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WHAT TO WATCH 17-23 December

Twas the week before Christmas, with plenty to watch, so here are nine programmes to love on the box. There's laughter, there's drama, a chance to escape. With some new shows joining our trusted old faves.

Here are 9 TV shows you can't miss this week...

1. That's My Jam

Saturday 17th December at 9.35pm on BBC One

Mo Gilligan is one of television's most in-demand talents and it's clear to see why as this week he hosts his first show on the BBC, That's My Jam, where two teams of celebrities face some epic musical challenges.

Described as TV’s biggest music game show, each week two new teams of celebrities take on a host of super-sized musical challenges as Mo pushes their singing abilities, performance skills and musical knowledge to the limit as they compete to be declared That’s My Jam champions.

But which team will be victorious as they blast their best vocals and bust their best moves playing games such as The Wheel of Impossible Karaoke, Launch The Mic, The Vinyl Countdown, Disco Charades and Take on Mo before facing the mighty DoomBox in the epic end game, Slay It, Don’t Spray It!?

This week Alesha Dixon and Michelle Visage take on Glee’s Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz, pushing their singing abilities, performance skills and musical knowledge to the limit as they compete to be declared this week’s That’s My Jam champions!

1/8 Continues weekly

2. His Dark Materials

Sunday 18th December at 7pm on BBC One

His Dark Materials returns to our screens this week for its third and final series as a dreaming Lyra, having been held captive in the hands of Mrs Coulter, finds herself in a mysterious place with someone familiar... Roger!

As Will continues with his quest to find Lyra, he meets unexpected allies along the way and Asriel journeys through the worlds in his recruitment drive for his war against the Authority.

In Geneva, ‘Father President’ MacPhail meets a devoted young priest, Father Gomez, and sends him on a special mission.

1/8 Continues weekly. All episodes available at launch

3. Miriam's Dickensian Christmas

Tuesday 20th December at 9pm on Channel 4

Self-confessed Christmas Scrooge, Miriam Margolyes, sees Christmas as a holiday that's become over-commercialised, too expensive and a whole heap of stress. But now, Miriam is turning to her love of Charles Dickens and the festive traditions he introduced through A Christmas Carol, to see if she can rekindle her love for Christmas.

Growing up in a Jewish family, Miriam did celebrate Christmas but as her dad refused to let them have decorations or a tree, the focus was on feasting. Having not marked Christmas in any way for 30 years, Miriam agrees to host her first-ever Christmas party with food at the top of the agenda.

Before A Christmas Carol, goose was the traditional bird on any Christmas table, but after Scrooge bought the Cratchit family a plump turkey, it became the fashionable feast of choice. Food historian Dr Annie Grey is on hand to help cook, but how will mock turtle soup, made from the head of a calf, go down with Miriam? And historian and craft specialist Ruth Goodman also attempts to win Miriam round to making her own decorations.

A trip to one of the oldest toy shops in the world offers some party-entertaining inspiration, and an emotional meeting with Charles Dickens' great-great-great granddaughter, Lucinda Hawksley, brings the importance of philanthropy in Dickens' writing to the forefront.

Great Ormond Street was just one recipient of Dickens' own charity work, and Miriam meets their chaplain to find out just how Dickens helped transform the hospital. As Miriam's guests arrive and are served a Dickensian Gin Twist, made by plunging a red-hot poker into a tankard, will she feel she's balanced the fun and theatrics of Charles Dickens with his charitable, generous spirit?


4. I Hate Suzie Too

Tuesday 20th to Thursday 22nd December at 9pm on Sky Atlantic

I Hate Suzie was one of the standout programmes of 2020 and now it's back for a three-part anti-Christmas, Christmas special/series two. Billie Piper returns as child star turned actress Suzie Pickles who has a new agent, new PR and a new job.

Suzie is now dancing for likes on Dance Crazee, a reality TV competition that has the audience hooked. Having lost everyone that matters to her, Suzie returns to her first love, the public.

As Suzie fights to regain the love of the British public, whilst her personal life spirals out of control, will she win their hearts/votes? And restore her reputation? And at what cost?

1-3/3 Continues nightly. All episodes available at launch

5. Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama

Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd December at 9pm on Channel 4

This week on Channel 4, it's the two-part dramatisation of the 2022 High Court battle that gripped the UK and was reported on around the world in which Chanel Cresswell would be taking on the role of Coleen Rooney, starring opposite Natalia Tena as fellow WAG, Rebekah Vardy. With Dion Lloyd playing Wayne Rooney and Marci Nagyszokolyai as Jamie Vardy.

