BBC One 9am
CAROL SERVICE FROM KINGS COLLEGE
Featuring favourites such as I Saw Three Ships (Go Sailing Straight Past), In The Even Bleaker Than Usual Midwinter, God Help Ye Merry Gentlemen, While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Zoom, O Come All Ye Double Vaccinated and many many more…
The timeless tale of how a child is born to a naive young woman and a powerful but somewhat emotionally distant father, just in time to give everyone a welcome, but in all likelihood illusory, burst of goodwill and optimism.
BBC One 11am
Wallace and Gromit in A COLD DAY OUT
The new award-winning short animation from Aardman Studios: a freezing Gromit stands in a food bank queue for 30 minutes, having been forced to sell Wallace’s house in order to pay for his social care.
Channel 4 11.30am
HOW THE MOGG STOLE CHRISTMAS
A grotesquely made-up Jim Carrey stars in the tale of a strange, gangly, sneering monster who hogs all the Christmas cheer for himself, while laughing at the poor ordinary folk he took it away from.
BBC One 1pm
TOP OF THE POPS
Festive hits from Ed Sheeran, Adele, Most Of Little Mix, Ed Sheeran, Clean Bandit, Elton John and Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, George Ezra (or possibly James Ray), Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Ariana Pequeña, Robo-ABBA, Ed Sheeran and Slipknot (feat. Ed Sheeran).
Channel 4 2pm
Raymond Briggs’s heartwarming story of an adorable animated snowman who helps Michael Fassbinder’s troubled Norwegian detective to track down a serial killer who taunts him with clues as to who his next victim will be (are you sure about this one? – Ed).
BBC One 3pm
We join Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace as she gives her thoughts on the events of the past year and expresses her hopes for the future (WARNING: VERY STRONG LANGUAGE THROUGHOUT).
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
An updated modern-day re-telling of Ian Fleming’s cold war classic in which James Bond 007 is sent to Moscow by the prime minister with a brown envelope full of cash and told to retrieve a can of film which he is NOT to look at under any circumstances.
Channel 4 5pm
Bill Murray’s mean-hearted TV producer is pestered by annoying ghosts trying to persuade him to change his ways, having apparently forgotten that he has a bunch of friends who specialise in taking care of this sort of thing.
BBC two 6pm
MIRACLE ON DOWNING STREET
A bumbling, lovable, portly white-haired eccentric is forced to go to extraordinary lengths to convince an increasingly sceptical and hardhearted public that he is, in fact, real. Almost certainly starring Matt Lucas.
BBC One 6.30pm
Returning to Britain to stock up on custard creams, the Doctor is horrified to discover the nation in the grip of a strange, self-destructive mania. Can she save her adopted homeland before the Home Office have her deported as an undesirable alien?
BBC One 7.30pm
In an unprecedented twist, this year’s Yuletide visit to Albert Square turns out to be one of the LESS depressing things on TV this Christmas.
BBC 1 8pm
MORECAMBE AND WISE
The first-ever broadcast of the never-before-seen banned Christmas 1977 special, featuring guest stars Sid Vicious and Oliver Reed. Stay tuned to the end to see the incredible 15-minute parody of Taxi Driver what Little Ern wrote (“Are you talking to me? Is he talking to me, Ern?”). With music from Shirley Bassey and The Slits.
BRITAIN’S GOT LOONIES – CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
Simon Cowell and his fellow celebrity judges hold court as a series of patently severely psychologically damaged and/or dangerously mentally ill people are paraded for their – and our – amusement (© Caligula Productions)
Channel 4, 8.30pm
THE GREAT CHRISTMAS 2021 BAKE-OFF
Two teams of celebrity bakers battle it out to see who can create the fanciest and tastiest cake when the shops are out of eggs, flour and milk. And sugar.
DIE HARD/LOVE ACTUALLY
A Christmas Alan Rickman double bill: in one movie, the much-missed screen legend plays a cartoonishly caricatured villain in a bizarrely heightened and overwrought story featuring outlandish characters mouthing almost unperformable dialogue as they react in implausible ways to utterly ludicrous and unconvincing scenarios. The other one stars Bruce Willis.
BBC Two 12.30am
FRANKIE BOYLE’S REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2021
In a format change from previous years, comedian Frankie and his guest contributors refrain from cracking any gags about the last year’s news; rather they just gaze in slack-jawed horror as the events of 2021 are replayed before them (meanwhile, Charlie Brooker watches and thanks his lucky stars once more that he got out of this gig when he did).