what to watch: christmas eve


This Christmas Eve, David Walliams is on telly twice, three ITV favourites return for Christmas, Michael McIntyre spreads some festive cheer and Dom Joly is back with some brand new pranks.

Here are the 7 shows you have to watch this Christmas Eve…

1. Blankety Blank | 6:30pm on ITV


What’s Christmas without an old favourite making a welcome return?

This Christmas, David Walliams (who I think owns Christmas this year), is bringing back the iconic game show Blankety Blank for a one-off Christmas special.

Taking part in this year’s festive revival are; Anne Robinson, Louis Walsh, Lesley Joseph, Joe Lycett, Brooke Vincent and the Chuckle Brothers!

Blankety Blank has previously been hosted by series regulars Terry Wogan, Les Dawson and Lily Savage. The aim of the game is for two contestants to compete head to head to match the answers of six celebrity panellists on fill in the blank statements. The winner goes through to the much-loved Supermatch game.


2. Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show | 7:25pm on BBC One

Michael McIntyre ep 6

Michael McIntyre’s Big Show is rounding off series two with a festive special filmed in front of a live audience at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, gets festive.

There’s a performance from Michael Ball and Alfie Boe; Aled Jones is joined by a very special guest as he plays Celebrity Send To All; Unexpected Star reaches epic proportions when Michael surprises an entire choir and there are lots of yuletide games and celebrity guest appearances from Nan (Catherine Tate), Kevin the teenager (Harry Enfield) and more.

This is one Christmas extravaganza not to be missed!


3. Birds Of A Feather (Christmas Special) | 8pm on ITV


Whilst we wait for news of a new series, the orginal Essex girls, Sharon, Tracey and Dorien are back for more Birds Of A Feather as they embark on an adventure to Tangier, Morocco to search for Tracey’s missing son, Travis.

Travis has finally been allowed to fly the nest on a gap year… to Spain. However, nobody has heard from Travis in four days and he was last seen getting on a ferry to Morocco with his girlfriend. Tracey is convinced something terrible has happened to him. She’s on the next flight and Sharon, not one to pass up on the chance of a holiday, insists she’s going with her. Dorien invites herself along as it’s a great opportunity to get material for her saucy new book

On arriving in Tangier, the Birds end up in Dicks Bar run by Vince, played  by Martin Kemp, Dorien’s romantic interest at Darryl’s funeral. Vince reviews the bar’s CCTV footage to see Travis being arrested in a police raid. Tracey heads to the police station with British Consul Rupert Julian-Jones (Robert Portal) in tow. Travis explains that the police are convinced he’s involved with a gang operation to smuggle a load of antiquities out of Morocco, but Travis swears he hasn’t got a clue what they’re talking about.

Meanwhile, Garth is home alone in Chigwell, but soon he’s facing an inquisitive and slightly sinister Insurance assessor, who is determined to find out the truth behind Sharon’s latest attempt to get something for nothing – a compensation fraud. Garth hatches a plan to see him off once and for all with the help of a face from the past.


4. David Walliams Celebrates Dame Shirley Bassey | 9pm on BBC One

David Walliams Celebrates Dame Shirley Bassey

In January, Dame Shirley Bassey will reach her milestone 80th birthday. In celebration of her phenomenal career, BBC One invites viewers to join Dame Shirley for a special night of entertainment from the global icon, hosted by her great friend and one of her biggest fans, comedian David Walliams.

The one-off special will feature a lavish mix of entertainment, comedy, surprises and of course live music, with the Dame thrilling viewers as she performs some of her biggest and best-loved classics backed by a live studio orchestra.

David will interview Dame Shirley in a candid walk through her career, from little known stories to highlights from her incredible music career to date. He will talk to her about how the little girl from Tiger Bay grew up to became one of the most celebrated and iconic voices of the past sixty years.

Thanks to hard graft and her spectacular talent, she went from a teenager singing in rowdy working men’s clubs to signing her first artist contract at age 16, to breaking America before the Beatles and performing for royalty.

David is joined by Beattie Edmondson and Jocelyn Jee Esien for some special sketches too!

See first look pics here!


5. Grantchester (Christmas Special) | 9pm on ITV

Grantchester III - Specials

Grantchester returns to ITV for a Christmas special and it’s the week before Christmas 1954, and the forecast is for snow in the beautiful Cambridge village of Grantchester.

For vicar Sidney Chambers (James Norton), this is the busiest time of the year and he is rushed off his feet with festive duties. Which is useful, as it means he doesn’t have time to think about his beloved Amanda (Morven Christie), estranged from her husband and heavily pregnant, who has taken up residence nearby with her Aunt CeCe (Anna Chancellor). Sidney loves her – but whether she’s married or divorced, there is no way he can be with her.

Meanwhile curate Leonard Finch (Al Weaver) is embarking on an ambitious production of the nativity with the local children, and Detective Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green) is grumpy at the festive spirit – all of which leaves Sidney happy to bury himself in his pastoral work.

Which is when a weeping bride reports the disappearance of her husband-to-be, and Sidney and Geordie find themselves drawn into picking through the murky motives of a winter wedding. When the would-be groom turns up dead with the wedding rings lodged in his mouth, Geordie is horrified – it has all the hallmarks of an unsolved murder from nine years before.

Geordie’s prime suspect back then was local toyshop owner Albert Tannen (Julian Glover). While nothing was ever proved, creepy tales and gossip have turned his once-lively business – and personality – into a twisted shadow of its former self.

Geordie and Sidney must hunt for the killer, and hope to bring justice to two women mourning for their lost loves at Christmas time. But as the dangers grow, snow starts to fall… and waters break…


6. Through The Keyhole (Christmas Special) | 10:30pm on ITV


Before the third series of Through The Keyhole kicks off in January, Keith Lemon is back having a nose around some famous faces’ houses for a Christmas special.

He’ll be going “Through the Christmas Keyhole” of three celebrity homes, sniffing out seasonal clues to help the star-studded studio panel guess “who habitates in a house like this?”

Getting in the Christmas spirit with Keith are Coronation Street star Shayne Ward, model Kelly Brook and comedian Johnny Vegas.


7. Trigger Happy (Christmas Special) | 11pm on Channel 4


HELLO?! Following a successful 8-part return earlier this year on Channel 4’s online streaming service All4, Dom Joly is back with more Trigger Happy, 13 years since it was last on TV.

For the new series, Dom Joly has totally revamped the original while retaining the charm, surrealism and soundtrack. Featuring all-new characters (except for the iconic big mobile man who now returns with a huge smart phone complete with apps and facetime facilities) new Trigger Happy has a laugh at modern life.

Want to enjoy a view? Cue the Pop-Up View Blockers. Going for a walk? Watch out for the angry cyclist; a man who believes that everywhere in the world is a ‘CYCLE LANE!’. Trying to get some work done in a café? Beware the world’s largest and smokiest vape. Tempted to join an aqua aerobics class? Remember that old urban myth about the water turning purple? Fancy a pint? Better make sure that Tim – the world’s most ridiculous poet isn’t planning an impromptu performance.

And if you like what you see on linear TV, then there’s another Christmas special available to watch online on All4 now and another on the way!


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