‘Tis the season to grab a glass of vino, snuggle up on the sofa (extra blankets this year) and hang out with the fam in front of the tele. And to avoid those inevitable arguments this Christmas about what to watch, we’ve put together some of the best TV highlights to check out this year – entertainment guaranteed! From BBC Christmas specials to this winter’s ITV dramas, here are our picks.
1. Great Christmas Bake Off
Paul, Prue and co. are back for a big festive bake-off this Christmas Eve, with a legion of well-known faces in tow for the occasion.
This year Tony Robinson, Miquita Oliver, Terry Christian, Terry Christian and Gaby Roslin will enter the festive tent, where they’ll be challenged to take on a number of complex baking challenges in the kitchen – likely with hilarious results! Channel 4, 8.25pm on December 24th.
2. Happy Valley
Happy Valley is finally set to return, but fans should buckle up as it’s the final rodeo for Sarah Lancashire’s iconic character, Sergeant Catherine Cawood.
On the brink of retirement, Catherine is faced with a new dark case – one that’s set to bring her right back to an imprisoned Tommy Lee Royce – a character that fans will be very familiar with already.
The series will kick off 2023 on a real high for Yorkshire tele fans, and you can catch it at 9pm on January 1st, BBC One.
3. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
Charlie Mackesy’s best-selling book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is coming to the small screen – and not only is it set to be a heartwarming affair, it’s got a stellar cast, too. Tom Hollander will play the Mole, while Idris Elba joins the cast as the Fox, and Gabriel Byrne as the Horse.
The film follows the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse as they strike up an unexpected friendship and travel together in the search for a home for the boy. BBC One, 4.55pm, December 24th.
4. Christmas Carole
British TV legend Suranne Jones returns to the small screen in a modern adaptation of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol.
Aptly named Christmas Carole, Suranne Jones stars as wealthy entrepreneur Carole, who’s made a ton of money off selling festive-themed items – despite being a top-level Scrooge.
As you can expect, things start to unfold from there, as her past, present, and future all collide to help her become a better person – just in time for Christmas. Sky Max, 8pm, December 24th.
5. The Smeds and The Smoos
Based on Julia Donaldson’s book of the same name, the very wholesome The Smeds and The Smoos is set to be a great film for all the family, with a fantastic cast to boot.
Sally Hawkins narrates, while Rob Brydon voices Uncle Smoo, Bill Bailey joins as Grandfather Smed and Adjoa Andoh voices Grandmother Smoo.
The Romeo and Juliet-esque tale follows Bill and Janet, who fall in love while their families are at war. When they run away to a distant planet to be together, their families must put aside their differences to find their loved ones. BBC One, 2.30pm, December 25th.
6. Call The Midwife Christmas Special
It’s not Christmas without a Call the Midwife Christmas special, now, is it?
As always, fans can expect plenty of wholesome feels from this year’s Christmas special, as life in Poplar gets back to normality following the train crash.
The midwives must deal with the thalidomide crisis, while the rest of the town works o raise funds for those affected by the train crash – with a fun, festive talent show, no less! BBC One, 7.55pm, December 25th.
7. Motherland Christmas Special
One of the most highly anticipated Christmas specials this season is the Motherland Christmas special, so it’s safe to say fans will have high hopes.
The hit BBC comedy follows a group of west London parents dealing with the comical school gate debacles, but this Christmas, we can expect more chaos than ever before as not only are the kids off school – but the whole family is round for Christmas, too.
Anna Maxwell Martin, Diane Morgan, Paul Ready and Tanya Moodie are all returning, alongside Dame Joanna Lumley and Lucy Punch. BBC One, 9.30pm, December 23rd.
8. The Cleaner Christmas Special
If you haven’t seen Greg Davies The Cleaner yet, you’re missing out. It’s an underrated comedy gem, and fans will be pleased to know it’s getting a Christmas special this week.
Davies returns as crime scene cleaner Wicky, as he’s sent off to a crime scene in an ice cream parlour. The problem is, however, that Wicky has other things on his mind: winning Weasel’s Christmas raffle. Watch the chaos unfold on BBC One at 9pm, December 23rd.
9. Christmas Comedy Club With Lost Voice Guy
Lee Ridley, AKA Lost Voice Guy, returns to tele with a brand new comedy special, joined by Paul Zerdin, Josie Long and Dara O Briain.
Christmas Comedy Club With Lost Voice Guy marks Lee Ridley’s second Christmas special, and you can catch it on ITV1 at 10:40pm, December 24th.
10. Alison Hammond in at the Rich End: The Riviera
Beloved ITV presenter Alison Hammond flees This Morning as she swaps the famous teal couch for a taste of the high life.
For the special episode, Hammond visits one of the most expensive places to live on the planet, the French Riviera, as she investigates what it is that makes the super-rich tick. ITV1, 9pm, December 23rd.
11. Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Christmas Fishing 2022
Bob and Paul return for a festive fishing trip this Christmas, this time, in Norway.
The shit-talking duo will travel around the Arctic Circle for this year’s festive episode, hunting down a variety of fish species, checking out unique accommodations, and trying out an array of Christmas delights along the way. BBC2, 8.40pm, December 24th.
12. The Greatest Snowman 2022
Sue Perkins hosts the second ever The Greatest Snowman, which will see a number of familiar faces compete to create the best snow sculpture alongside Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.
Expect entertaining names such as Gemma Collins, Melvin Odoom, Joe Thomas and more working to craft some *interesting* snow sculptures this year. Channel 4, 7.30pm, December 26th.