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WHAT TO WATCH Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day

With Christmas Day just around the corner, I've had a look through the festive TV listings to pick out 12 shows which you can't miss across Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Here are 12 shows you can’t miss this Christmas...

1. The Queen and I

Christmas Eve at 6pm on Sky One

Based on Sue Townsend's novel, The Queen and I, written by Stephen Russell, explores what would happen if the Royal Family had no riches, no famous friends and none of the reverence of the Great British public.

Hellebore Close is an everyday street in northern England that’s home to the kind of neighbours you won’t see over the fence at Buck House. Yet this is where Her Majesty and co end up. And it’s going to take a bit of getting used to.

At Number 10, power-mad politician Jack Barker played by David Walliams, has snatched a shock election victory. After whipping the public into a frenzy of support, the first point on his agenda is to create a republic, rendering the royals royally redundant. Forbidden from using any of their connections, the Queen and her family are sent to a run-down cul-de-sac with their unnecessary formal-ware and some furniture that’s more out of place than the sofa on the street corner.

When you’re used to being in the money (and on the money), choosing between heating and food, or heating and gin in the case of the Queen’s sister Margaret is what one might call a shock to the system. The locals of ‘Hell Close’ don’t exactly roll the red carpet out, either, but new neighbours Bev and Tony, Violet and odd-job man Spiggy soon prove to be unlikely allies.

The PM on the other hand is soon cracking under the weight of his false promises and dodgy dealings. While the royals begin to wonder if they’re really as high and mighty as they thought. Especially when young princes William and Harry turn into tiny tearaways, the Queen Mum starts fibbing about her gambling habit, the Queen’s daughter Anne makes an unexpected love match and the Prince of Wales is sentenced to a stint at Her Majesty’s pleasure… God save the Queen, indeed!

Also tars Samantha Bond, Frances Barber, Emily Aston, Emmanuel Ighodaro, Lorraine Ashbourne, Johnny Vegas, Woody Melbourne, Noah Bailey. Julia McKenzie, Amanda Abbington and Oliver Chris.


2. Click and Collect

Christmas Eve at 9pm on BBC One

With not a lot of comedy to look forward to on telly this Christmas, BBC One are hoping their one-off Christmas comedy, Click and Collect, really delivers.

Starring Stephen Merchant and Asim Chaudhry, the hour-long comedy is set on Christmas Eve as Andrew Benett (Merchant), has failed to buy his daughter's main present, the elusive Sparklehoof the Unicorn Princess.

His over-friendly neighbour (whom Andrew can barely suffer) Dev D’Cruz (Chaudhry), manages to nab perhaps the last one in the UK online by click & collect. The only problem? It's 270 miles away.

Andrew has little choice but to embark with Dev on a cross-country road trip as he attempts to save his daughter's Christmas and redeem himself as a dad. For Andrew it's a nerve-fraying nightmare; for Dev, it's the beer they've never gotten round to.


3. The Keith and Paddy Picture Show: Gremlins

Christmas Eve at 9pm on ITV

Off the back of two successful series of The Keith and Paddy Picture Show, Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness are back with one more offering this Christmas.

For this festive one-off they recreate the 80’s classic Gremlins with guest stars including Zach Galligan, Kara Tointon, John Thomson, Su Pollard, Les Dennis and Arthur Bostrom.


4. Would I Lie to You at Christmas?

Christmas Eve at 10pm on BBC One

It's one of the best panel shows on telly, and this Christmas Rob Brydon, David Mitchell and Lee Mack reunite for a Christmas special of Would I Lie to You?

Over the course of the show, celebrity guests reveal amazing stories about themselves, some of which are true and some of which are not. Taking part this Christmas are Lily Allen, Noddy Holder, James Acaster and Sian Gibson.

The aim of the game is to fool the opposition into mistaking fact for fiction and fiction for fact.


5. The Dead Room

Christmas Eve at 10pm on BBC Four

This Christmas, Mark Gatiss is bringing the Christmas ghost story tradition back to life with The Dead Room, a chilling new tale for BBC Four.

Written and directed by Gatiss, the 30-minute film tells the tale of a long-running radio horror series of the same name. Simon Callow plays Aubrey Judd, the radio series’ veteran presenter and national treasure, who finds that he must adapt to changing times and tastes…

But whatever happened to the classic ghost stories? The good old days?

Aubrey soon discovers that all is not quiet in the eerie radio studio - and that elements of his own past are not as dead and buried as he perhaps hoped...


6. Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special

Christmas Day at 5:30pm on BBC One

Just over a week since Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton lifted that Glitterball trophy, BBC One are returning to the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom for a one-off Christmas special.

Hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, the special welcomes six of Strictly's favourite stars back to the ballroom to compete for the Christmas Trophy. Caroline Flack, Anita Rani, Jake Wood, Aston Merrygold, Ann Widdecombe and Michael Vaughan and their professional partners each perform a routine inspired by fairy tales and Christmas stories.

From The Frog Prince to Cinderella, The Snowman, Peter Pan, and Pinocchio to the Nutcracker, all the magic of Christmas is celebrated in the Strictly ballroom. Of course the judges are on hand to dish out plenty of Christmas cheer.

There are two amazing group routines featuring all our couples, and the Strictly cast host a Christmas party for some very deserving children. Plus, there is also music from The Kingdom Choir.


7. Call The Midwife (Christmas Special)

Christmas Day at 7:45pm on BBC One

It's often the most-watched programme on Christmas Day and it seems that BBC One's Christmas Day schedule wouldn't be the same without a Call the Midwife Christmas special.

This year, as Poplar prepares for Christmas, the nuns travel to the Mother House to elect a new mother superior.

