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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Ali Catterall, Alexi Duggins, Phil Harrison, Ellen E Jones, Hollie Richardson, Katie Rosseinsky, Jack Seale, Hannah Verdier, Graeme Virtue and Danielle De Wolfe

It’s snowtime! Your bumper Christmas TV guide

Whats On Christmas special



Critics’ choice: Christmas Carole

A Christmas Carole.
A Christmas Carole. Photograph: Sky UK/Sky UK.

Bah humbug! Suranne Jones is our modern-day Scrooge (well, a businesswoman called Carole) in this adaptation of the Dickens classic. You know the drill: the notorious skinflint is visited by three spirits of Christmases past, present and future. This time, they’re all comedians – Morecambe and Wise are expertly impersonated by Jonty Stephens and Ian Ashpitel, Jo Brand barely acts and yet steals the show and Nish Kumar calls himself a “future” national treasure. As Carole’s reasons for hating the festivities become clear, the feature-length drama turns into a blubber-fest. But there are plenty of laughs and seasonal cheer, too. HR
Christmas Eve, 8pm, Sky Max


His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials.
His Dark Materials. Photograph: Patrick Baldwin/Bad Wolf/BBC/HBO

After a two-year hiatus, the third and final instalment of this well-loved adaptation of Philip Pullman’s fantasy novels is here. While Mrs Coulter (Ruth Wilson) keeps Lyra (Dafne Keen) captive, Lyra transcends to a dreamworld where she reunites with Roger (Lewin Lloyd). Meanwhile, Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) looks to recruit armies as the war against the Authority draws nearer. Enter Commander Ogunwe (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) as one of his potential allies. HR
Sunday 18 December, 7pm, BBC One


Strike: Troubled Blood

As he continues to try to solve the cold case of a woman’s disappearance 40 years ago, Strike (Tom Burke) spends this penultimate episode attempting to get an interview with a tricksy serial killer in Broadmoor. Could Strike’s unexpected interest in astrology come in handy? Taking a night off, he goes for dinner with Robin (Holliday Grainger) and her new flatmates – which ends with vomit. The finale airs tomorrow. HR
Sunday 18 December, 9pm, BBC One


The Handmaid’s Tale

“My plan is to bring your daughter home.” The penultimate episode of the series sees the military drafted in, in a bid to finally reunite June (Elisabeth Moss) and Luke (O-T Fagbenle) with their daughter, while Serena’s (Yvonne Strahovski) powers of manipulation are unrelenting. The finale airs at 9pm on Monday. DDW
Sunday 18 December, 9pm, Channel 4


I Hate Suzie Too

I Hate Suzie Too.
I Hate Suzie Too. Photograph: Tom Beard/SKY

Creators Lucy Prebble and Billie Piper bring back Suzie Pickles for a cracking three-part Christmas special – and the fantastically dark, surreal comedy-drama continues to cause panic attacks as Suzie attempts a comeback by taking part in a televised dance competition. She’s also reeling from her separation, not being able to see her son and accidentally getting pregnant. Luckily, old friend and agent Naomi (Leila Farzad) – with whom Suzie always shares the best scenes – is also back. HR
Tuesday 20 December, 9pm, Sky Atlantic


Tokyo Vice

Tokyo Vice.
Tokyo Vice. Photograph: James Lisle/BBC/HBO Max

Jake Adelstein (Ansel Elgort) leans into his innate geekiness tonight, as he fanboys his way into the confidence of a gangster. Elsewhere, things are becoming even more dangerous: an emergency yakuza peace summit proves that no one is above humiliation in this increasingly tense situation. PH
Tuesday 20 December, 10.40pm, BBC One


Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama

Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama.
Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama. Photograph: Marcell Piti/Channel 4

