When you’re basically forced to stay indoors, you’ve got to have some good telly ready to watch. Luckily for us, the UK, with Christmas comes content and we’ve rounded up a list of the best.
Your favourite shows, but make it festive.
Oh, oh, oh. Merry Christmas. To put it mildly, three seasons was not enough of the Shipmans and The Wests. 10 years on James Corden and Ruth Jones have given us what we’ve been waiting for for a decade, a one-off, hour-long Christmas special. With a couple of not-giving-away-too-much trailers released, we at least know everyone is still friends, no one has moved house, and we’re going to Barry. No hints on what baby Shipman or Neil The Baby is up to so watch this space…
Airs: BBC One, 8:30pm GMT, 25 December
The heart-melting show that has captured the heart of the nation is doing its annual Christmas episode which is sure to bring the laughs, or maybe some tears if you’ve been enjoying the egg nog. Fred and the team are bringing some romance to the evening as we see blind daters try to remember one another’s names, bring gifts for people they’ve never met, and maybe hop in the black cab with one another at the end of the night. Buckle up.
Airs: Channel 4, 9:15pm GMT, December 25
It’s not Christmas without them.
Coming to homes twice over the festive break, it’s Bake Off! The first episode sees favourite past contestants return to the tent to fend off Prue’s innuendo and protect her sensitive tastebuds (she’d think plain yoghurt was too spicy) and get into a weird staring competition with Paul Hollywood (will he smile if it’s Christmas?). The second episode has the cast of Derry Girls try their hand at signatures, technicals, and showstoppers which, if it’s anything like the StandUp2Cancer specials will be tv gold.
Airs: Channel 4, 8pm GMT, Christmas Day and then Channel 4, 7:40 pm GMT, New Year’s Day.
2019 has, rightly or wrongly, been the year of the reboot and this is no exception. Charles Dickens’ spooky Christmas tale, for 2019, is in the hands of Steven Knight. If that name sounds familiar it’s because this is the guy behind Peaky Blinders. Does that make this a Peaky Christmas special? Maybe, because it features Peaky regulars Charlotte Riley and her real-life husband Tom Hardy as two of the stand-out cast which also includes Tom The Favourite’s Joe Alwyn, Line of Duty’s Stephen Graham, and Guy Pearce as Scrooge. The three-part mini-series starts on the 22nd and runs through to Christmas Eve so the psychological thriller part of your Christmas break will be over before the big day.
Airs: BBC One, 9pm, 22/23/24 December.
Image Credit: BBC/Scott Free/FX Networks
Curl up for a long binge.
Scorsese at his best, The Irishman is destined for Oscars success and features a stellar cast including: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons, Ray Romano, and Joe Pesci. The tale of organised crime in post-war America, told through the eyes of hitman Frank Sheeran, spans decades and chronicles one of America’s greatest unsolved mysteries: the disappearance of union boss Jimmy Hoffa. With a running time of THREE AND A HALF HOURS, this one is a holiday-perfect watch.
Airs: Streaming on Netflix now.
Based on the best-selling fantasy series, The Witcher is an epic tale of fate and family. Starring Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people can prove more wicked than beasts. But when destiny brings him together with a powerful sorceress, and a young princess with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile Continent together.
Airs: Season one streaming on Netflix now.
Image credit: Katalin Vermes