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WHAT TO WATCH Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day

This year's Christmas telly includes some festive editions of TV's biggest shows, a new BBC One drama stripped across three nights and a Christmas ghost story for all the family!

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

1. The Amazing Mr Blunden

Christmas Eve at 7pm on Sky Max

Sky big new family drama for Christmas Eve, The Amazing Mr Blunden, has been adapted by Mark Gatiss from the novel The Ghosts by Antonia Barber and the 1972 film of the same name. It stars Simon Callow as Mr Blunden with Mark Gatiss and Tamsin Greig as Mr and Mrs Wickens.

Christmas adventure arrives for London teenagers Jamie and Lucy Allen in the form of a mysterious old man, Mr Blunden, who offers their mum the opportunity to become the caretaker of a ruined country house. One that’s said to be haunted.

Within its neglected, overgrown grounds, Jamie and Lucy have an encounter with what appears to be a pair of ghost children. But these spooky kids, Sara and Georgie, aren’t actually ghosts.

They’ve travelled forwards in time to seek help, believing they’re going to be murdered by the wicked Mr and Mrs Wickens. And Lucy and Jamie’s strange visitor seems to be the key to it all. With his help, they must travel back to 1821 to save Sara and Georgie and redeem their remorseful new friend, The Amazing Mr Blunden.

The one-off ghost story also introduces Tsion Habte and Jason Rennie as Lucy and Jamie Allen, alongside India Fowler and Xavier Wilkins as Sara and Georgie Latimer.


2. All Creatures Great and Small

Christmas Eve at 8pm on Channel 5

For this year's All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special, it’s Christmas in Darrowby, and Helen and James realise they haven’t agreed on where they’re spending Christmas Day.

Mrs Hall is expecting them at Skeldale and Jenny is expecting them at Heston Grange and the pair are reluctant to disappoint either of them. The situation raises bigger questions about what their lives will look like in the future.

When a beloved local pet is taken seriously ill, Siegfried has to bring it into the practice for emergency treatment. In the face of such an emergency, Helen ends up feeling like a spare part at the Skeldale Christmas party, but fellow farmer Dave Kitson could end up being the solution to Helen finding her place at Skeldale, and the key to the animal’s survival.

Tristan learns that it might be time to take himself more seriously and reveals some important news, while a card from James’s father asking him to phone them on Christmas Day leaves James on tenterhooks about whether he can make amends with his family.


3. Top Gear: Driving Home for Christmas

Christmas Eve at 8.30pm on BBC One

In this special Christmas episode of Top Gear, Chris Harris, Paddy McGuiness and Freddie Flintoff aren't choosing their own cars, but instead choosing for one another. Yes, it’s time for Top Gear Secret Santa!

After unwrapping their presents in Bethlehem (that’s Bethlehem, Wales, obviously), the three wise(ish) men and their gifts set off on a Yuletide voyage across Britain, stopping off to play the traditional Christmas parlour game of High-Speed Visual Charades and deliver a truly enormous tree to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath. Because nothing says ‘Merry Christmas’ like a thousand kilos of Norway Spruce on the Royal Crescent.

Then, in the words of the great Chris Rea, it’s time for the presenters to do some drivin’ home for Christmas. Home, of course, being the Top Gear test track, magically transformed into a veritable winter wonderland of speed.


4. Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special

Christmas Day at 5.10pm on BBC One

This year's Strictly Christmas special will see six brand new celebrities perform a Christmas-inspired routine, in a change to recent years where former celebs returned to the ballroom.

Hoping to impress judges Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke as well as the voting audience are Adrian Chiles, Anne-Marie, Fred Sirieix, Jay Blades MBE, Mel Giedroyc and Moira Stuart OBE. But who will lift the coveted Strictly Come Dancing Christmas trophy?

The Christmas special will start with a sensational group routine featuring the celebrities and their professional partners, alongside the Strictly pros. And, as well as dancing, there’s plenty of music, with very special performances from Jamie Cullum and Gary Barlow.


5. Call the Midwife

Christmas Day at 8pm on BBC One

Series 11 begins with a Christmas special set in December 1966 and Christmas promises to be a memorable one at Nonnatus House as Lucille and Cyril prepare for their upcoming winter wedding.

The Nonnatus team are faced with their busiest Christmas Day ever as the Maternity Home is filled with expectant Mums to be, each with their own challenging case. But luckily Mother Mildred is on hand to support the team.


6. The Great Christmas Bake Off

Christmas Day at 8pm on Channel 4

The cast of It's A Sin will be swapping the Pink Palace for an equally iconic erection this Christmas as Olly Alexander, Lydia West, Nathaniel Curtis and Shaun Dooley enter the Bake Off tent for this year's Christmas special!

They'll be trying their hand at some festive-themed bakes with judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood and hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas presiding over the hotly contested competition to see who on the cast knows their sieves from their spatulas.

But before this year's coveted Christmas Star Baker is crowned, the London Community Gospel Choir will perform their version of All I Want for Christmas.


7. The Larkins at Christmas

Christmas Day at 9pm on ITV

It's one of ITV's biggest hits of 2021, so it's no surprise that The Larkins is back for a Christmas special and all the talk in the village is of the pantomime and an ongoing spate of burglaries. With Miss Pilchester, the Normans and Johnny Delamere amongst the victims.

Whilst PC Harness applies his limited gifts to finding the culprit, Mariette and Charley take their love to the next level and Pop and Ma are overjoyed to have the pair back for Christmas.

But when Charley’s parents arrive to meet the Larkin clan, and the entire village is left without lighting and heating following a power cut, chaos descends on the Larkins farm.


8. A Very British Scandal

Boxing Day at 9pm on BBC One

In this highly anticipated new BBC One drama from Sarah Phelps, A Very British Scandal stars Claire Foy as heiress Margaret Sweeny, who is considered the most beautiful debutante of the 1930s. In the midst of a divorce, she meets the dashing and married Ian Campbell, future Duke of Argyll, played by Paul Bettany.

What begins as sexual chemistry evolves into something more serious when Margaret not only begins to fall in love with Ian, by now the Duke but also with his crumbling ancestral seat, Inveraray.

With the perfect man and perfect castle in her sights, Margaret persuades her doting father to help her pay for the castle’s restoration, whilst Ian secures a divorce from his humiliated wife.

The pair marry, but the honeymoon phase soon sours. Ian is consumed by his plan to raise a legendary treasure from Tobermory Bay, and while Margaret is able to restore the castle to its former glory - at huge expense – Ian’s temper is often more than she can handle.

When she realises that her claim to the castle might not be as secure as she once thought, she starts a series of events that will change not only her life and the lives of those around her but also the perception of the British aristocracy forever.

1-3/3 Continues nightly

9. Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Christmas Fishing

Boxing Day at 9pm on BBC Two

In this festive special of Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, one of the warmest, loveliest shows on television, Paul takes Bob on a steam train to the north of England to search for a prized English salmon.

Alongside their canine companion, Ted, they fish the rivers Eden and Tyne in search of their elusive quarry. They stay in a glorious manor house, where Bob prepares a mighty breakfast of craster kippers, and then in a beautiful old castle, Bob gives Paul a present which is as emotional as it is surprising.

They are then joined on the riverbank by Paul Gascoigne, who has also always dreamt of catching a salmon, and Dr Anand Patel has a chat with Bob about how to look out for the vulnerable at Christmas time.

And at the annual work party, Gone Fishing’s employee of the year is revealed, and musical entertainment is provided by Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, ensuring a memorable night.



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