What to Watch on TV This Christmas
Christmas TV is the best TV
The Traitors, 9pm, BBC One
The finale of this tense and twisted gameshow will air just before Christmas. The remaining players face their biggest mission yet as they’re offered a last chance to add more money to the overall prize pot. But will the Faithful be able to uncover who the Traitors are and share the money? Catch up on the full series on iPlayer now.
Skyfall, 8pm, ITV
Is Christmas really Christmas without putting your feet up and watching a James Bond favourite? 2012’s Skyfall is a popular choice and ITV have you covered. Bond pursues a mysterious criminal mastermind after a terrorist attack on MI6 headquarters exposes the identities of undercover agents around the world.
Celebrity MasterChef Christmas Cook-Off, 8pm, BBC One
Gregg Wallace and John Torode host the first of two festive MasterChef episodes. This time, it’s the turn of Happy Monday's Bez, athlete Iwan Thomas, pop star Josh Cuthbert and operatic singer Lesley Garrett to impress them. They’ve been asked to recreate and embellish two canapé recipes from ingredients found in a Secret Santa present box and prepare their favourite Christmas cocktail.
All Creatures Great and Small Christmas Special, 9pm, Channel 5
It's Christmas in Darrowby while the world is at war and everyone waits for important news. Siegfried is asked to pay a visit to an injured River just before a big race and makes an important discovery which Sebright Saunders uses as leverage to get River back on the racetrack.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Netflix
Daniel Craig leads a blockbuster cast as he returns with another Knives Out whodunit. World-famous detective Benoit Blanc is investigating a mystery in Greece surrounding a tech billionaire and his eclectic crew of friends. Watch the first Knives Out film on All 4 now.
Motherland: Last Christmas, 9.30pm, BBC One
One of our favourite comedies, we’re thrilled Motherland is back with a Christmas episode. Julia has a full house on Christmas Day, with the addition of Kevin and Liz. Across the road Meg questions whether her husband really knows her at all while Amanda spends the day with her ex-husband Johnny and his new wife Tamara. But things are looking up for Anne as she welcomes her mammy and cousins (all 32 of them).
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, 4.55pm, BBC One
Your children (and the whole family in fact) will enjoy this adaptation of Charlie Mackesy's popular illustrated book about a boy and his animal companions. Expect to hear the voices of Tom Hollander, Idris Elba, Gabriel Byrne and Jude Coward Nicoll.
The Great Christmas Bake Off, 8.25pm, Channel 4
Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding host a festive special of our favourite baking competition, doubling up as a celebration of Channel 4's 40th anniversary. Gaby Roslin, Tony Robinson, Miquita Oliver, Terry Christian and Claire Sweeney are the Channel 4 veterans competing for the title of Christmas Star Baker, and the show will end with a performance by the English National Ballet. But will anyone get a Hollywood handshake? Plus, don’t miss The Great New Year Bake Off at 7.40pm on New Year's Day.
Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Christmas Fishing, 8.40pm, BBC Two
Bob and Paul are on a festive fishing trip to Norway, travelling to Vesteralen and the Lofoten Islands in the Arctic Circle. Along the way Bob surprises Paul with some unique accommodation in the most remote locations, and they enjoy plenty of festive feats. They’ll be joined by Ulrika Jonsson and Freddie Flintoff to reminisce about their own very different and personal traditions of Christmas.
Christmas Comedy Club with Lost Voice Guy, 10.40pm, ITV
Have a laugh before you head to bed and Santa arrives. Consett’s Britain's Got Talent winner Lost Voice Guy, aka Lee Ridley, returns with his second Christmas special. Paul Zerdin tries to teach Lee ventriloquism, Josie Long has Christmas tips for all the family, Lee has a business proposition for Dara O Briain, and there’s music from improvisational rapper Abandoman.
Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, 5.10pm, BBC One
Still not over that fabulous Strictly Final? No worries as it's back for its Christmas Day special. Tess and Claudia present the annual special, which will see singer Nicola Roberts, DJ Rickie Haywood-Williams, podcaster and local lass Rosie Ramsey, actor Larry Lamb, CBBC presenter George Webster and former Corrie star Alexandra Mardell perform festive routines for the Strictly Christmas trophy. There's also a special performance from Bruno Tonioli. Anton, hold onto your judge's seat.
Ghosts Christmas Special, 7.25pm, BBC One
Mike and Alison head off to celebrate Christmas with Mike's parents, and Alison has left a gift for each of them in the library, with strict instructions not to open them until they return. The spectres are inspired to give her a special Christmas present in return, but can they pull off their ambitious plan in time?
Call the Midwife, 7.55pm, BBC One
It’s Christmas 1967 and the midwives are moving the clinic into new premises. There they treat Rhoda, who is nervous after her last baby was born with Thalidomide, and a heavily pregnant single mother recently released from prison. Fred has plans for a festive talent show to raise money for those still affected by the train crash. Season 12 begins at 8pm on New Year’s Day.
