Say hello to your bumper Christmas TV guide

From Call The Midwife to Bridgerton, here’s our pick of what to watch on TV over the Christmas break.

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a bumper selection of must-watch TV shows and films to get stuck into. And this year looks set to be little different, as the merry elves working at the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime have come through with some festive television treats.

There are, as you’ve probably guessed, some familiar faces in the mix, including Strictly Come Dancing, Call The Midwife, Gogglebox, and First Dates. And, for those looking for a nostalgia hit, we have the return of The Vicar Of Dibley (not to mention an actual Bridget Jones’ Diary documentary) to get stuck into, too.

And, for all those in the mood for something brand-new, there’s a lot to choose from: think Black Narcissus, Disney’s Soul, the much-anticipated Doctor Who specialand Shonda Rhimes’ Bridgerton, to name just a few.

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All in all, it’s going to be a brilliant a great time for telly fans. 

So, while it’s a little too early to confirm exact TV listings for everything, here’s our pick of the best things to watch over Christmas 2020.

Just be sure to bookmark this article, as it will be updated regularly to include new titles and information.

Christmas on Disney+

Soul

Exclusively on Disney+ from Christmas Day, Pixar’s Soul tells the story of Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth.

Watch the trailer for yourself below:

When to watch: Soul will be available to stream from 25 December.

Christmas on BBC One

Vicky McClure’s Dementia Choir at Christmas

In this heartwarming seasonal special for BBC One, Line Of Duty’s Vicky McClure tells us what the Dementia Choir has been doing during lockdown, leading up to a very special Christmas performance with members of the English National Opera at the London Coliseum for one choir member. 

“Mick is living his bucket list while he can and wants to sing on a stage one last time,” reads the official synopsis. 

“He knows he’s coming to London to sing, but he has no idea where or that Vicky’s also arranged for her co-star on Line Of Duty, Adrian Dunbar, to sing with him.”

We have a feeling we’re going to need the tissues for this one.

When to watch: TBC.

Call The Midwife

Call The Midwife has become something of a Christmas staple over the years, and this special episode –set in December 1965 – sees everyone at Nonnatus House’s plans for a traditional Christmas go awry. Poor Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) is rushed to hospital, while Trixie (Helen George) is left fuming when she is thoughtlessly gifted a subscription to a Marriage Bureau.

Elsewhere, a surprise reunion for Shelagh (Laura Main) sees her become involved in a deeply moving birth, and Nurse Crane (Linda Bassett) is caught up in an exciting adventure when the circus arrives in Poplar.

All in all? The sort of Christmas fare we can’t wait to settle down to, quite frankly.

When to watch: TBC

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Sir David Attenborough’s Meerkat: A Dynasties Special

Scientists recently discovered that watching Sir David Attenborough documentaries is proven to make us significantly happier, while also reducing our stress and anxiety. Consider Meerkat: A Dynasties Special, all about a young meerkat queen called Maghogho, essential viewing over Christmas.

When to watch: TBC

Ghosts Christmas special

It’s Christmas at Button House, and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) is keen to make it perfect for his visiting family. However, Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) quickly becomes distracted as she makes it her mission to inject some festive cheer into her ghostly pals. Will she be able to help them to rediscover the real message of Christmas?

When to watch: TBC

Doctor Who: Revolution Of The Daleks

Aptly titled Revolution Of The Daleks, this year’s much-anticipated festive episode of Doctor Who will pick up pretty much exactly where the 12th series left off: The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) seems doomed to end her days in a high-security alien prison, while her human companions Yaz (Mandip Gill), Ryan (Tosin Cole) and Graham (Bradley Walsh) go about their normal lives on Earth without her.

But then the trio accidentally stumble across a disturbing plan. A disturbing plan involving (you guessed it) many, many Daleks. Will they, with a little help from an old friend, be able to defeat the exterminators once and for all?

When to watch: TBC

Mary Berry Saves Christmas

You get exactly what it says on the tin with this one: Mary Berry, like the angel she is, rolls up her sleeves to help three hopeless non-cooks create surprise Christmas feasts for their loved ones.

When to watch: TBC

Black Narcissus

 In this adaptation of Rumer Godden’s classic novel Black Narcissus, Gemma Arterton stars as ambitious young nun Sister Clodagh, who heads a mission to a remote clifftop palace in the Himalayas once known as the ‘House of Women’.

 As she and her sisters attempt to make the palace of Mopu their home, though, its haunting mysteries awaken forbidden desires that seem destined to repeat a terrible tragedy.

To quote Stylist’s Hollie Richardson: “It looks sexy, spooky and a little bit bonkers – which is why we’re totally into it.”

When to watch: TBC

The Vicar Of Dibley In Lockdown

If you’ve been wondering what Geraldine Grainger (Dawn French) has been up to during lockdown, wonder no longer: she’s been conducting sermons over Zoom. And these new thoughts on life and chocolate will be packaged as three brand new 10 minute shows that will precede some of her earlier adventures this Christmas on BBC One.

When to watch: TBC

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Strictly: The Christmas Countdown

While Covid-19 restrictions have put paid to our hopes of a festive dance-off this year, Strictly: The Christmas Countdown will see hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman revealing which dances the viewers have voted into their top 25 of all time.

When to watch: TBC

The Big New Year’s In

Social distancing rules mean it’s highly unlikely we’ll be able to celebrate New Year’s Eve as usual, so the BBC is putting on a live entertainment show which will run throughout the evening.

Packed with famous faces, the synopsis promises that this “unforgettable concert leads up to a very special midnight celebration.” For now, though, exact details of the night remain a mystery.