This year’s Wagatha Christie trial will be in the history books. The story of Rebekah Vardy’s libel case against Coleen Rooney – with its courtroom dissection of Peter Andre’s chipolata and analysis of how to argue with a pigeon – barely needs embellishment to make high entertainment. And so, this two-parter uses the real transcripts for a glorified reconstruction. But with Natalia Tena and Chanel Cresswell as the warring Wags, and Michael Sheen clearly enjoying himself as Rooney’s barrister, oh how glorious it is. The first episode hears Vardy’s side of things, while tomorrow’s concluding part sees Rooney refer to memes as evidence (including one of the two women’s faces Photoshopped on to Scooby-Doo characters). HR
Wednesday 21 December, 9pm, Channel 4



This intense German drama, which won best screenplay at Canneseries TV festival, continues its mind-twisting story about a boy called Jacob who claims to have lived a previous life as a pilot who died in a plane crash in 2006. In an intense late-night triple bill, rehearsals for the commemoration for the crash are under way, while Jacob speaks to a psychologist and Linn says goodbye to her mother. HR
Thursday 22 December, 12.10am, Sky Atlantic


Red Riding Hood: After Ever After

Little Red Riding Hood is all grown up and still bringing in the tourists to Wolferton with her organic wolf burgers. But when she sends her granddaughter, Red Riding Boots, out on the hunt, a wise owl (voiced by Dawn French) tells her mother nature isn’t very happy about all the wolves being killed – so Boots decides to head off on an adventure to save them. A fun family fantasy with some easy laughs. HR
Friday 23 December, 8pm, Sky Max


A Ghost Story for Christmas: Count Magnus

Another refined MR James adaptation from Mark Gatiss, aided by a very game Jason Watkins. He is voluble 19th-century flaneur Mr Wraxhall, nosing around the archives of a noble Swedish family. Despite some weird vibes from his host (MyAnna Buring), he becomes obsessed with unearthing the real story behind a cursed family tomb. GV
Friday 23 December, 10pm, BBC Two


The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

Animal magic: Tom Hollander, Idris Elba and Gabriel Byrne voice the empathetic and poetic creatures helping a lonely boy (newcomer Jude Coward Nicoll) cope with the world in this heartwarming all-ages animation. The real-life story of how cartoonist Charlie Mackesy came up with the bestseller this is adapted from precedes it on BBC Two. GV
Christmas Eve, 4.55pm, BBC One


The Smeds and the Smoos

The Smeds and the Smoos.
The Smeds and the Smoos. Photograph: BBC/Magic Light Pictures

Something for the little ones while dinner is cooking … On a distant planet, the red Smeds can never be friends with the blue Smoos. So when Janet Smed falls for Bill Smoo, their families must work together to overcome their differences. An animated version of the picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, with Bill Bailey, Sally Hawkins, Rob Brydon and Meera Syal among the starry voice cast. AC
Christmas Day, 2.30pm, BBC One


Call the Midwife

Call the Midwife.
Call the Midwife. Photograph: BBC/Neal Street Productions

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to Nonnatus House. This time, it’s December 1967 and Poplar needs cheering up: time for a talent contest! But lonely souls need help, too, chiefly a woman newly released from prison and frozen out by the local authority; and Rhoda (Liz White), terrified of giving birth again after her first child was affected by thalidomide. That the dramatic payoffs all involve pure kindness is deeply moving. JS
Christmas Day, 7.55pm, BBC One


Doc Martin Christmas Special

Is there something itchy in that Santa suit? Or is Leonard (Ron Cook) just infectious? Doc Martin (Martin Clunes) decides to shut down the grotto while he finds out – a characteristically Grinch-y move. But Portwenn’s close-knit Cornish community soon comes to the rescue, supplying abundant Christmas cheer for this, the last ever episode. EEJ
Christmas Day, 9.05pm, ITV1