Eastenders, 9.25pm, BBC One
Even if you don’t watch it religiously like our Arts Editor, you have to admit Eastenders’ Christmas episode is always a must-watch if you want a bit of drama. And, personally, we’re gutted that Danny Dyer is leaving. Shirley and Linda are quite rightly surprised when Janine invites them for Christmas dinner, but the arrival of another unexpected guest leaves Mick wondering about the woman he is marrying (about time – it is Janine after all – he was warned). Meanwhile, Alfie is still trying to win back Kat and Jay has an important question for Lola.
The Witcher: Blood Origin, Netflix
Played games, stuffed your face and pulled the crackers… now you’re lost for something to do? Escape to a different world this Christmas. More than 1,000 years before the events of The Witcher, seven outcasts in an Elven world join forces in a quest against an all-powerful empire.
Big Fat Quiz of the Year, 9pm, Channel 4
This annual quiz is always on our Christmas watchlist. Hosted by Jimmy Carr, this year Stephen Merchant, Katherine Ryan, Richard Ayoade, Maisie Adam, Jonathan Ross and Rose Matafeo are quizzed on the events of 2022. Charles Dance, Jon Snow and the children of Mitchell Brook Primary School are on hand to help Jimmy with his questions. Get a pen and paper ready to play along.
Death in Paradise, 9pm, BBC One
Christmas in Saint Marie is interrupted by the murder of a true crime podcaster on the hunt for a missing child, linked to an old case of the Commissioners. Marlon is forced to spend the night in a haunted house and there are guest appearances from Les Dennis and Derry Girls’ Siobhan McSweeney.
Miriam Margolyes: Australia Unmasked, 9pm, BBC Two
In this new series, Miriam embarks on a journey Down Under beginning in Lutruwita, Tasmania, and questioning how a Fair Go could have begun in a place like this. As she makes her way from north to south, she learns about Tasmania’s rich history, and meets those still fighting for a Fair Go.
First Dates at Christmas, 9pm, Channel 4
At Christmas, this popular restaurant's guests include a portrait artist who wants a wife, a parish worker who loves a dad joke, the self-proclaimed Queen of Christmas, and a pair of students (one of whom has never had a relationship longer than three hours!)
Wednesday 28th December
Jon and Lucy's Party of the Year, 9pm, Channel 4
Funny couple Jon and Lucy eat, drink and get merry with some of their closest friends including Romesh Ranganathan, Judi Love and Tom Allen. They reflect on the highs and lows of 2022 and promise to make you laugh.
Thursday 29th December
Farewell Doc Martin, 8.30pm, ITV
Fans were left in tears following the final episode of the 10th series of ITV’s Doc Martin and in this special episode (narrated by Caroline Catz) cameras follow the cast and crew filming its final series.
Would I Lie to You? At Christmas, 8.30pm, BBC One
Christopher Eccleston, Sophie Willan, Guz Khan and Gloria Hunniford join team captains David Mitchell and Lee Mack on our favourite game show. Whose family hold a festive sweepstake to decide what time they will fall asleep on Christmas Day? As ever, Rob Brydon hosts.
Jools’ Annual Hootenanny, 11.30pm, BBC Two
Staying in? There’s only one way to see in the New Year, and that’s with Jools Holland. This year, the pianist and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra see in the new year alongside Andy Fairweather Low, Cat Burns, Gabrielle, George Ezra, Roland Gift, Ruby Turner, Self Esteem, the Real Thing and Rachael & Vilray.
Taskmaster New Year’s Treat, 9pm, Channel 4
This one-off special of Taskmaster invites presenter Carol Vorderman, DJ and presenter Greg James, Olympic champion Mo Farah, comedian and journalist Amelia Dimoldenberg and chart star Self Esteem to take on a series of bizarre challenges before Greg Davies decides who is the best.
Happy Valley, 9pm, BBC One
Sally Wainwright's crime drama returns for a third and final season in January. Sgt Catherine Cawood discovers the remains of a gangland murder victim in a drained reservoir and her grandson has his own ideas about the kind of relationship he wants to have with his father. Meanwhile, a local pharmacist gets in over his head when a neighbour is arrested.
Silent Witness, 9pm, BBC One
Another returning crime drama is Silent Witness. When a man is thrown from a high-rise building, the team cross paths with a notorious Italian crime organisation. As the investigation unfolds, Nikki soon finds herself in a sticky situation.
The Hairy Bikers Go Local, 8pm, BBC Two
In this new series, Dave and Si return to unite restaurants with local suppliers. They prepare a three-course meal sourced from local meats, tea and mead and meet a father-and-daughter team in Wales, whose restaurant Home serves an eight-course tasting menu.
Waterloo Road, 8pm, BBC One
It’s back. We haven’t stopped talking about the return of Waterloo Road since the news broke, and it’s finally time for it to hit our screens. We’ve got high expectations. Eight years on from the finale of series 10, it’s a new year and Angela Griffin’s character Kim Campbell, now headteacher, is dealing with a protest which is turning into a riot. Now grown up, former students Donte and Chlo are sending their daughter Izzy to the school, but who is the mystery person sleeping in the boiler room?