When to watch: TBC

Christmas on BBC Two

Nigella Lawson’s Cook, Eat Repeat Christmas special

An hour-long special of Nigella Lawson’s Cook, Eat, Repeat will air over the festive period. While we don’t know which recipes she will be tackling, Nigella has promised us that she will be offering her own unique twist to the Christmas dinner table, featuring food from near and far, to add something a little different to the seasonal set menu.

When to watch: TBC

QI Christmas Quiz With Sandi Toksvig

Sandi Toksvig is here to ensure we all have a very merry quizmas, bringing us plenty of festive-themed questions in a bid to get out brains whirring after our traditional Christmas nap.

When to watch: TBC

Victoria Wood: The Secret List

This tribute to the late comedy legend counts down a hand-picked list of Victoria Wood’s favourite career moments, which was discovered in a notebook after she passed away in 2016.

When to watch: TBC

Being Bridget

Can you believe it’s been a whopping 25 years since Bridget Jones made her first appearance via a newspaper column detailing her rocky relationships with men, booze, fags… and knicker elastic. To celebrate our beloved Bridge, then, this BBC Two film explores how Helen Fielding’s character reflects changing attitudes to women, and the way their stories are told. 

When to watch: TBC

The Gruffalo and Me: The Magical World of Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo, Zog, The Highway Rat, Stick Man, The Paper Dolls, Tabby McTat, Tiddler… this documentary film will uncover the surprising stories behind how Julia Donaldson’s iconic characters were created, and what they mean to a generation of readers. 

When to watch: TBC

Christmas on ITV

The Story Of SM:TV Live

Presenters Cat Deeley, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have all moved on to do big things since they left SM:TV Live 19 years ago. In this nostalgia-heavy ITV special, though, they’ll be reuniting to look back at the children’s TV show that made them household names.

When to watch: TBC

Christmas On Channel 4

Quentin Blake’s Clown

Inspired by a book of the same name, Quentin Blake’s Clown is a half hour animation bringing to life the adventures of a little toy clown, thrown away with a load of old discarded toys, as he goes on a journey to find a new loving home for himself and his friends. And, yeah, it’s narrated by Helena Bonham-Carter herself.

When to watch: TBC

Big Fat Quiz Of The Year 2020

To celebrate the welcome dawn of another year, Jimmy Carr puts a panel of top celebrity teams to test as he presents his big, fat and fiendishly difficult quiz. 

When to watch: TBC

Gogglebox: Festive Special

We’ve been relying heavily on Gogglebox’s armchair critics to keep us smiling during lockdown, so you better believe that we’ll be tuning in to hear their thoughts on the year’s biggest Christmas TV shows.

When to watch: TBC

First Dates Christmas

First Dates might usually take place at Paternoster Chop House, but this Christmas will see Fred Sirieix and the team head to some seriously cosy countryside pubs in a bid to help a new batch of hopeful singletons find love.

When to watch: TBC

The Great Christmas Bake Off

Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith and Matt Lucas are joined by Bake Off: The Professionals host Tom Allen as they celebrate Christmas in the famous white tent. 

When to watch: TBC

Christmas on Netflix

Bridgerton

Based on the historical romance novels by bestselling author Julia Quinn, Stylist’s Helen Bownass has Bridgerton pegged as an absolute must-watch.

“It tells the story of Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset,” she says of the upcoming Netflix show. “The couple come to an arrangement to get engaged in an effort to get Basset’s mother off his back about getting married. However, during the engagement Daphne finds herself falling for her faux lover and has to work out how she can make the fake relationship a reality.”

Helen adds: “In other words, like The Wedding Date – but make it 19th century aristocracy.”

We’re in.

When to watch: Bridgerton will be available to stream on Netflix from 25 December.

The Midnight Sky

George Clooney is the director of this sci-fi film about a lone scientist in the Arctic who races to contact a crew of astronauts returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.

When to watch: The Midnight Sky will be available to stream on Netflix from 23 December.

London Hughes’ To Catch A Dick 

London Hughes’ stand-up show To Catch A Dick, which was nominated for last year’s Edinburgh Comedy Award, will be available to stream on Netflix this Christmas. 

“I’m so excited for the world to see this special,” says Hughes, who recently launched her podcast London, Actually on Spotify.

“After the crazy year we’ve had, we could all do with a good laugh and some good dick.”

When to watch: London Hughes’ To Catch A Dickwill be available to stream on Netflix from 22 December.

Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina: Season 4

All good things must come to an end, and so too must Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina.

“The Eldritch Terrors descend upon Greendale [and] the coven must fight each terrifying threat one-by-one (The Weird, The Returned, The Darkness to name a few), all leading up to… The Void, which is the End of All Things,” reads Netflix’s synopsis for the finale, which is due to land on the streaming platform on 31 December.

“As the witches wage war, with the help of The Fright Club, Nick begins to slowly earn his way back into Sabrina’s heart, but will it be too late?”

When to watch: Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina S4 will be available to stream on Netflix from 31 December.

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Christmas on Amazon Prime

Sylvie’s Love

Starring Tessa Thompson and boasting a 100% ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Sylvie’s Love is a must-watch when it drops on Amazon Prime on 25 December.

The film sees Sylvie (Thompson) embark on a summer romance with a saxophonist who takes a summer job at her father’s record store in Harlem. But, when they reconnect years later, they discover that their feelings for each other have not faded with the years.

When to watch: Sylvie’s Love will be available to stream on Amazon Prime from 25 December.

Images: Netflix, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Getty, Spotify

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