Critics’ choice: Motherland

Motherland. Photograph: Natalie Seery/BBC/Merman

As ever, a cheerful antidote to festive sentimentality: the Motherland gang are having a typically (and recognisably) fraught Christmas. Julia has an awkward full house of guests including Liz, Meg has received a present from her husband that has made her doubt the foundations of her marriage, and Amanda is stuck with her ex. Satisfyingly sour. PH
Friday 23 December, 9.30pm, BBC One


The Play What I Wrote

Nestled in the middle of a Morecambe and Wise-themed night is a production of an Olivier-winning play paying homage to the great duo, filmed at the Theatre Royal in Bath. Just like Ernie Wise in days gone by, Thom (Thom Tuck) has written a play, but Dennis (Dennis Herdman) thinks they should do their M&W tribute act instead. Cue a very special guest. JS
Sunday 18 December, 8pm, BBC Four



Gyles Brandreth is holding up a mangled teddy bear and Chris McCausland is fondling a toy turkey: it’s Christmas, QI-style. Sandi Toksvig holds it all together, with Alan Davies and Aisling Bea also in the house. Brandreth turns up with Fozzy Bear and a sackful of facts, but the other guests bring plenty of comedy trimmings. HV
Monday 19 December, 9pm, BBC Two


Live at the Apollo Christmas Special

“Merry fucking Christmas! I am your gay Christmas tree!” Rosie Jones, in her multicoloured and tiered dress, is the best choice of host for this festive special of the standup show. Taking to the stage after Jones’s warm-up: Cally Beaton takes on the cost of living crisis as a single parent, then Eshaan Akbar talks deafness, public transport and supermarket Christmas adverts. All the good stuff, then. HR
Monday 19 December, 9.45pm, BBC Two



Outsiders. Photograph: ©UKTV/Steve Peskett

This amusing, albeit Taskmaster-adjacent challenge series concludes with a few more absurd outdoor activities. Phil Wang and Fatiha El-Ghorri find a loophole in a plumbing challenge. And a dummy of the host, David Mitchell, is laid to rest in a variety of charmingly morbid and occasionally outright sinister ad hoc funeral ceremonies. Good fun. PH
Wednesday 21 December, 10pm, Dave


Rosie Molloy Gives Up Everything

Rosie Molloy Gives Up Everything.
Rosie Molloy Gives Up Everything. Photograph: Tom Jackson/Hartswood Films/Sky UK/Tom Jackson

Rosie Molloy (Sheridan Smith) is dealing with the death of her dad using her usual nauseating cocktail of chainsmoking, cheap jokes, wine and yet more failed attempts to get clean. Perhaps, when reality hits at the funeral where they throw peanut M&Ms on her dad’s coffin (he had a peanut allergy), she’ll be propelled into making real change happen? Or not. HR
Wednesday 21 December, 10pm, Sky Comedy


Inside No 9

Simon Callow and Shobna Gulati join Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith for this year’s beautifully crafted chiller. Dr Jasper Parkway has booked an overnight stay in a “haunted” church but is joined by irritating unwanted guests. As we come to see, Parkway has very specific reasons for wanting to be left alone in this ancient building … PH
Thursday 22 December, 9pm, BBC Two


Live at the Moth Club

Backstage skits meet standup with more awkward moments from Hackney’s Moth Club in this hit-and-miss show. This week, George (Mark Heap) has double-booked the venue, but can’t shift the bingo players in time for the show. Performers include Tim Renkow, Katy Wix and Michael Odewale, whose sets are far better than the green room japes. HV
Thursday 22 December, 10pm, Dave


The Cleaner

The Cleaner.
The Cleaner. Photograph: Ricky Darko/BBC/Studio Hamburg

Greg Davies’s Paul “Wicky” Wickstead returns as this sharp, silly black comedy gets a Christmas special. As ever, Wicky is supremely unsentimental about his work as a crime scene cleaner: tonight, it’s Christmas Day but our hero finds himself facing the aftermath of carnage at an ice-cream parlour. Still, he might get a tasty peach melba out of it … PH
Friday 23 December, 9pm, BBC One


