Five – Cameras follow the launch of the new confectionery department at Fortnum & Mason after a major refit. Plus, the history of Christmas chocolate packaging, and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of advent calendars stuffed with chocolate treats.
8.00pm Cinderella: After Ever After Sky1 – Cinderella has just married her Prince Charming, but soon has a rude awakening after realising married life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when you have an image-obsessed, floss-dancing, hip-hop rapping husband. She also fights to save the King from the scheming of her evil stepmother Madame Blackheart, and her conspiring and moronic stepsisters Dumbella and Rubella. Family comedy, starring Sian Gibson, David Walliams, Tom Courtenay and Celia Imrie.
8.35pm Inside the Ambulance at Christmas W – It’s Christmas Day and Richard and Adam help a family who tragically face the loss of a loved one, while Dan and Becky are called out to a baby with a worryingly high temperature.
9.00pm Gareth Malone’s Christmas Concert BBC2 – The choirmaster puts on a show for the hard-pressed staff at Watford General Hospital, who are among the 400,000 NHS employees who will be giving up their Christmas Day this year to care for patients. Responding to a message from the chief executive of the hard-working community hospital who wants to give her workers a much-needed festive boost, Gareth sets to work enlisting the help of staff, patients and family members to produce a spectacular concert full of wonder for everyone to enjoy.
9.00pm The Jonathan Ross Christmas Show ITV – He is joined by David Tennant, whose demonic role in Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens will be coming to BBC in the new year, as well as singers Rita Ora and Jamie Cullum, former X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne, Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two presenter Rylan Clark-Neal, award-winning Hollywood star David Oyelowo and comedian Bec Hill.
9.00pm Gogglebox: 2019 Highlights Channel 4 – Highlights over the year with armchair critics.
9.00pm Cruising with Jane McDonald: Christmas Special Five – The singer embarks on a Christmas tour of Norway by cruise ship, beginning her journey in Bergen, where she visits the world’s largest gingerbread city. She meets a swimming Santa on a trip to Scandinavia’s biggest natural aquarium, before venturing deeper into the Arctic circle to sample mead at a traditional Viking midwinter festival in a replica of a longhouse. Finally, she takes a snowmobile ride across the Russian border.
10.00pm Not Going Out: Christmas Special BBC1 – Lee and Lucy pop out on a last-minute Christmas Eve mission, leaving their youngsters in the apparently capable hands of Geoffrey – cutting more of a strict and stuffy Victorian gent than usual – and wife Wendy. Alas, things don’t quite go to plan for the outward-bound duo, as a theft and unexpected trip into deep countryside await. Not only that, but there are encounters with an aggressive bull in a field and a terrifying truck driver to endure. Meanwhile, back at home, Lee’s lovably feckless father Frank turns up to offer gifts – in his own inimitably festive way. Lee Mack, Sally Bretton and Bobby Ball star.
10:00pm QI: Christmas Special BBC2 – Sandi Toksvig hosts a festive edition of the panel game, joined by regular panellist Alan Davies and guests Johnny Vegas, Sara Pascoe and Josh Widdicombe. Among the fascinating topics discussed are the aquatic equivalent of a sheepdog, why ice is slippery, and how big Dumbo’s ears would have to be in order to fly.
10.00pm Martin’s Close BBC4 – In 1684, John Martin is on trial for his life, but this is not a cut and dried murder case because the young woman he is accused of killing has been seen after her death. Mark Gatiss’s adaptation of MR James’ ghost story, starring Peter Capaldi, Wilf Scolding, Simon Williams, Sara Crowe, James Holmes and Fisayo Akinade.
11.35pm Top of the Pops: Christmas Special BBC1 – Fearne Cotton and Clara Amfo present a festive edition of the programme celebrating the biggest hits and most successful acts of the year, concluding with the all-important Christmas Number One. The programme also features appearances by some of the hottest names in pop music, both in the UK and worldwide, including Lewis Capaldi, Labrinth and AJ Tracey.
