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WHAT TO WATCH 19-23 December

Nothing quite says Christmas like some comedy specials and this week we've got three hit comedies returning for festive one-offs! There's also a Christmas special of All Creatures Great and Small, this year's Strictly Grand Final and a whole lot more to look forward to!

So, here are 10 TV shows you can't miss in the days leading up to Christmas...

1. Strictly Come Dancing Final

Saturday 19th December at 6pm on BBC One

Despite a shorter run, weeks without an audience and one less judge, this year's Strictly Come Dancing has felt like the show we all know and all love, and I think I speak for everyone when I say it was the show we all needed in 2020.

Now after nine weeks of sparkle, glamour and show-stopping performances, the time has come to crown this year's winner as the four remaining celebs - Bill Bailey, HRVY, Jamie Laing and Maisie Smith - perform three dances each to impress the judges, but more importantly the viewers at home who will ultimately decide who gets to lift this year's glitter ball trophy?

Bill is in with a chance of making history as the oldest ever winner, whilst HRVY and Maisie would also make history if they won, becoming the show's youngest ever champion. Jamie Laing meanwhile has already become the celebrity to survive the most dance-offs in the show's history, could that glitter ball be his? We'll have to watch to find out...

As well as all that, there's a spectacular group performance from Strictly's professional dancers, the cast of 2020 return to the ballroom for one last time and there's music from Robbie Williams!


2. His Dark Materials

Sunday 20th December at 7.10pm on ITV

As the second series of His Dark Materials comes to an end this weekend, all paths converge on Cittàgazze as the mission to find Will’s father becomes more pressing.

Having survived the balloon crash, Jopari and Lee try to locate the knife bearer but the Magisterium are in close pursuit. And Ruta updates Serafina on Asriel’s plans, whilst Serafina insists her duty is to Lyra.

And Mary consults the I Ching on her task after bidding goodbye to Angelica and Paola.


3. The Cube Celebrity Special

Sunday 20th December at 8pm on ITV

The Cube returned to our screens in October after five years away from our screens and now Phillip Schofield is back with a one-off Christmas special.

Emily Atack and her mum Kate Robbins, plus Danny and Dougie from McFly are the latest celebrities who will take on The Cube, hoping to win big for their chosen charities.


4. Marcus Rashford: Feeding Britain's Children

Monday 21st December at 7pm on BBC One

In 2020, Marcus Rashford won huge public and governmental support in this pandemic year, to fight a cause so important to him and now in an exclusive access-all-areas documentary, cameras follow his journey to raise national awareness of the effects of child food poverty in the UK.

In the hour-long documentary, the 23 year-old England and Manchester United striker speaks openly about his personal connection with hunger, his experiences of going without food as a child and the sacrifices his family had to make.

BBC cameras have followed him over recent months to give audiences a closer look into what motivates him, as he worked hard to encourage the government to announce their recent £400m winter grant scheme to support around 1.4 million children in England. This was all on top of his day job as an international footballer.

We also hear from those closest to him, including his mum Mel, his brothers Dwaine and Dane and his close friends. He also meets some of the families directly affected by the issue.


5. London Hughes: To Catch a D*ck

Tuesday 22nd December on Netflix

London Hughes' star has been rising for a long time now and after a move to America at the start of 2020, it seems the stars are finally aligning for her as not only does she co-host The Netflix Afterparty with David Spade and Fortune Feimster but her first stand-up special To Catch a D*ck lands on Netflix this week just in time for the festive season.

The special sees London explore the complete mystery of why the world is full of desirable, brilliant but single women - who definitely don’t need a man but wouldn’t mind the option. She's awesome, successful, attractive, and has no gag reflex and yet, somehow, incredibly single… how on earth has that happened?!

I was lucky enough to see this show in a tiny room at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019 and gave it five stars for a reason. London's unfaltering energy will leave you rolling about with laughter. Read my review of her 2019 show here.