Lauded for his talent for playing real-life figures, Michael Sheen will play Coleen Rooney’s high-profile barrister David Sherborne and Simon Coury will play Rebekah’s barrister, Hugh Tomlinson QC (now KC) who has famously represented a ‘who’s who’ of clients including King Charles III.

Dubbed the #WagathaChristie case when it first unfolded on social media in 2019, it was the audacious case about privacy that made headlines around the world.

The two-part film recreates the high drama, high stakes High Court defamation case that followed, a case that had a huge impact on the lives of the two women at its heart and catapulted the two sparring legal teams into the spotlight, where much like Rooney and Vardy, their every move in the courtroom was dissected and scrutinised in the press.

Created from the real court transcripts, Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama promises to bring viewers all of the incredible and unbelievable moments from a case that kept the public and media gripped.

1-2/2 Continues nightly. Both episodes available at launch

6. Riches

Thursday 22nd December on ITVX

ITVX's recent original drama Riches, follows the exploits of the stylish, privileged and super-successful Richards family led by London-based business mogul Stephen Richards, played by Hugh Quarshie, whose sudden death leaves his family in disarray as his estranged American daughter and son, Nina and Simon, played by Deborah Ayorinde and Emmanuel Imani, return.

Their arrival from New York is the catalyst for a messy showdown between Stephen’s wife, Claudia, played by Sarah Niles and the children from their marriage, as both factions vie for control of the family black hair and beauty empire, Flair & Glory.

Caught in the midst of the power struggle for control of Flair & Glory are Andre, played by CJ Beckford, Stephen's loyal PA Maureen, played by Hermione Norris and Stephen’s confidante and legal advisor, Gideon, played by Brendan Coyle.

1/6 All episodes available at launch

7. Inside No.9

Thursday 22nd December at 9pm on BBC Two

Inside No.9 returns for Christmas with a special festive film that promises to be a disturbingly spooky Christmas story set in a mysterious church, guest-starring Shobna Gulati and Simon Callow.

Steve Pemberton plays Dr. Jasper Parkway who has booked an overnight stay in a reputedly haunted church on Christmas Eve. However, much to his dismay, he is soon joined by unwanted guests Pierce, played by Reece Shearsmith and Posy, played by Shobna Gulati, who have even brought their own sleeping bags.

Together with the eccentric warden Dick, played by Simon Callow, it doesn’t look like Jasper is going to be lonely this Christmas. Even though sherry, biscuits and Yuletide phantoms are on offer, why is Jasper so keen to be left to his own devices?


8. All Creatures Great and Small

Friday 23rd December at 9pm on Channel 5

As All Creatures Great and Small returns for what's becoming an annual tradition of a Christmas special, it's Christmas in Darrowby and everyone is trying to make the most of things while the world is at war.

A young guest brings some wonder, mischief and cheer to Skeldale house while everyone waits for important news. When Mrs Pumphrey heralds the arrival of a kitten in need of some extra care at Pumphrey Manor, James has just the person to take him under their wing.

Siegfried is asked to pay a visit to an injured River just before a big race and makes an important discovery that Sebright Saunders uses as leverage to get River back on the racetrack. Siegfried risks compromising himself and everything he stands for but Tristan has other ideas.

When Mrs Hall runs into Gerald at the market and hears his news, she finds herself inviting him to a Skeldale Christmas party that hasn’t been organised. The rest of the house help her cobble together some guests and a spread - but will he come, and if he does, is Mrs Hall ready to tell him how she feels?


9. Motherland

Friday 23rd December at 9.30pm on BBC One

Motherland moves to BBC One for a Christmas special in which school’s out for the festive season and the mums and Kevin are busy prepping for the ultimate in blended Christmas celebrations. In Last Christmas, it's a full house at Julia’s with an influx of grandparents demanding endless cups of tea, as they play with a VR headset Paul bought “for the kids”.

Julia has invited Kevin along too after learning that his alternative was dining on turkey crisps from the hotel vending machine in the company of the other divorced dads. Kevin excitedly offers to whip up a full-on Persian feast Liz also turns up when her ex cancels following a massive Christmas Eve bender, letting her down on his first-ever offer to host.

Meanwhile, Amanda is spending Christmas Day with Johnny, the kids and Johnny’s new wife Tamara. Which is fine. Really fine. It’s fine. Amanda’s mother Felicity, played by Joanna Lumley, has been invited too and jumps at the chance to revel in the awkward atmosphere. The contrast with Christmas at Anne’s house couldn’t be starker; Anne is hosting her mammy and the cousins, all 29 of them, and is beside herself with excitement.

Despite their enduring love match, Meg’s husband Bill buys her a present so dire that it makes her question whether he really knows her. She gets stuck into the plentiful supply of booze she’s bought for the day but regrets the drunken results when something really shocking happens over the road at Julia’s.


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