2.25pm The Alternative Christmas Message Channel 4 – The presenter of 2019’s message will follow in the footsteps of history-makers and influential figures from across the decades, who have included Doreen and Neville Lawrence, 9/11 survivor Genelle Guzman, President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and child survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.
2.30pm The Snail And The Whale BBC1 – Animated adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s children’s book. It tells the tale of a tiny snail who longs to see the world and hitches a ride on the tail of a huge humpback whale. Sally Hawkins and Rob Brydon head the voice cast as the title characters, with Cariad Lloyd and Diana Rigg.
3.00pm The Queen BBC1 – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II delivers her annual address in the Christmas Message to the Nation and Commonwealth.
4.40pm Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special BBC1 – Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman present the traditional festive edition for Christmas Day, which sees the return of six old favourites from past series. Chizzy Akudolu, Gemma Atkinson, Richard Arnold, Debbie McGee, Joe Sugg and Mark Wright take to the dancefloor to perform special Christmas-inspired routines, with judges Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood giving their thoughts. However, it’s down to the studio audience to decide which couple should lift the Silver Star trophy.
6.00pm Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show BBC1 – The comedy star brings the latest series of his entertainment showcase to a conclusion with his annual festive special from the London Palladium. Tonight, global superstar Sharon Osbourne hands over her phone to play Send to All?, and Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood is woken up by Michael in the middle of the night for the Midnight Gameshow. Plus, another Unexpected Star puts on a spectacular festive performance.
6.00pm The Chase: Christmas Celebrity Special ITV – Bradley Walsh presents a festive episode in which celebrity contestants presenter Kate Thornton, reality star James Argent, comedian Lucy Porter and presenter Nik Speakman pit their wits against all five Chasers in the hope of winning a potential prize pot worth thousands of pounds. They must work as a team and play strategically to answer general knowledge questions against the clock and race down the game board to the exit without being caught.
7.00pm Call the Midwife: Christmas Special BBC1 – Mother Mildred declares that God is calling her to set up a branch house in the Outer Hebrides, so she is joined by several other members of the team, who have been struck down by flu and like the idea of convalescing in the fresh Scottish air. However, as they set about establishing an antenatal clinic and treating the local population, they must battle not only the weather and challenging terrain, but the suspicions of the islanders. Back in Poplar, Reggie is inspired to attempt a world record.
7.10pm The Great Christmas Bake Off Channel 4 – Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig host the first of two special Christmas baking contests. Contestants from past series will be taking part in the first set of festive challenges, under the watchful eye of judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood. The bakers are Tom and Yan from the 2017 series and Briony and Terry from 2018, and there is also a guest appearance by veteran rock band Status Quo, performing their classic hit Rockin’ All Over the World.
8.00pm Coronation Street ITV – The festive episode of the Weatherfield set soap.
8.30pm Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special BBC1 – One-off festive edition of the comedy, which returns after a nine-year break. The Shipmans travel to Wales to spend Christmas with the Wests, but for Gavin and Stacey, parenthood continues to present them with several challenges, and their `baby” is now nine. Smithy also continues to commit to his fatherly role, making the journey to Barry at weekends and every second Wednesday to see 12-year-old Neil the Baby. Nessa has adopted her own style of mothering, while Pam, Mick and Gwen have become the epitome of doting grandparents. On Christmas Eve, Dawn makes a shocking discovery about Pete that jeopardises their marriage – again – while a visit to the pub becomes an eye-opener in more ways than one. Starring Mathew Horne, Joanna Page, James Corden and Ruth Jones.
8.30pm Dolly Parton: Here I am BBC2 – feature-length documentary, directed by Francis Whately, that takes the audience on a musical journey through some of her greatest songs, including The Bridge, I Will Always Love You, and 9 To 5. Cameras also capture Dolly celebrating the 50th anniversary of her very first performance at the Grand Ole Opry, and features unprecedented access to the singer herself, as well as collaborators from throughout her career.
