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WHAT TO WATCH Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & Boxing Day

The best telly this Christmas includes a number of one-off specials including usual suspects Bake Off, Ghosts, Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, Strictly and Call The Midwife as well as the welcome return of Detectorists.

Elsewhere, The Voice Kids is back for a brand new series, Suranne Jones leads Sky's big new festive treat Christmas Carole and Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse gets the animated treatment on BBC One.

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

1. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

Christmas Eve at 4.55pm on BBC One

One of the highlights of this year's BBC Christmas schedule is a story of kindness, friendship, courage and hope, for viewers of all ages in what promises to be a heart-warming, hand-drawn traditionally animated film, based on Charlie Mackesy’s book, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.

The poignant and heartfelt journey follows the unlikely friendship of a boy, a mole, a fox and a horse travelling together in the boy’s search for home.

The film features Mackesy’s distinctive illustrations, which have been brought to life in full colour with beautiful hand-drawn animation and stars Tom Hollander as The Mole, Idris Elba as The Fox, Gabriel Byrne as The Horse and newcomer Jude Coward Nicoll as The Boy.


2. Christmas Carole

Christmas Eve at 8pm on Sky Max

This Christmas, Sky's big new drama Christmas Carole stars Suranne Jones as Carole Mackay, an unashamedly outspoken and wealthy entrepreneur whose online business selling all things festive has earned her a fortune, as well as the nickname ‘Christmas Carole’. But her success hasn’t made her a better human being. In fact, it’s made her worse.

The truth is that Carole is a monumentally mean person. Positively Scrooge-like. And, just like Ebeneezer, she doesn’t love Christmas at all. But this Christmas Eve, Carole’s past, present and future are about to collide. Will some rather familiar Christmas spirits help her discover the true spirit of Christmas?


3. The Great Christmas Bake Off 2022

Christmas Eve at 8.25pm on Channel 4

This Christmas, The Great British Bake Off welcomes five famous faces from Channel 4's history into the Bake Off tent to join Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas.

Those famous faces are The Big Breakfast's Gaby Roslin, Time Team's Sir Tony Robison, Popworld's Miquita Oliver, The Word's Terry Christian and Brookside's Claire Sweeney. They'll each be hoping to win Christmas Star Baker.

After the excitement of entering the famous tent, our bakers, family and friends are treated to a beautiful performance of Swan Lake by the English National Ballet.


4. Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Christmas Fishing

Christmas Eve at 8.40pm on BBC Two

Spending time with Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer at any time of the year is special, but there's something about spending Christmas with them that makes these now annual specials, all the more special.

This year, Paul is taking Bob on the ultimate fishing adventure to the magical country of Norway, where the locals say that cod is God and fishing takes precedence over almost everything else. This is Paul’s type of Christmas break and it will be the first time they have fished together beyond the UK and Ireland.

They'll travel to Vesteralen and the Lofoten Islands in the Arctic Circle, a chain of islands made up of majestic snow-topped mountains, deep fjords, long, surf-swept beaches and small, historic fishing villages. And they must face a legendary tidal whirlpool, the maelstrom, in their attempt to catch the 'cheetahs of the water', coalfish.


5. Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special

Christmas Day at 5.10pm on BBC One

Once again Strictly Come Dancing will return to our screens on Christmas Day for an all-star Christmas special, bringing festive fun, frolics and fab-u-lous dancing to homes across the nation.

Hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, the Christmas special will see six brand new stars take to the floor in a bid to be crowned Christmas Champion 2022. But will the judges be naughty or nice to them?

Taking to the famous Strictly ballroom this year will be Girls Aloud favourite Nicola Roberts, CBeebies presenter George Webster, former Corrie fave Alexandra Mardell, Gavin & Stacey favourite Larry Lamb, podcast host Rosie Ramsey and radio DJ Rickie Haywood-Williams.

Plus, there'll be a merry musical performance with some spectacular group routines including the celebrities and their professional partners, guaranteed to spread Christmas cheer.


6. Ghosts Christmas Special

Christmas Day at 7.25pm on BBC One

A Ghosts Christmas special is fast becoming an annual highlight of the festive season and this year BBC One is fully backing the best new comedy they've made in years by putting this year's special on primetime Christmas Day.

This year, the Ghosts, touched by Alison’s thoughtful generosity, are inspired to give her a special Christmas present in return – but with Alison due back in a matter of hours, can they pull off their ambitious plan in time?

Mike’s loaded Tupperware comes in handy when their journey hits a bump in the road, forcing them to reassess their Christmas day plans. And Kitty gets her moment in the spotlight thanks to a much-needed pep talk from a surprising source.


7. Call The Midwife

Christmas Day at 7.55pm on BBC One

It wouldn't be Christmas Day on BBC One without a Call The Midwife Christmas special and this time it's December 1967 and with Christmas fast approaching, life in Poplar is returning to normal after the terrible train crash. And Trixie arrives back from Portofino, looking poised and beautiful, much to the delight of Matthew.

The midwives move the maternity clinic into new premises and are delighted when one of their first patients through the door is Rhoda Mullocks (Liz White) who the team know well. Rhoda is heavily pregnant, and understandably nervous after her last baby was born with limbs that have been affected by Thalidomide.

Nurse Crane cares for a heavily pregnant single mother, recently released from prison, while Sister Frances is called out to deliver a Sylheti mother’s child in a garment factory in a rough area of Poplar.

Elsewhere, Fred decides that Poplar needs to come together to raise money for those families still affected by the train crash and pitches the wonderful idea of a festive talent show – Poplartunity Knocks!


8. The Voice Kids

Boxing Day at 6.30pm on ITV1

The Voice Kids is back and just like it did last year, it will air over three nights starting on Boxing Day as pop legend Ronan Keating joins, Pixie Lott and Danny Jones on the superstar coaching panel.

Emma Willis is back to host the series as the search to find Britain’s youngest singing talent gets underway. Singers between the ages of seven and 14 will perform in front of the famous big red chairs, hoping to turn both heads and chairs in their bid to become The Voice Kids 2022 champion.

1/3 Continues Tuesday and Wednesday

9. Detectorists

Boxing Day at 9pm on BBC Two

After a five-year absence, Detectorists is returning to our screens, this time on BBC Two, for a one-off 75-minute special in which Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones return as metal-detecting hobbyists, Lance and Andy.

The new special sees The Danebury Metal Detecting Club in trouble. With developers sniffing around and losing out on a big finder’s fee, the club is going to need a miracle to help save their beloved scout hall.

So when Lance manages to secure permission to search ten acres of prime, undetected land, it looks like things could be on the up. But when a mysterious relic is unearthed, Lance breaks protocol, threatening his friendship with Andy and the future of the DMDC.



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