Meet the Richardsons at Christmas

Married comedians Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont deliver a two-part special of the meta comedy exploring what it is like living with Richardson, or at least the drainingly fastidious man who forms his comic persona. Jon wants a quiet vegan Christmas but Lucy has other ideas: Johnny Vegas is coming, and she may even have been drunk enough to invite Jason Donovan as well. JS
Friday 23 December, 10pm, Dave


Christmas Comedy Club With Lost Voice Guy

Comedian Lee Ridley goes all out for a festive special with (sleigh) bells on, including a Snowman-inspired opening sequence and an impressive lineup of famous pals such as Dara Ó Briain, Bill Bailey and Josie Long, who each deliver a speedy standup set. The mood may be very Christmassy but the best jokes (“Why I lean to the left has nothing to do with disability,” Ridley says, “I just can’t stand the Tories”) still have a bit of bite. KR
Christmas Eve, 10.40pm, ITV1


Ghosts Christmas Special

Ghosts Christmas Special.
Ghosts Christmas Special. Photograph: Guido Mandozzi/BBC

The festive special of this clever, charming sitcom combines daft comedy set pieces with real heart and soul. While travel problems cause Alison and Mike to spend Christmas Day in the car, the spooky residents of Button House are preparing a surprise for their hosts. But the core of the episode involves Alison’s present for Pat – an emotional gut-punch that will resonate powerfully with anyone remembering past times and absent friends in the festive season. PH
Christmas Day, 7.25pm, BBC One


Detectorists Special

Detectorists Special.
Detectorists Special. Photograph: Jack Barnes/BBC/Channel X

The greatest Christmas gift offered up by this year’s festive schedules is surely the one-off return of this entrancing comedy. Lance (Toby Jones) has his head turned by an exciting find and breaks his detecting protocols in a way that jeopardises his friendship with Mackenzie Crook’s Andy. And, as Detectorists has always shown us, for all the time-travelling revelations waiting to be found under the fields of England, friendship is the greatest treasure of them all. As ever, a small but perfectly formed nugget of redemptive and gently rapturous TV gold. PH
Boxing Day, 9pm, BBC Two



Critics’ choice: The Unofficial Science of Home Alone

The Unofficial Science Of Home Alone.
The Unofficial Science Of Home Alone. Photograph: Matt Frost/Fremantle/Sky UK

Would the Wet Bandits have survived those Home Alone traps in real life? They’re 10/10 lethal, says engineer and scientist Dr Zoe Laughlin, who proves her point by helping James Acaster and Guz Khan recreate stunts such as a blowtorch to the head (this time on a turkey in a woolly hat) and tins of paint to the face. HR
Monday 19 December, 9pm, Sky Max


The Weakest Link

It’s a Strictly special, which means professional dancers Karen Hauer, Kai Widdrington, Joanne Clifton and Amy Dowden join former celebrity partners broadcaster Dan Walker, comedian Jayde Adams, presenter Rhys Stephenson and singer Max George in swapping sequins for serious(ish) questions in a bid to win cash for charity. As usual, Romesh Ranganathan hosts. HR
Saturday 17 December, 6.20pm, BBC One


Strictly Come Dancing: The Final

Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal on Strictly Come Dancing.
Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystal on Strictly Come Dancing. Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA

From Tony Adams’s pulse-racing Full Monty to Fleur East’s full-throttle Beyoncé megamix and Helen Skelton’s ultimate revenge dance, it’s been another excellent series of Strictly. The four finalists (East and Skelton, along with Molly Rainford and Hamza Yassin) will perform a trio of dances: a routine of their choosing, one picked by the judges and a final show dance. It’s then up to the audience at home to get their votes in to decide the winner, who will be named by the end of the night. HR
Saturday 17 December, 7.05pm, BBC One


That’s My Jam

That’s My Jam.
That’s My Jam. Photograph: Trae Patton/BBC/Monkey Kingdom/Universal International Studios