8.30pm Jamie & Jimmy’s Festive Feast Channel 4 – A special seasonal edition of Friday Night Feast, as the pair are joined in their pop-up bistro on Southend Pier by Taron Egerton, who helps Jamie and Jimmy prepare a festive feast for friends and family, and attempts to cook his first Christmas dinner. Elsewhere, Jimmy demonstrates how to prepare his take on pigs in blankets, and the pair head to a free-range turkey farm to discover the hard work that goes into getting the birds ready for Christmas.
9.00pm Who Wants to be a Millionaire?: Celebrity Special ITV – Jeremy Clarkson hosts a special festive edition of the quiz. Sports presenter Clare Balding, actor Stephen Mangan and Coronation Street’s Catherine Tyldesley each sit in the hot-seat, hoping to win ú1million for their chosen charities.
9.30pm EastEnders BBC1 – Hour-long Christmas edition of the Walford based soap.
9.30pm First Dates at Christmas Channel 4 – A festive edition of the dating show in which singletons meet up with possible partners at a restaurant in the hope of finding love, before deciding whether they want to take things further. This time, former bodybuilding champion Kieran goes on a date with 23-year-old student nurse Abi. Meanwhile, 67-year-old Suzy is set up with Fred, a fellow divorcee who is looking for some excitement in his life, and single mother Amy meets 29-year-old Geordie Scott.
9.30pm The Two Ronnies: The Unseen Sketches Five – Comedy clip show looking back at previously unseen material and songs by the pair from their series The Two Ronnies in Australia. For the first time, the sketches will be screened in their entirety, and members of the Barker and Corbett families recall how much the pair enjoyed their Australian venture.
10.30pm Mrs. Brown’s Boys BBC1 – Christmas is supposed to be a time for family and friends, so when it seems that this year Mrs Brown cannot please anyone, she wonders if it would have been better had she never been born.
10.30pm Kylie’s Secret Night Channel 4 – Fresh from her Glastonbury legends slot triumph and a raft of sold-out tour dates throughout the world, this one-off sees an audience arrive for what they believe is a Kylie-themed fan extravaganza hosted by Alan Carr. They’re actually going to be spending a secret evening with the lady herself. Over the course of the show, Kylie Minogue will treat her guests to the ultimate thank you through heartfelt conversation with Alan, memorable performances, surprise money-can’t-buy gifts, hidden camera VTs and funny stunts.
3.20pm Mimi and the Mountain Dragon BBC1 – Animated adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s children’s book about a brave but shy girl from a village that lives in constant fear of a terrible mountain dragon. On a snowy winter’s night, she finds a baby dragon asleep in her family’s woodshed, and sets out on a terrible journey through a blizzard to return the infant to its dreaded mother. Featuring an introduction by the author and a score by Oscar-winning composer Rachel Portman, performed by the BBC Philharmonic.
4.00pm Tenable All-Stars ITV – Warwick Davis presents a Christmas-themed version of the Top 10 general knowledge quiz. Joining him are a star-studded team of panto celebrities – Debbie McGee, Louie Spence, Paul Chuckle, Rustie Lee and Paul Zerdin – who’ll be taking on the Tenable Tower for the chance to win ú125,000 for their chosen charities.
6.20pm Worzel Gummidge: The Scarecrow of Scatterbrook BBC1 – City children Susan and John are spending their summer at Scatterbrook Farm, where they are amazed to discover the scarecrow of Ten Acre Field can come to life. But it seems this extraordinary new friendship has thrown the rhythm of the natural world out of kilter and now they must work to put things right. Mackenzie Crook writes, directs and stars in the first of two new dramas based on the books by Barbara Euphan Todd – last adapted 40 years ago in the popular ITV series with Jon Pertwee. Co-starring Steve Pemberton, Rosie Cavaliero and Vicki Pepperdine. Continues Tomorrow at 7.00pm
9.00pm Paddington: The Man Behind the Bear BBC2 – Documentary that explores where the original stories came from. Creator Michael Bond drew on his wartime memories of evacuee children to shape the story of the little bear from darkest Peru, while his literary agent, who came from a Jewish family who fled the Nazis, inspired Paddington’s kindly friend Mr Gruber. Featuring interviews with Michael Bond’s family, friends and celebrity admirers, including Stephen Fry, Bernard Cribbins and Heston Blumenthal, and readings by Hugh Bonneville.