6. All Creatures Great and Small

Tuesday 22nd December at 9pm on Channel 5

When Channel 5 brought back All Creatures Great and Small earlier this year, it became the channel's top rating show since 2016 with consolidated figures topping 4.7m, and ahead of a second series in 2021 we're returning to Darrowby for a Christmas special.

Set on Christmas Eve, it's the day before Helen and Hugh’s much anticipated wedding and James is trying to bury his pain over Helen by inviting his new girlfriend Connie to the annual Skeldale Christmas party.

With preparations well under way, Tristan decks the halls with mistletoe and Mrs Hall lays on a feast and is looking forward to her son Edward returning for Christmas. And when Dorothy turns up, Siegfried is delighted and wonders if now is the time to throw caution to the wind.

As the house fills with locals James receives a call from Bert Chapman who wants help with his dog who is struggling to give birth. James has to leave the party and is surprised when Helen asks if she can go with him to get away from all the wedding gossip. James wonders if he will be able to suppress his true feelings for her.


7. Ghosts

Wednesday 23rd December at 8pm on BBC One

Following a successful second series, Ghosts is back this Christmas with a festive one-off and Mike is determined to make it perfect for his family.

Alison is also determined to deliver the best Christmas ever for the living and the dead, although the latter aren’t filled with festive cheer. Christmas just isn’t that much fun when you’re deceased.

But when Julian is confronted with past wrongs, he has a revelation that could help the ghosts rediscover the real message of Christmas.


8. Jack and the Beanstalk: After Ever After

Wednesday 23rd December at 8pm on Sky One

All fairy tales end with ‘happily ever after’ but what happens after ever after? David Walliams and Sheridan Smith star in this brand new comedy drama which looks into what happened after Jack felled the beanstalk and defeated the giant.

The special begins where the famous fable ends, with a story of two very unlikely friends. We all thought Jack had put an end to the Giant but guess what? The Giant is concussed but very much alive and stuck on earth with no way back to his house in the sky. Jack must think on his feet and outsmart the angry villagers to get the giant home.

Along the way, both characters discover their inner self belief and overcome their fears to help one another.


9. Motherland

Wednesday 23rd December at 9pm on BBC Two

Ahead of a third series in 2021, Motherland returns this Christmas and it's time for Amanda's annual festive soiree and nothing says Christmas like evil Santa, a 30-foot Christmas tree, Anne’s Christmas cocktails and very strict rules about where you can and can’t drink mulled wine.

Only Meg has an official party invite, but Julia, Kevin and Liz tag along as her plus-threes. They struggle to fit in with the Alpha crowd, but for Julia, it’s still a welcome distraction from playing festive butler to a house full of in-laws.

Meanwhile, Liz is trying to ignore Christmas altogether, whilst Kevin is single-handedly stuffing, wrapping, roasting, par-boiling, laying up, washing up and decorating himself into an early grave.


10. King Gary

Wednesday 23rd December at 10pm on BBC One

Gary King and his (not always so) merry band of neighbours are back just in time for the festivities as King Gary returns for a Christmas special ahead of a new series in 2021 as Tom Davis returns alongside Laura Checkley, Simon Day, Camille Coduri, Romesh Ranganathan and Riley Burgin.

The Butterchurn Crescent Christmas Light Display is set to brighten up the neighbourhood after a tough year - but the festivities are under threat when Gary learns that his neighbours simply can’t afford the ‘leccy bill. When Gary lands an unbelievable million-pound contract at work, he vows to cover all illumination costs and save Christmas for everyone! What could go wrong? Not everyone on the Crescent is feeling as festive as Gary and Terri. Declining a Christmas stocking and turning his nose up at the school’s annual Christmas concert, young Teddy King can’t seem to get himself in the holiday spirit. Can Gary instill some seasonal cheer in his number one son?

Much to the distress of Gary’s parents, Big Gary and Denise, Terri’s mum Jodie-Simone and her fella Martin are keeping up a Christmas tradition by spending the holidays with them... despite only living five miles away. Will Jodie-Simone and Martin keep up their tradition of devouring all the festive food and drink in the house before Big Gary can get to it?



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