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Christmas TV Guide: New Movies and Christmas Specials to Watch This Festive Season

Christmas TV Guide: New Movies and Christmas Specials to Watch This Festive Season Clockwise from top left: The Hairy Bikers Coming Home for Christmas | The Velveteen Rabbit | Doctor Who Christmas Special | Call the Midwife Christmas Special
Staying in
December 2023
Reading time 4 Minutes

Doctor Who is back!

Plus, the return of all your absolute favourites for a festive extravaganza and new movies you won't want to miss.
What’s On TV
Ghosts Christmas Special | BBC Ghosts Christmas Special | BBC

Beyond Paradise Christmas Special & Death in Paradise Christmas Special

BBC One, Christmas Eve and Boxing Day
Settle down this Christmas for a special, feature-length episode of Death in Paradise, the hit tropical whodunnit show, airing on Boxing Day. And, for the first time ever, this festive season there will also be a Christmas Special for the spin-off series Beyond Paradise airing on Christmas Eve. Follow the beloved PI Humphrey Goodman as he swaps coconuts for cobblestones and cracks cases in England with fiancé Martha Lloyd.

Doctor Who Christmas Special

BBC One, Christmas Day
The first Christmas special for this British classic since 2017 promises to be out of this world. Airing on Christmas Day, this will also mark the start of the era of the greatly anticipated 15th Doctor, played by Ncuti Gatwa – we can’t wait to him get his teeth into the iconic role.

Call the Midwife Christmas Special

BBC One, Christmas Day
Set two weeks before Christmas with Apollo 8 about to orbit the moon, this special finds the midwives handling tricky situations including a poor soul with nowhere to go for Christmas and a treacherously heavy snowfall that could spoil the holiday celebrations.

EastEnders Christmas Special

BBC One, Christmas Day
Expect maximum drama this Christmas Day as the show finally reveals who was found dead in the flash-forward cliffhanger (which aired all the way back in February). With a list of potential victims a mile long, and a list of suspects even longer, this will not be one to miss.

Ghosts Christmas Special

BBC One, 23rd December
Get ready for one last taste of ghoulish fun this Christmas, as the hit comedy Ghosts returns for a surprise Christmas special following its fifth and final season this year. Get ready for lots of laughter (and maybe a few tears) as we bid farewell to the much-loved show.

Not Going Out Christmas Special

BBC One, Christmas Eve
Marking its 100th episode, join comedian Lee Mack for a Christmas Eve special that will see him try to have a ‘normal’ and stress-free Christmas, as havoc is caused by the care home resident he has charitably invited for the celebrations.

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special | BBC Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special | BBC

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special

BBC One, Christmas Day
Join our six new celebrities this Christmas Day, including England rugby star Danny Cipriani, Sugababes member Keisha Buchanan and EastEnders actor Jamie Borthwick to see who will be crowned Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Champion 2023.

The Hairy Bikers Coming Home for Christmas

BBC Two, 19th December
The Hairy Bikers are back and better than ever this December. This year, catch them in an hour-long special searching high and low for the very best seasonal ingredients to make a banquet as a thank you to everyone who has helped Dave through his recent illness.

Vera: The Rising Tide

ITV, Boxing Day
Based on the best-selling novel by Ann Cleeves, tune in on Boxing Day for a feature-length instalment of the beloved detective series Vera. This episode sees the detective investigating a high-profile death on Holy Island – but the apparent suicide of Rick Kelasall is not what it seems and the deeper Vera digs, the more danger she and her team will find themselves in.

Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2023

Channel 4
Get ready to laugh with the return of the long-running panel show that will test your knowledge on all things 2023. The show usually airs on Boxing Day and this year host Jimmy Carr will be helped out by guests including Charles Dance and the students of Mitchell Brook Primary School.

All Creatures Great and Small Christmas Special

Channel 5, 21st December
Titled On a Wing and a Prayer, the Christmas instalment of this much-loved period drama will see James struggle to decide between getting home to the very pregnant Helen for Christmas or staying at the RAF base to help their mascot, Georgie. Meanwhile, Siegfried and Carmody argue over who gets to be Father Christmas this year.

Taskmaster’s New Year Treat

Channel 4, 2nd January
Get ready for another instalment of the wonderfully wacky gameshow this January. The line up will include comedians Deborah Meaden, Zoe Ball, Lenny Rush and more as they compete to complete absurd tasks for the chance to win the coveted Taskmaster trophy (this year the trophy will feature Taskmaster Greg Davies’ eyebrows).

New Films to Stay Inside For


Sky Cinema
Starring Melissa McCarthy and Paapa Essiedu, this remake of the 1991 film Bernard and the Genie follows a workaholic at Christmas as he enlists the help of a genie to win his family back before it’s too late. Easy-going, feel-good fun for the whole family.

The Velveteen Rabbit | Apple TV

Your Christmas or Mine 2

Prime Video
Couple Hayley and James find themselves tested again by another chaotic family Christmas. A mix up in bookings finds the two families accidentally swapping accommodation, and lifestyles, on opposite sides of a ski resort for the holiday. Can their relationship survive another festive fiasco?

The Velveteen Rabbit

Apple TV
Based on the classic children’s book by Margery Williams, this feel-good film follows seven-year-old William as a toy rabbit he gets for Christmas unlocks a world of magic, adventure and friendship.


Netflix / Prime Video
From award-winning director Kenneth Branagh comes this semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale set in Belfast in the late 60s, a time of social and political upheaval. We follow nine year old Buddy as he and his family survive the violence of the times and face the difficult choice of whether to stay or flee.


Cinemas / Streaming
Watch the newest iteration of this family classic this festive season in cinemas and streaming now. Timothée Chalamet plays a young Wonka as he pursues his dream of opening his own chocolate shop. Faced by a cartel of vicious chocolatiers, Wonka must work hard to establish himself.

The Colour Purple

Cinemas / Streaming
You can enjoy another reimagined classic this winter with this musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel. Follow Nettie, a black woman living through the hardships of the American South during the 1900s, as she does what it takes to survive. Heartbreaking and uplifting.

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