9.00pm One Foot in the Algarve BBC4 – Another chance to see the classic Christmas Special. The Meldrews embark on a two-week holiday in Portugal in David Renwick’s feature-length special from 1993. However, there are one or two disasters Victor does not quite believe, such as rising damp, a plague of mice and a troublesome boxer – not forgetting the dreaded donkeys. Guest starring Joan Sims and Peter Cook.
9.00pm The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2019 Channel 4 – Jimmy Carr welcomes Dara O Briain, Maya Jama, Asim Chaudhry, Roisin Conaty, Richard Ayoade and Noel Fielding to the end-of-year celebrity panel game, putting their knowledge of the past 12 months to the test. On hand to help are Jon Snow, Mitchell Brook Primary School and a whole host of celebrity question-setters.
9.00pm A Small Hand Five – Single drama starring Douglas Henshall as Adam Snow, an antique book dealer who finds himself haunted by the ghost of a young boy. Even as Adam investigates the strange occurrences, he is plagued by nightmares as he receives further, increasingly sinister visits from the ghost, ultimately revealing a haunting secret from his own childhood
9.30pm Would I Lie To You At Christmas? BBC1 – Rob Brydon hosts a festive edition of the comedy panel show in which the participants aim to hoodwink their opponents with absurd facts and plausible lies about themselves in a bid to secure victory. Joining team captains David Mitchell and Lee Mack for the Christmas fun are Liz Bonnin, Stephen Merchant, Sharon Osbourne and Ranj Singh.
8.00pm The World’s Most Expensive Cruise Ship Five – Yuletide life on the world’s most expensive cruise ship, the Seven Seas Explorer. It might be 30 degrees as the ship basks in the sunshine of Miami, the Cayman Islands and Mexico, but that doesn’t prevent Cruise Director John from donning his Santa suit and warming up the vocals for his special Christmas show. In the four galleys, the vessel’s 88 cooks frantically prepare the most luxurious food at sea, as the guests enjoy excursions to meet Stingrays in the Caribbean sea and explore the jungles of Mexico on quad bikes. Staff, meanwhile, prepare the Explorer’s refurbished, opulent spa for its big launch.
8.30pm A Question of Sport at 50 BBC1 – Documentary looking at how the quiz show has evolved since it was first shown in January 1970 to remain successful in the present day.
9.00pm Richard Osman’s World Cup of the Decade Channel 4 – The presenter, producer, director and novelist looks back and celebrates the very best of the past 10 years across various categories including film, TV show, song, celebrity and one called `new thing’. He is joined by a number of well-known guests including Jon Richardson, Lorraine Kelly, Alex Brooker and Rhianna Dhillon to discuss the potential toppers, before revealing the ultimate winner in each group.
9.30pm Have I Got News For You? BBC1 – A compilation of the popular news looking back at the big news of 2019.
9.30pm Most Shocking Celebrity Moments 2019 Five – A countdown of the 40 naughtiest, sauciest stories of the year, featuring archive and interviews with the key participants and celebrity fans. There is little doubt it has been a busy few months, from Megan and Harry’s turbulent year with the media to the break-up of Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, with Coleen Rooney’s online `Wagatha Christie” sleuthing actions providing amusement to some.
Saturday 28th December 2019
7.45pm The Celebrity Hitlist BBC1 – Teaming up to play are comedian Susan Calman with Radio 1 DJ Melvin Odoom; former Footballer and rap star John Barnes with Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, and football pundit and presenter Chris Kamara with DJ Vick Hope.
