It’s that time of year again, when evenings consist of too much mulled wine before nursing the inevitable hangover with the best of Christmas telly.
Luckily, the BBC has announced its festive schedule in plenty of time, so you can plan your sofa sessions around all the mince pies and present unwrapping.
There are promises of “world class talent, edge of your seat drama, outstanding comedy and fantastic storytelling” with something for all the family, so here’s what you can expect this festive period:
Mrs Brown’s Boys
Agnes Brown returns for two Mrs Brown’s Boys episodes this Christmas so of course, there will be plenty more of the usual family chaos. We’re talking disappointing ‘magical’ Christmas trees, plastic surgery, burglaries, baby chat and poker.
Top Gear: Patagonia Special
Despite all the controversy surrounding this episode, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May’s adventurous South American road trip will be broadcast as a two-part Christmas special.
Strictly Come Dancing
Sir Bruce Forsyth returns to host this one-off panto-themed special featuring memorable contestant from the past year, including Rachel Stevens, Chris Hollins and Russell Grant.
Santa Claus himself stars in the hit sci-fi drama’s Christmas special, which many predict will see the Doctor’s companion Clara (Jenna Coleman) leave the show. A preview aired during Children In Need earlier this month, showing the pair trapped on an Arctic base, under attack from terrifying creatures.
TV specials to watch this Christmas
TV specials to watch this Christmas
1/14 Doctor Who
Nick Frost plays Santa Claus in the Doctor Who Christmas special
2/14 Downton Abbey
The cast of Downton Abbey up sticks to Northumberland for a shooting party this Christmas
3/14 The Wrong Mans
Matthew Baynton and James Corden in the Christmas episode of The Wrong Mans
4/14 The Great British Bake Off Xmas Masterclass
Christmas cooking can be a right nightmare, but never fear, for Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are here
5/14 Top Gear
The Top Gear Patagonia Special is going ahead despite complaints from the Argentinian government
Miranda Hart will put her sitcom character to rest after two Christmas specials
7/14 Mrs Brown's Boys
Agnes Brown returns for two Mrs Brown’s Boys episodes this Christmas
8/14 Call The Midwife
Miranda Hart will be all over our screens as she also stars in the Call The Midwife festive special
9/14 Black Mirror
Jon Hamm stars in an episode that will see people 'blocked' in real life
10/14 Esio Trot
Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench star in the BBC adaptation of Roal Dahl's children's novel
11/14 The Boy In The Dress
David Walliams’ latest children’s comedy promises a cameo appearance from Kate Moss
12/14 The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm
Harry Hill makes his acting debut in this family drama about an absent-minded, mad professor who causes chaos with his hare-brained creations
13/14 Attenborough’s Paradise Birds
It wouldn’t be Christmas without David Attenborough’s soothing tones
The Carter family pose for a photo in the EastEnders Christmas special
The Great British Bake Off Xmas Masterclass
Christmas cooking can be a right nightmare, but never fear, for Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are here. Your Christmas pudding and mince pies will be the envy of everyone if you follow their stellar baking tips.
Call The Midwife
The festive episode sees Jennifer at home with husband Philip, prepping for Christmas in 2005, before her conversation takes us back to 1960 where Chummy is charged with bringing joy to a poorly managed mother and baby home. Meanwhile, Cynthia makes a life-changing decision.
Michael McIntyre’s Very Christmassy Christmas Show
One of the UK’s biggest stand-up comedians is joined by celebrity guests who he invites to share their seasonal stories - good, bad and of course, hilariously entertaining.
The Boy In The Dress
David Walliams’ latest children’s comedy promises a cameo appearance from Kate Moss. Dennis, 12, longs to escape his boring life until a chance view of the supermodel on a magazine cover introduces him to a whole new world…
Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman star in this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic tale. Made in Love Actually’s Richard Curtis, the story follows retired bachelor Mr Hoppy as he tries to help neighbour Mrs Silver when her beloved tortoise appears to have stopped growing.
Miranda is facing two proposals in her final two episodes – one from Gary and another from Mike. You’ll have to wait and see who she chooses, if either of them…
The Wrong Mans
This BBC Two comedy makes its Christmas debut as Sam and Phil find themselves 4,000 miles from home, facing the difficult decision of whether to stay forgotten or return to Bracknall.
The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm
Harry Hill makes his acting debut in this family drama about an absent-minded, mad professor who causes chaos with his hare-brained creations. Things will blow up.
Rick Mayall: Lord of Misrule
The popular comedian’s career is looked back upon with fondness in this poignant show by Simon Callow. The likes of Lenny Henry, Ben Elton, Michael Palin and Ruby Wax all contribute in memory of the late Blackadder star.
Attenborough’s Paradise Birds
It wouldn’t be Christmas without David Attenborough’s soothing tones – expect plenty of those, plus stunning visuals in this one-off nature programme.
More nature will come from Gordon Buchanan’s The Snow Wolf Family and Me, while the story of Giles Clark and the Sumatran tiger cubs Spot and Stripe continues in Tigers About The House: What Happened Next.
Songs of Praise: Christmas Big Sing
Katherine Jenkins and Jermain Jackman join presenters David Grant and Bill Turnbull for stunning classical music from the Royal Albert Hall.
It’s all about those dark family secrets and lies coming to the surface over in Albert Square this Christmas, while Mick pulls out all the stops to ensure that the Carter family’s first Christmas in the Queen Vic is perfect. Expect a dramatic mixture of festive joy and drama.Reuse content