Bafta winner Mo Gilligan gets his first primetime slot with this fresh dancing and singing celebrity challenge show. First up, singer Alesha Dixon and Drag Race judge Michelle Visage go head to head with Glee stars Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz. One of them must sing Rocket Man in the voice of Kermit the Frog, while another needs to catch a catapulted microphone. HR
Saturday 17 December, 9.35pm, BBC One


Cliff at Christmas

There’s a Richard celebration across the BBC this week, with a Radio 2 special on Wednesday and this festive show from Hackney Church. Both feature the 82-year-old chatting to Sara Cox at Abbey Road, but tonight’s gig will see him joined by Andrea Corr and more to revisit some classic Cliff hits. GV
Saturday 17 December, 9.35pm, BBC Two


The Jonathan Ross Christmas Show

Michael McIntyre might not be the present anyone particularly wants this year, but he’s joining Wossy for this festive special anyway. Minnie Driver, Big Zuu and Gordon Ramsay round off an eclectic lineup, while Adam Lambert of Queen provides the live music. HR
Saturday 17 December, 10.05pm, ITV1


Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow Christmas Special

Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow Christmas Special.
Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow Christmas Special. Photograph: Scott Kershaw/ITV

Grownups make guesses based on videotaped clues from inevitably adorable children: Child’s Play was such fun last time that Alan Carr has revived it here. Can the likes of Judi Love and Joe Swash get into the mindset of a six-year-old? Shouldn’t be too hard, should it? GV
Sunday 18 December, 7pm, ITV1


Sandi Toksvig’s Tiny Christmas

Sandi Toksvig’s competition, which celebrates making teeny-tiny things, returns for a special episode. Eight master crafters are set the challenge of transforming a doll’s house into a wintry retreat, filled with miniature Christmas trees, edible treats and yuletide trimmings. Interiors expert Laura Jackson and world record-holding micro-sculptor Dr Willard Wigan are on judging duties, ready to hand the winner a very small trophy. HR
Sunday 18 December, 7pm, Channel 4


Christmas University Challenge

The annual Christmas quiz kicks off with Soas University of London v Balliol, Oxford, in another round of the long-running trivia show that can make one feel infinitely superior, then incredibly gormless, in the space of seconds. Includes questions (“comfortingly difficult, although I’d say easier than in the student series,” withers Paxo) on Alan Turing, Tchaikovsky and the Crab Nebula. AC
Monday 19 December, 8.30pm, BBC Two


Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs – A Royal Special

Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs – A Royal Special.
Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs – A Royal Special. Photograph: Stuart Wilson/PA

Enlisting the help of a royal when rescue centres are having one of their busiest years because of the cost of living crisis might seem a little tone deaf, but here we go. Camilla, the queen consort – whose two Jack Russell terriers, Beth and Bluebell, are from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home – helps teach a blind dog new tricks, then asks Paul to bring some pooches over to a Clarence House garden party. HR
Monday 19 December, 9pm, ITV1


Between the Covers

“Zadie’s had more bestsellers than I’ve had fringe trims.” Sara Cox dissects a collection including Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s The Dance Tree and Us by David Nicholls. Joining her are Rick Edwards (after publicly, and stupidly, declaring he was going to read a book a week this year), presenter and proud slow reader Clara Amfo, comedian Sarah Keyworth and rugby union player turned pundit Ugo Monye. HR
Tuesday 20 December, 7pm, BBC Two


The Royal Variety Performance

Nile Rodgers and Chic.
Nile Rodgers and Chic. Photograph: Matt Crossick/PA

Get comfortable because they’ve packed a lot into this one. Nile Rodgers and Chic, Ellie Goulding, Sam Ryder, Becky Hill, George Ezra, Rita Wilson and Gregory Porter (phew!) provide live music. Then David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and Ian Broudie have a special treat as they’re joined by the Lionesses. And if you didn’t catch Cabaret or Newsies this year, the cast are here to give you a taster. Want more? Gary Barlow, Gareth Malone, the London Youth Choir and Andrew Lloyd Webber have an extravaganza to close with. HR
Tuesday 20 December, 8pm, ITV