9.00pm Wisting BBC4 – Norwegian crime drama, starring Sven Nordin and Carrie-Anne Moss. William Wisting, a widowed senior detective in the Norwegian coastal town of Larvik, leads a murder investigation after a body is found in snow underneath a Christmas tree. The clothes on the corpse show that the person killed was an American, and an FBI team is immediately flown in and an international hunt for the killer begins.
9.15pm Mystify: Michael Hutchence BBC2 – Profile of the INXS singer, featuring footage from private home movies and contributions by his friends and family to delve beneath the public persona of the charismatic frontman. The film also examines the traumatic brain injury he suffered in 1992, which caused him to lose his senses of smell and taste, along with the onslaught of tabloid press scrutiny due to his relationship with Paula Yates in the mid-1990s, before his death in November 1997.
Sunday 29th December 2019
6.00pm Quizmaster ITV – Entertainment show hosted by Jeremy Vine pits high-profile contestants on major TV quiz programmes against each other to find out who is king or queen of TV game shows. Among the familiar faces competing are actor Shaun Williamson, who won Celebrity Mastermind, Isabelle Heward who won Mastermind in 2017, Egghead Pat Gibson who won £1 million on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and his Eggheads teammate Kevin Ashman, a former Mastermind champion who holds the record for the highest score ever, Ailsa Watson who was Fifteen-to-One Grand Final winner in 2015, as well as Eric Monkman and Bobby Seagull, who achieved success on University Challenge. Contestants are eliminated in each round, until just two remain to go head-to-head in a climactic final.
8.00pm Snow Cats & Me BBC2 – The first of two programmes in which wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan documents returning lynx liberated from the fur trade to the wild in Russia’s Ural mountains. The programme follows two lynx who have spent years living in steel cages and being bred for their kittens’ fur. They regain the strength to survive, and even have their first kittens born in the wild – but may have lost the skills needed to raise them. They are joined by two more lynx kept as pets that have never been outside. Continues Tomorrow at 9.00pm.
9.00pm The Trial of Christine Keeler BBC1 – Fact-based drama, starring Sophie Cookson, Ben Miles, James Norton, Ellie Bamber and Emilia Fox about the political scandal engulfing 1960s Britain known as the Profumo affair, which took place at the height of the Cold War and led to fears of a national security breach. At the centre of the storm was Secretary of State for War John Profumo’s brief sexual relationship with 19-year-old Christine Keeler, a young woman whom the powerful, male-dominated establishment sought to silence and exploit, but who refused to play by their rules. Continues Tomorrow Night at 9.00pm.
9.00pm Top Gear Nepal Special BBC2 – The team sets off on a high-altitude trek from Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, to the Forbidden City of Lo Manthang, a secretive kingdom perched high on the Tibetan plateau, on the far side of the Himalayas. On a five-day expedition through the highest mountains, deepest gorges and harshest terrain on the planet, Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris battle huge river crossings, vast mudslides and dizzying mountain passes on a trip that would test even the hardiest new 4x4s to the limit. But Paddy, Freddie and Chris aren’t crossing the Himalayas in new 4x4s. They’re crossing the Himalayas in a small old Peugeot, a very compact old Renault, and Nepal’s first (and only) home-built car.
9.00pm Peter Kay: In His Own Words Five – Celebrating the life and career of the comedian, featuring interviews with the man himself as well as friends and colleagues Pete Waterman, Jenny Powell and Bobby Davro.
9.00pm Murder in the Bayou Sky Crime – Five-part true crime documentary series that investigates the unsolved murders of 8 women whose bodies were discovered in drainage canals and on desolate back roads in and around Jennings, Louisiana. In examining the lives of the young victims the series uncovers secrets of this troubled town. These discoveries lead to even more shocking accusations by victims’ relatives and friends of corruption, bad actors and institutional injustices that have left the town still searching for truth.
Monday 30th December 2019
7.00pm Snow Animals BBC1 – Liz Bonnin introduces a cast of charismatic animals to reveal the remarkable strategies they use to survive, and even thrive, in the winter. Preparations start in autumn for Siberian chipmunks, which collect food in their cheek pouches to stockpile in their burrows, while caribou make an epic journey to new feeding areas away from the worst weather. With the arrival of winter, the American bobcat has to find its prey beneath deep snow, an arctic fox relies on its wits to find a meal, and a sea otter keeps its cub warm by blowing air into its coat.
