Do you believe there’s nothing better at Christmas than grabbing a glass of festive fizz and settling down to watch as someone else prepares a winter feast? If so, this is the guide for you.
There are a couple of classic repeats you may want to catch on 17 December, then the fresh festive cooking kicks off on 19 December and continues into the new year.
Nigella fans will be distraught to hear that there is no new Nigella Christmas special this year. However, those who can’t handle a Christmas minus Nigella (ie all of us) can stream a repeat of her Cook, Eat, Repeat Christmas Special on iPlayer.
You can also get festive recipe inspiration via the Season’s Eatings (heh) posts on her website: www.nigella.com
But now, let’s tuck in a napkin and start studying the menu.
Saturday, 17 December
Mary Berry’s Festive Feasts (11.30am, BBC One) (Repeat)
This is a repeat but it’s a good way to start kicking off what we could call the feastive (so sorry) celebrations.
It’s followed by…
Rick Stein’s Cornish Christmas (12.30pm, BBC One) (Repeat)
This again is a repeat but it’s a good way to enjoy an hour and a half of Christmas cooking telly while pondering your weekend plans / nursing your office Christmas party hangover.
Monday, 19 December
Mary Berry’s Ultimate Christmas (8pm, BBC One)
Fresh content begins here. Mary Berry is back and keeping it real this year with a show dedicated to her best recipes: the traditional Christmas dishes she’s been perfecting for 50 years. This includes a lemon and herb roast turkey with crispy roasties, red cabbage and apricot and chestnut stuffing.
She’ll go on some mini adventures with chef Angela Hartnett, Monica Galetti and TV host Rylan, and make a Christmas centrepiece from foraged greenery. That’s good news for my Christmas table and bad news for my neighbours’ hedges.
Friday, 23 December
Celebrity MasterChef Christmas Cook-Off 2022 (Part 1) (BBC One, 8pm)
In the first of two parts, a group of celebs including Bez from Happy Mondays, athlete Iwan Thomas, singer Lesley Garrett and pop star Josh Cuthbert flex their cookery skills to compete for the coveted Celebrity MasterChef Golden Whisk trophy. Sounds chaotic. I’m in.
Gino’s Italian Christmas Feast (8.30pm, ITV)
Gino D’Acampo, friends of Gino, family of Gino, dogs of Gino and assorted production crew members will be enjoying an Italian Christmas at the D’Acampo family’s Sardinian villa. On the menu is gnocchi, Florentine biscuits and a bread and butter pudding with a twist.
Warning: Christmas jumpers will be worn.
The Great Christmas Bake Off (8.25pm, Channel 4)
Is there anything more Christmassy than a bunch of celebrities in a tent, getting all floury and anxious? The answer, quite clearly, is no. This year’s Christmas Bake Off is a Channel 4-themed all-stars episode in honour of the channel’s 40th birthday. Sir Tony Robinson, Gaby Roslin, Miquita Oliver, Terry Christian and Claire Sweeney will be slinging cakes.
Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding will be on hand to dish out advice and tissues. As Lucas has announced he’s leaving the show, this will be one of your last chances to watch him work the iconic tent. (Crying emoji.)
Friday, 30 December
Celebrity MasterChef Christmas Cook-Off 2022 (Part 2) (BBC One, 9pm)
The second part of Celebrity MasterChef arrives long after you’ve finished the turkey sandwiches (hopefully) but before the new year’s resolutions kick in. This time around, drag artist Kitty Scott-Claus, X-Factor winner Megan McKenna, dancer AJ Pritchard and actor Chizzy Akudolu don the apron and wield the wooden spoon in the final part of this festive cooking competition.
New Year’s Day (Sunday, 1 January)
The Great New Year Bake Off (7.40pm, Channel 4)
Kick off the new year with this Bake Off special. Lottie Bedlow, Chigs Parmar, Manon Legrève and Antony Amourdoux return for more of the in-tents competition.
For more unmissable holiday TV, read our guides to the
best Channel 4 Christmas TV, the
best of ITV’s Christmas TV and
best Christmas TV overall. We also have an article on the
best Christmas movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and NowTV.