The Christmas spirit is officially upon us, and the perfect way to unwind this December is in front of the telly with copious amounts of food (and a cheeky drink or two).
Many shows and specials are now being announced for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. With that in mind, what is there to enjoy on the gogglebox this festive season? Plenty. Here’s a selection of the best.
What’s on TV in the lead-up to Christmas?
Inside No 9 Christmas Special
BBC Two/BBC iPlayer – 22 December 2022 – 9pm
The mystery anthology series Inside No 9 returns for a spooky special called The Bones of St Nicholas. The last time Inside No 9 had a Christmas special was 2016, so this is a real treat. In the episode, guests staying overnight in a church clash with one another, and things get even more out of hand when paranormal activity comes into play.
Motherland: Last Christmas
BBC One/BBC iPlayer – 23 December 2022 – 9:30pm
The entire cast of Motherland is back for some festive celebrations. Both Kevin and Liz turn up a Julia’s house when their own plans fall through – meanwhile Amanda and Meg are dealing with family dramas of their own.
What’s on TV this Christmas Eve?
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
BBC One/BBC iPlayer – 24 December 2022 – 4:55pm
Charlie Mackesy’s bestselling novel has been adapted into a short animation, featuring an all-star voice cast that includes Idris Elba, Tom Hollander, Gabriel Byrne and Jude Coward Nicoll. The story follows an unlikely friendship between a boy and three animals as they search for a new home.
The Great Christmas Bake Off
Channel 4/Channel 4 website – 24 December 2022 – 8:25pm
As usual, Bake Off is back for a festive special, with a bunch of celebrities competing for that all-important star baker crown. The bakers this year include The Big Breakfast’s Gaby Roslin, Blackadder’s Sir Tony Robinson, Steph’s Packed Lunch presenter Miquita Oliver, The Word’s Terry Christian and Brookside’s Claire Sweeney.
Christmas Comedy Club with Lost Voice Guy
ITV1/ITVX – 24 December 2022 – 10:40pm
Lee Ridley, AKA Lost Voice Guy, won Britain’s Got Talent a few years ago. Now, he has his own festival special, and he will be joined by fellow comedians Paul Zerdin, Josie Long and Dara O’Brian.
What’s on TV this Christmas Day?
The Smeds and The Smoos
BBC One/BBC iPlayer – 25 December 2022 – 2:30pm
Julia Donaldson (best known for The Gruffalo) and Axel Scheffler’s book has been adapted into a 3D special, featuring the voices of Adjoa Ando and Bill Bailey. Two families who oppose each other must come together when a child from each household runs away.
The Chase Celebrity Christmas Special
ITV1/ITVX – 25 December 2022 – 5pm
It wouldn’t be Christmas Day without a festive quiz, and The Chase is back with a special Alice in Wonderland theme. Expect the Chasers to be fully dressed up, and an all-star cast taking on the brainiacs. As you’d expect, Bradley Walsh is back on presenting duties.
Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
BBC One/BBC iPlayer – 25 December 2022 – 5:10pm
Following a tense finale the weekend before, Strictly will be back for its annual festive episode. Typically the contestants dance to Christmas classics, and we see the 10 paddle come out more than unusual thanks to the cheerful atmosphere.
Call the Midwife Christmas Special
BBC One/BBC iPlayer – 25 December 2022 – 7:55pm
The Call the Midwife Christmas special will last a whopping one hour and 29 minutes this year, with the Mullucks family making a reappearance as Rhoda once again deals with another pregnancy.
Ant & Dec’s Christmas Limitless Win
ITV1/ITVX – 25 December 2022 – 8pm
The Newcastle duo are back from their I’m a Celebrity run presenting a festive version of their quiz show, Limitless Win. The pair have promised that it will be just as nerve-wracking as usual, with big amounts of money up for grabs.
Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special
BBC One/BBC iPlayer – 25 December 2022 – 10:25pm
Yet another BBC Christmas staple, Mrs Brown’s Boys, is back again. In it, Cathy’s creepy boyfriend gets introduced to the family, whilst Agnes gets a festive fright. This is the first of two specials – there will be another on New Year’s Day.
What’s on TV this Boxing Day?
The Greatest Snowman
Channel 4/Channel 4 website – 26 December 2022 – 7:30pm
Sue Perkin’s snowman building competition is returning to Channel 4 on Boxing Day. Celebrities will have their snowy creations judged by Swedish sculpting sisters Sara and Emilie Steele as well as British artist Taslim Martin.
Death in Paradise Christmas Special
BBC One/BBC iPlayer – 26 December 2022 – 9pm
Season 11’s cliffhanger will be resolved in this Christmas special of Death in Paradise, with Ralf Little, Don Warrington, Orla Brady and more all returning for the episode.
The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2022
Channel 4/Channel 4 website – 26 December 2022 – 9pm
Think you can remember all the big events of this year? You can see if you’re up for the challenge with Jimmy Carr’s Big Fat Quiz of the Year. He will be joined by contestants Stephen Merchant, Katherine Ryan, Richard Ayoade, Maisie Adam, Jonathan Ross and Rose Matafeo.