8.00pm Only Connect BBC2 – Victoria Coren Mitchell presents the first of four special editions of the quiz, with two teams from previous series with a connection to travel returning to do battle once more. Travel enthusiasts the Globetrotters take on Eurovision Song Contest aficionados the Eurovisionaries, trying to draw connections between things which, at first glance, seem utterly random, with one set of clues comprising Heavy-stone, Baggy-root, Commission-man, and Sandwich-table.
8.00pm Supershoppers: Christmas Sales Channel 4 – Sabrina Grant and Helen Skelton investigate the tricks that retailers use to get people to spend, and offer advice on how to get the best deals in seasonal sales
9.00pm Alan Carr’s Celebrity Re-Play 2019 ITV – Alan is hosting a games night that sees six celebrities take seats on his sofas for a raucous entertainment show which looks back at the good, the cringe and the unbelievable events of the year. Expect hilarious clips, must-see virals, comedy moments, surprise guests and one celebrity couple having the chance to win £25,000 for charity.
10.00pm Frankie Boyle’s New World Order BBC2 – The comedian returns with his end of year special, with guests Sara Pascoe and Miles Jupp helping him dissect the bewildering year that was 2019. The show features a mix of Frankie’s stand-up, reviews and discussion – all in an attempt to make sense of the last 12 months, which has seen Boris Johnson succeed Theresa May as prime minister, the further delay of the UK’s exit from the European Union, the announcement of a general election and impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump getting underway.
10.00pm Searching for Sam: Adrian Dunbar on Samuel Beckett BBC4 – Thirty years after the playwright’s death in Paris at the age of 83, Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar explores the life and work of Samuel Beckett to find out about the man behind Waiting for Godot. Although born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, he was a resident of Paris for most of his adult life, writing in both French and English, and was awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature for his work.
10.45pm The Best of 2010-2015 Wipe with Charlie Brooker BBC2 – Highlights of the annual programmes in which the Black Mirror creator looked back over the first five years of the decade.
New Year’s Eve
8.00pm Jane McDonald & Friends Five – The singer presents a New Year’s edition of the musical show, and is joined by guests including Tony Christie, Lighthouse Family, Heather Small and Chesney Hawkes, who will all be performing classic hits alongside the show’s house band. There will also be the usual selection of stories celebrating unsung heroes, surprises for members of the studio audiences, and massive prize giveaways.
9.00pm The Last Leg Of The Year Channel 4 – Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker present a two-hour New Year’s special, taking a look back at the highs and lows of 2019 in the company of a selection of celebrity guests, including Sue Perkins, Sara Pascoe, Tom Davis and Rosie Jones. Johnny Vegas is on hand to man the studio’s bar and keep the drinks flowing, while house band The Horne Section provide the music. Alex takes on his most daring challenge to date when he trains to become a racing driver, aiming to become the first disabled person in history to complete a high-speed lap in a racing car at Donington Park.
9.05pm Dame Edna Rules the Waves BBC1 – Barry Humphries’ comic alter ego follows this year’s farewell tour with a star-studded New Year special, filmed in front of a studio audience. Guests dropping by to ring in 2020 include Sharon Osbourne, Rob Rinder and Emily Atack, while Nile Rodgers and Chic will be providing the music. The show will also feature a trip aboard Dame Edna’s luxury yacht, which sails under the command of captain Rudolph Walker, with the help of onboard chef Rick Stein, eco-warrior Anita Rani and a special appearance by Strictly Come Dancing’s Joe Sugg.
10.20pm The Graham Norton Show: New Year’s Eve Special BBC1 – Graham is joined for his special New Year’s show by Tom Hanks, who discusses playing beloved American children’s TV presenter Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Other guests dropping by to help Graham ring in the New Year include Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse and Line of Duty star Stephen Graham, while music is provided by Melanie C featuring Sink the Pink, performing new single High Heels.
