Christmas TV guide 2014: The best festive comedy to watch from Black Mirror to Mrs Brown's Boys

A Rik Mayall comedy tribute will also be shown on BBC2

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The Independent Culture

There are countless seasonal episodes of sitcoms, including Cuckoo (BBC3), Man Down (Channel 4), House of Fools (BBC2), Stella (Sky1) Mrs Brown’s Boys and Not Going Out (both BBC1), while Still Open All Hours returns for fans of David Jason and Roy Clarke’s nostalgic paean to old-fashioned general stores. Otherwise...

The Wrong Mans (BBC2)

Matthew Baynton and James Corden in the Christmas episode of The Wrong Mans

The return of Bracknell council co-workers Sam and Phil (Matthew Baynton and James Corden), whose lives were turned upside down when Sam answered a ringing phone at the site of a car-crash. Now stranded in a high-security jail in Texas (“do you have a code for the wi-fi?”, Phil asks rather hopefully”), can they get home in time for Christmas?

Miranda (BBC1)

Miranda Hart in the Miranda Christmas special

Miranda Hart bows out – or more likely falls over – as she perhaps wisely ends her slapstick studio sitcom with two valedictory episodes. “As she gets older, I don’t want her to keep making a fool of herself,” says Hart of her decision to finish off her disaster-prone singleton. Fans will be hoping for a happy ending – perhaps with Gary or (more radically) with Stevie?

Black Mirror Christmas Special (Channel 4)

Jon Hamm stars in the Black Mirror Christmas special

Comedy of a much darker hue as Mad Men’s John Hamm – a big fan of the last series of Charlie Brooker’s dystopian drama – joins Rafe Spall and Game of Thrones’s Oona Chaplin for a one-off, 90-minute tale that will be, according to Channel 4, “the most mind-bending episode yet, showcasing three inter-woven stories of Yuletide techno-phobia”. Best to go easy on the sherry beforehand.


Rik Mayall: Lord of Misrule (BBC2)

Simon Callow narrates a tribute to the comedy actor who died so prematurely and unexpectedly earlier this year, with contributions from Michael Palin, Simon Pegg, Ruby Wax and Ben Elton. Another tribute – this time happily for a comedy actor who is still with us – celebrates the career of Julie Walters.

Read more: What to watch on Christmas Day