The Traitors

As we reach the end of Claudia Winkleman’s treacherously addictive new series (the finale airs on Thursday), The Traitors promises to “turn the game on its head”. Given that this gloriously intrigue-packed series has already seen the reintroduction of contestants, protection shields and participants going on “trial”, expect fireworks. AD
Tuesday 20 December, 9pm, BBC One


Miriam’s Dickensian Christmas

Miriam’s Dickensian Christmas.
Miriam’s Dickensian Christmas. Photograph: Channel 4

Miriam Margolyes is a self-confessed Scrooge who thinks Christmas is too expensive to celebrate (“People buying presents for people they don’t like with money they don’t have” is a very fair assertion). Can the legacy of her favourite author, Charles Dickens, lead her to a newfound love of the festivities? From throwing a party to crafting decorations, she gives it a good crack. HR
Tuesday 20 December, 9pm, Channel 4


The Great British Sewing Bee: Celebrity Christmas Special

Will Strictly’s Johannes Radebe be able to resist the sequins box? Did EastEnders star Natalie Cassidy learn a thing or two about fabrics in Walford’s laundrette? Might Penny Lancaster be inspired by husband Rod Stewart’s stage outfits? Host Sara Pascoe tasks the trio with making a festive apron, turning a hand-me-down into a novelty outfit and creating a pop star-inspired fancy dress costume. HR
Thursday 22 December, 8pm, BBC One


The Nation’s Favourite Christmas Carols

All together now … The English National Opera’s choir and orchestra put on a concert at the London Coliseum, performing the Christmas carols voted for by the public. With a few celebrity faces promised in the mix, expect festive bangers such as We Three Kings, Joy to the World and Away in a Manger. Perfect for sticking on while making a start on wrapping those presents. HR
Thursday 22 December, 9pm, Sky Arts


Alison Hammond in at the Rich End: The Riviera

Alison Hammond in at the Rich End: The Riviera.
Alison Hammond in at the Rich End: The Riviera. Photograph: ITV

The magic of This Morning’s Alison Hammond is that she will chat to a Hollywood movie star with the same warmth, wit and ease as she would with the postie. That puts her in good stead for this low-stakes but high-entertainment documentary, in which she explores how the 1% lives in the French Riviera. “My mum always said never to speak about money … but are you doing well for yourself?” she casually asks a boutique owner who sells bags for £68,000. Later, she spits out a mouthful of caviar and says she’d prefer a bit of cheese to nibble on instead. HR
Friday 23 December, 9pm, ITV1


The Great Christmas Bake Off 2022

No soggy bottoms, no bingate, no tension: will a group of Channel 4’s finest faces prioritise fun over rivalry when they try their hands at baking? Ready to heat up their ovens are Gaby Roslin from The Big Breakfast, Brookside supremo Claire Sweeney, ex-Popworld cheekster Miquita Oliver, Tony “Baldrick” Robinson and The Word’s Terry Christian. HV
Christmas Eve, 8.25pm, Channel 4


Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Christmas Fishing 2022

In Norway, cod is God, such a driver has it been to their economy. In this hour-long special (and in their first excursion outside the UK and Ireland), the nation’s favourite anglers head for the fjords, aiming to bag some “Norwegian white gold”. And some halibut. There are cameos from Ulrika Jonsson and Freddie Flintoff, too. AC
Christmas Eve, 8.40pm, BBC Two


Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker!

Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker!
Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! Photograph: Johan Persson/BBC/Illuminations Media

Whether you’re a ballet devotee or a mildly interested newbie, Matthew Bourne’s dazzling reimagining of the Tchaikovsky classic, performed by New Adventures, is a real marvel. With its high-octane choreography and dreamy sets, refreshed for the show’s 30th anniversary by designer Anthony Ward, the Nutcracker’s sugar rush makes the perfect antidote to a Christmas afternoon slump. KR
Christmas Day, 1.30pm, BBC Two


Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special

If you haven’t already overdosed on Strictly content over the festive period, here’s the annual special. Taking part in the mini-competition are ex-Girls Aloud member Nicola Roberts, DJ Rickie Haywood-Williams, Sh**ged. Married. Annoyed. podcaster Rosie Ramsey, CBeebies host George Webster, actor Larry Lamb and Corrie star Alexandra Marshall. Plus, Strictly’s very own ghost of Christmas past, Bruno Tonioli, comes back to haunt the dancefloor. HR
Christmas Eve, 5.10pm, BBC One


The Greatest Snowman 2022

The Greatest Snowman S2. Judges Taslim Martin and sisters Emilie and Sarah.
The Greatest Snowman S2. Judges Taslim Martin and sisters Emilie and Sarah. Photograph: PR

Please TV gods, let this snowman-building competition show become a firm festive fixture. Fresh from his victory as a contestant last year, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen returns – this time to judge other celebrities’ creations. Gemma “The GC” Collins, choirmaster Gareth Malone, Inbetweeners star Joe Thomas and DJ Yinka Bokinni get into deep snow as they complete tasks at their resort in the Alps. Joining Llewelyn-Bowen on judging duties are British sculptor Taslim Martin and Swedish snow artist sisters Sara and Emilie Steele. Let the frosty fun begin. HR
Boxing Day, 7.30pm, Channel 4


The Repair Shop Christmas Special

The Repair Shop Christmas Special.
The Repair Shop Christmas Special. Photograph: Sarah Weal/BBC/PA

A show that might have been designed with festive sentiment in mind. This year, Jay Blades and his gang of crafty experts will be reviving an elderly tree that has sat at the heart of family Christmases for many years. They’ll also be reviving a battered trombone and amending a projector – which, of course, means the possibility of viewing footage of dearly departed loved ones. Gentle, redemptive and entirely endearing. PH
Boxing Day, 8pm, BBC One


The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2022

Jimmy Carr hosts the annual test of your news retention, with the platinum jubilee and the lengthy controversy around the publicity tour for the film Don’t Worry Darling likely to feature heavily. Answering the questions are BFQ veterans Richard Ayoade, Jonathan Ross and Katherine Ryan, as well as Rose Matafeo, Maisie Adam and Stephen Merchant. JS
Boxing Day, 9pm, Channel 4


Critics’ choice: Mary Berry’s Ultimate Christmas

Mary Berry’s Ultimate Christmas.
Mary Berry’s Ultimate Christmas. Photograph: AP

Twice-roasted potatoes, tiny cheese scones and a trifle made with tinned pears? Mary Berry is back with this warm hug of a festive cooking show. As well as showing us how to rustle up her easy(ish) recipes, she makes pumpkin tortelli with Angela Hartnett, takes Rylan on the hunt for brussels sprouts (the TV duo we didn’t know we needed) and tries Monica Galetti’s traditional Samoan dish palusami, which promises to “blow your Christmas mittens off”. HR
Monday 19 December, 8pm, BBC One


The Snowman: The Film That Changed Christmas

The Snowman: The Film That Changed Christmas
The Snowman: The Film That Changed Christmas. Photograph: Moviestore Collection Ltd/Alamy

It has become as much a fixture of a modern Christmas as Whamageddon. And on the 40th anniversary of The Snowman’s original broadcast on Channel 4, here’s the story of how Raymond Briggs’s classic was brought to the screen, spawning a hit single (which composer Howard Blake impressively bashed out while sitting on a beach) and giving children in more than 29 countries an important lesson in entropy. AC
Saturday 17 December, 5pm, Channel 4