11.15pm Jools Holland Hootenanny BBC2 – the New Year on television. He and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra take centre stage in providing the soundtrack to seeing out the old year and welcoming in the new. Joining Jools on this year’s Hootenanny are Stormzy, Brittany Howard, La Roux, Rick Astley, Tom Walker, YolanDa Brown, Stereophonics, Melanie, Eddi Reader, Pauline Black and Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson from The Selecter, Joseph, Ruby Turner, and the Pipes And Drums of The 1st Battalion Scots Guards.
11.25pm Craig David Rocks Big Ben BBC1 – The singer-songwriter performs live at London’s Central Hall Westminster in a concert to ring in the New Year. The performance continues after the traditional fireworks display.
New Year’s Day
5.45pm Miranda: My Such Fun Celebration BBC1 – Marking a decade since the sitcom first appeared on screen, the cast of the award-winning comedy series reunite in a special show at the London Palladium. A whole host of treats and surprises are lined up as they look back over a decade of fun, friendship, romance and all that made millions of fans connect with this unique and very special sitcom. With Miranda at the helm, they also share some of their fondest memories of the show, along with a series of behind-the-scenes tales.
6.55pm Doctor Who BBC1 – The time traveller returns for a fresh set of adventures. When intelligence agents around the world come under attack from alien forces, MI6 turns to the only people who can help – a certain Doctor and her companions. As they travel the globe in pursuit of answers, threats arrive from all sides, leaving Earth’s security resting on the team’s shoulders. But where will this planet-threatening conspiracy lead them? Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole, Bradley Walsh and Mandip Gill star, with guest appearances from Stephen Fry and Lenny Henry.
7.40pm The Great British Bake Off Channel 4 – The cast of Channel 4’s Derry Girls take on the Bake Off tent.
9.00pm Dracula BBC1 – Three-part drama adapatation from the team behind Sherlock. In 1897, English lawyer Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to meet a new client, Count Dracula. Harker finds himself trapped in the ancient, terrifying castle, and it soon becomes clear that the Count himself is not living at all. Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic, starring Claes Bang, John Heffernan and Dolly Wells. Continues Tomorrow and concludes Friday.
9.00pm Earth’s Tropical Islands BBC2 – David Harewood narrates a documentary exploring three of the most exotic and remote islands on the planet, beginning with the unique and extraordinary wildlife of Madagascar.
9.00pm Bancroft ITV – Second series of the crime drama starring Sarah Parish. Newly promoted Detective Chief Superintendent Elizabeth Bancroft (Sarah Parish) returns heading up a new merged police service. Revered by colleagues and delivering impressively low crime figures, Bancroft is riding a professional high. However, this success comes at a great cost as she’s left isolated and estranged from her beloved son Joe and facing increasing pressure from her dangerous pact with crime boss Daanish Kamara. When a disturbing double murder brings her personal and professional life crashing together, she is forced to confront a chilling new enemy. With threats closing in from all sides, the repercussions of her past actions will come back to haunt her in ways she could never have expected.
10.30pm Mrs Brown’s Boys BBC1 – New Year’s Special.
Thursday 2nd January 2020
8.00pm Britain’s Best Home Cook BBC1 – Claudia Winkleman hosts the return of the competition in which 10 home cooks move into a shared house and compete in a series of weekly challenges designed to demonstrate their flair, skill and creativity. There is also a new addition to the judging line-up as Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett joins home cooking queen Mary Berry and produce expert Chris Bavin
8.00pm Last-Minute Holiday Secrets Unpacked Channel 4 – Presenter Scarlette Douglas discovers the secrets of successfully booking last-minute holidays.
9.00pm The Big Fat Quiz of the Decade Channel 4 – Jimmy Carr is the question master as Claudia Winkleman, Nish Kumar, Joe Lycett, Alan Carr, Stacey Solomon and Jonathan Ross compete for the Big Fat Quiz crown. Big Fat Quiz regulars Jon Snow and Charles Dance are among the famous question setters putting the teams through their paces as we celebrate the last decade.