Sister Julienne is the obvious replacement, and must face this possibility as her future at Nonnatus House hangs in the balance. As they ready to leave, Sister Mildred, an indefatigable sister from their order, arrives unexpectedly with her hands full with four Chinese orphans on route to the Children’s Home at the Mother House. Played by the wonderful Miriam Margolyes.

Touched by the plight of the children at the Home, the Nonnatus family and two new nuns, Sister Hilda and Sister Frances come together to give them a Christmas Nativity that they will remember.

Back in Poplar, Trixie returns from Portofino refreshed and with her troubles well and truly behind her, and Valerie leads the baby ballet Christmas performance.


8. Torvill & Dean

Christmas Day at 9:15pm on ITV

With no Downton Abbey or Victoria Christmas specials this year, ITV are hoping Torvill and Dean, a two-hour drama about the Olympic champion figure skaters and Dancing on Ice favourites will bring in lots of viewers on Christmas Day.

The one-off feature-length film, written by William Ivory and starring Will Tudor and Poppy Lee Friar, explores Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean’s early years and the creative impetus that finally drove them to become ice dancing royalty.

The Nottingham-based biopic opens in 1968, showing Jayne and Chris as children in their respective family homes. Exploring how the pair were individually introduced to ice skating, Jayne's first experience on the ice is during a school trip where she immediately shows potential and is taken under the wing of trainer Miss Perry. Meanwhile, following his parents' separation, Chris is given a pair of skates by his new stepmother, Betty, which encourages him to try out the sport.

As the years progress, ice skating becomes a big part of both of their lives. Jayne continues to train with Miss Perry, whilst Chris uses the ice as an escape from his complicated family life. Sensing that Jayne needs a partner to allow her more expression, Miss Perry introduces her to Andrew who she starts to train with, whilst Chris begins a partnership with fellow skater, Leanne. However, creative differences within both partnerships eventually lead to their breakdown, and it isn't long before Chris' trainer, Janet Sawbridge, puts Jayne and Chris together.

Despite being unsure at first, the duo blossom together and they're soon excelling at a competitive level. With both having full-time jobs and commitments beyond the rink though, they must work hard to achieve their dreams.

Also stars Anita Dobson, Stephen Tompkinson, Jo Hartley, Dean Andrews, Christine Bottomley, Jaime Winstone and Susan Earl.


9. Alan Carr's Christmas Cracker

Christmas Day at 10pm on Channel 4

Usually at this time of year Alan Carr treats us to a festive edition of Chatty Man, but with that series now officially over, Alan this year invites us to his very own Alpine Log Cabin for a Christmas knees-up!

So pull on your Christmas jumper and pour yourself a large glass of eggnog as Alan is joined by an array of celebrity guests.

Guests include Channing Tatum, Danny and Dani Dyer, Lily Allen, Sharon Horgan, Olly Murs, Russell Howard, Alesha Dixon, Emilia and Freddie Fox, Vicky McClure and Martin Compston, and Chris Kamara!


10. The Midnight Gang

Boxing Day at 7:30pm on BBC One

Another Christmas, another telly adaptation of one of David Walliams' books. This year it's the turn of The Midnight Gang which tells the tale of a young boy called Tom who finds himself in the Children’s Ward at St Hugo's Hospital after being hit on the head by a cricket ball.

At the hospital he meets a scary porter, the kid-hating matron and newly qualified, and slightly nervous Dr Luppers. Once Tom is moved to the children’s ward, he discovers The Midnight Gang, a secret gang of children who go on midnight adventures in the hospital making dreams come true.

When the clock strikes midnight most children are fast asleep but for the Midnight Gang the journey is just beginning. When Tom’s wicked headmaster turns up at the hospital to take him back to his boarding school, Tom must find a way to stay in the hospital to fulfil one final adventure for The Midnight Gang.

The one-off drama stars Alan Davies as Porter, Haydn Gwynne as Matron, Amit Shah as Dr Luppers, David Walliams as the Headmaster, Mark Heap as Sir Quentin, Jocelyn Jee Esien as Tootsie and newcomer Oliver Zetterstrom as Tom.


11. The ABC Murders

Boxing Day at 9pm on BBC One

Sarah Phelps' Agatha Christie adaptations for BBC One have become somewhat of a Christmas tradition on the BBC and this year she returns with The ABC Murders.

It’s 1933 and a killer travels the length and breadth of Britain via the railway network. The killer uses the alias ABC, and strikes in a methodical pattern, leaving a copy of the ABC railway guide at the scene of each of murder. As Poirot attempts to investigate he is thwarted on every front. If he is to match his most cunning nemesis, everything about him will be called into question: his authority, his integrity, his identity.

John Malkovich leads the cast as Hercule Poirot alongside Rupert Grint as Inspector Crome, Andrew Buchan as Franklin Clarke, Eamon Farren as Cust, Tara Fitzgerald as Lady Hermione Clarke, Shirley Henderson as Rose Marbury, Jack Farthing as Donald Fraser, Bronwyn James in the role of Megan and Freya Mavor as Thora Grey.


12. Big Fat Quiz of the Year

Boxing Day at 10pm on Channel 4

To celebrate the dawn of another year, Jimmy Carr returns with another Big Fat Quiz of the Year which puts a panel of top celebrity teams to test as he presents his big, fat and fiendishly difficult quiz.

This year's teams are; Richard Ayoade and Noel Fielding, David Mitchell and Michelle Wolf and Claudia Winkleman and Mo Gilligan.

As always, Jimmy will be ably assisted by a panel of top celebrity teams and a series of superstar question setters including Mitchell Brook Primary School and Jon Snow.



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