Five Star Christmas: Inside Corinthia

The pressure is on as the expensive London hotel gears up for a festive season that will be its biggest earner of the year – but if everything’s not perfect, some of those wealthy patrons won’t be back next Christmas. In the restaurant, Tom Kerridge’s new menu requires the finest British beef and exquisite trimmings, with a nervy launch night in the offing; a big corporate party, meanwhile, has to wow guests as well as pamper them. JS
Monday 19 December, 8pm, Channel 4


Peter Kosminsky Remembers: Wolf Hall

Following the death of Hilary Mantel this year, Peter Kosminsky’s flawless adaptation of Wolf Hall is repeated on BBC Four from Monday. Ahead of a rewatch, listen to the director as he looks back on working with Mantel and the star-studded cast of Mark Rylance, Claire Foy and Damian Lewis. He also looks ahead to adapting the final book in the series, The Mirror and the Light. HR
Monday 19 December, 10pm, BBC Four


The Dog House at Christmas

Even the most hard-hearted Grinch will melt at the sight of Emori the three-legged German shepherd, as the Woodgreen Pets Charity continues its laudable efforts to match rescue dogs with suitable new owners. Also looking for permanent homes (and lots of Christmas treats) are wily fox terrier Ziggy and a friendly staffie-cross named Winston. GV
Wednesday 21 December, 8pm, Channel 4


Inside M&S at Christmas

This is not just a behind-the-scenes documentary examining how a major retailer prepares for their crunch month; this is an actual Marks & Spencer one. How does the storied brand plan to stay on top? The test kitchen is rolling out easy-cook turkeys and sprout gratin while their festive ad brings back a beloved double act. GV
Wednesday 21 December, 9pm, ITV1


Lionesses: Champions of Europe

Lionesses: Champions of Europe.
Lionesses: Champions of Europe. Photograph: Daniela Porcelli/SPP/REX/Shutterstock

This will be remembered as the year the Lionesses brought it home – the first time a senior England team had won a major football tournament since 1966. This celebratory documentary follows their journey through the eyes of manager Sarina Wiegman, captain Leah Williamson and team members such as Jill Scott, Ellen White and Lucy Bronze. Ian Wright and Alex Scott also share their praise, and explain exactly what a landmark moment this was for women in sport. HR
Wednesday 21 December, 10.40pm, BBC One


The King

For the first time in 70 years, a male monarch will deliver the royal Christmas speech. King Charles will no doubt pay tribute to his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as he addresses the nation. Concluding a particularly grim year, perhaps he’ll also give a mention to the three prime ministers we’ve had. HR
Christmas Day, 3pm, BBC One


The Alternative Christmas Message

If you were first to grab the remote control when the king came on, tune in to this alternative message instead. At the time of writing, the speaker is yet to be announced, but they’ll follow in the hallowed footsteps of Tom Daley, who last year used the spot to criticise Fifa and raise inclusivity issues in sport. HR
Christmas Day, 5.25pm, Channel 4


Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

Did you know an ear bone can tell you where your mother lived when she was pregnant? That’s just one of the fascinating facts revealed by forensic anthropologist Prof Sue Black and her glamorous assistant, TV’s Emilia Fox (who surely knows a thing or two about anatomy from her time on Silent Witness). They’ll carry out an autopsy on a 1,000-year-old skeleton in the first 2022 episode of this long-running science lecture series. EEJ
Boxing Day, 8pm, BBC Four


Robbie Coltrane at the BBC

From maverick psychologist to magical gamekeeper, Robbie Coltrane’s screen career was certainly eclectic. This affectionate retrospective, narrated by his two-time co-star Celia Imrie, takes in his early days as a comedy performer before celebrating his TV success and eventual leap into the Hollywood major league, courtesy of two huge film franchises – Harry Potter and James Bond. KR
Boxing Day, 9pm, BBC Four

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