11.00pm Imagine… BBC1 – Lenny Henry: Young, Gifted And Black. Alan Yentob follows one of our best loved performers as he releases his first autobiography charting his early years in show business.
Friday 3rd January 2020
7.30pm A Question of Sport: 50 Not Out BBC1 – Regular team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell are joined by a stellar line up of guests. Former a Question of Sport team captain, Ally McCoist, returns to join Phil’s team, alongside Rugby League legend Martin Offiah.Joining Matt on his team are Dame Laura Davies, Britain’s most prolific female golfer, and Britain’s most successful gymnast, Beth Tweddle. This one-off edition will test the teams sporting knowledge on the past five decades of sport, as well as revisit some of the show’s funniest moments.
8.00pm Jamie & Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4 – Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty are back at the end of Southend Pier, kicking off Friday night with good food, great chat, and celebrity fun and games. To start the new run, they welcome a culinary hero as national treasure Mary Berry joins them to keep an eagle eye on proceedings in the kitchen. The boys take Mary on a trip down memory lane, recreating a nostalgic seafood feast inspired by her happy family holidays in the West Country. They bring together all the ingredients that helped make Mary’s family trips so special, including a stuffed whole trout, potted shrimp and a retro crab cocktail, plus local bread from her favourite bakery. Jimmy tries his luck at winning ‘star baker’ by rustling up a gorgeously gooey mozzarella and pesto bread. Jamie reinvents the classic beef wellington for two.Out and about, the boys find themselves on the front line of cooking, taking part in a training exercise with the No 3 Mobile Catering Squadron at RAF Wittering.
8.00pm Secret Scotland Five – Susan Calman returns to discover the big stories and untold tales behind Scotland’s beloved spots, with privileged access to some of the country’s most famous locations.
9.00pm Gogglebox: Festive Special Channel 4 – The nation’s favourite armchair critics cast their eyes over this year’s biggest and best Christmas TV shows, watching hits from the festive season including classic movies, exciting new dramas and some of telly’s biggest treats.
Holidaying with Jane McDonald Five – The singer, with the help of a rotating cast of famous guests, travels the globe to sample dream holidays. On a sight-seeing safari tour on the Greek Island of Corfu, Jane enjoys a local liqueur at a kumquat distillery, before being whisked away on a speedboat tour of the western coast. Her first guest is TV presenter and former Strictly winner Ore Oduba, who indulges in a luxury three-day tour of the Lake District. Finally, former royal reporter Jennie Bond takes her best friend Sue on a fun trip to Portugal’s vibrant capital, Lisbon.
10.35pm In Search of Dracula with Mark Gatiss BBC2 – Mark Gatiss explores and celebrates the icon of popular culture. He begins at Orava Castle in Slovakia, as used in the classic vampire film Nosferatu, then heads to the London Library on the trail of Bram Stoker’s newly discovered research literature. In Philadelphia, he studies Stoker’s hand-written notes and examines the abandoned ideas, plotlines and characters that went on to become this world-famous story. Mark also meets with actors, experts and historians as he explores the Count’s transition from page to screen – and even manages to reunite seven Hammer brides. Contributors include the latest Dracula, Danish actor Claes Bang.
11.00pm Graham Norton’s Good Showbiz Guide BBC1 – Sometimes the best thing in a talk show is the business in-between. Here, some of the world’s biggest stars prove they can do so much more than chat when they are on the famous red sofa. Examples include Tom Cruise directing a dangerous action sequence with members of the audience, Margot Robbie demonstrating her tattooing skills, Chris Pratt showing off his magic tricks, Will Smith and Kevin Hart motivating the people. Plus, Taylor Swift faces the massed ranks of her Twitter fans, Dwayne `The Rock” Johnson delivers his well-known catchphrase in style, Tom Hanks reprises his most famous role and Olivia Colman showcases her majestic voice.