Christmas Culture Iweekend News Television

Christmas 2018 TV Listings: From Call The Midwife and Doctor Who to Sheridan Smith’s Funny Girl, here are our top picks

Christmas 2018 TV Listings: From Call The Midwife and Doctor Who to Sheridan Smith's Funny Girl, here are our top picks

Drama

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina:A Midwinter’s Story

From 14 December Netflix

A deal with for followers of this deliciously darkish reboot of 90s sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch, with Mad Males’s Kiernan Shipka wonderful casting within the title position. Because the winter solstice approaches, Sabrina orchestrates an emotional séance with critical penalties.

The Lengthy Music

19 December, 9pm BBC1

Set through the ultimate days of slavery in 19th-century Jamaica, The Lengthy Track follows the trials, tribulations and survival of wily, strong-willed slave July (Tamara Lawrance) on a plantation owned by her odious mistress Caroline Mortimer (Hayley Atwell). Tailored from the award-winning novel by Andrea Levy, the manufacturing counts Lenny Henry and Jack Lowden (Dunkirk), as a liberal new overseer, amongst its forged.

The Lifeless Room

Christmas Eve, 10pm BBC4

Mark Gatiss revives the BBC custom of a ghost story at Christmas by writing and directing this eerie story a few long-running radio horror collection. Simon Callow performs its veteran presenter, Aubrey Judd, who finds himself on their lonesome within the peace and quiet of the abandoned radio studio. Or is he? Bodyguard’s Anjli Mohindra performs Judd’s producer, Tara.

Call the Midwife

Christmas Day, 7.45pm BBC1

The festive go to to Nonnatus Home can all the time be relied upon to present snow, a heat coronary heart and various tears. The inimitable Miriam Margolyes joins the forged because the indomitable Sister Mildred. The nuns come collectively to give 4 Chinese language orphans from Hong Kong a Nativity to keep in mind, whereas again in Poplar, Valerie is organising a child ballet. Put together your hankies.

Torvill and Dean

Christmas Day, 9.15pm ITV

Prepare to hum alongside to Ravel’s “Boléro” as Britain’s most well-known ever ice-skaters, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean (performed by Ackley Bridge’s Poppy Lee Friar and Video games of Thrones’ Will Tudor) are adopted from 60s Nottingham to their date with future on the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics. Anita Dobson performs Jayne Torvill’s first coach whereas Stephen Tompkinson is her dad.

The ABC Murders

Boxing Day, 9pm BBC1

No waxed moustache or heavy Belgian accent? Might this actually be Hercule Poirot? John Malkovich has a decidedly totally different tackle Agatha Christie’s sleuth to the one performed by David Suchet for all these years on ITV. The American stars in Sarah Phelps’ darkish adaptation of the story about an alliterating serial killer who travels by practice throughout 1933 Britain. Rupert Grint co-stars as resentful Inspector Crome.

Lily Collins in Les Miserables. (Photograph: BBC Nonetheless)

The Sopranos

From Boxing Day Now TV/Sky Field Units

Has Christmas in shut proximity together with your family members made you assume that you’ve a dysfunctional household? Time to put all of it in perspective, as Sky makes obtainable all six seasons of the gangster drama that modified TV for ever, forward of its 20th anniversary in January.

Scrumptious

28 December, 9pm Sky One

Daybreak French and Emilia Fox return as battling hoteliers and former love rivals in a four-episode third collection of the blackly comedian drama. A newcomer (performed by Vincent Regan) comes between the ladies, simply as Sam (Fox) decides to spend money on a brand new spa.

Les Misérables

30 December, 9pm BBC1

No songs, as this isn’t the musical model of Victor Hugo’s epic story of underclass unrest in early 19th-century Paris, however a straight six-part model with Dominic West as reformed legal Jean Valjean and David Oyelowo because the remorselessly vengeful Inspector Javert. Lily Collins and Olivia Colman additionally star, whereas Andrew Davies’ profession as our adaptor-in-chief of literary classics is widely known in a particular documentary (see under).

The Doctor (Photo: BBC / BBC Studios/ Ben Blackall)The Doctor (Photograph: BBC / BBC Studios/ Ben Blackall)

Doctor Who

New Yr’s Day, 7pm BBC1

New showrunner Chris Chibnall continues to ring the modifications, shifting the seasonal Who particular from its conventional Christmas Day berth to New Yr’s Day. Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and her companions, having returned to present-day Earth, face a “terrifying evil” – a monster from throughout the centuries, stirred into life by the turning of the yr.

Luther

New Yr’s Day, 9pm BBC1

Idris Elba is reunited with detective John Luther’s herringbone overcoat as a collection of notably wicked crimes rock London. Luther’s new sidekick is performed by Wunmi Mosaku (final yr’s Bafta winner for Damilola, Our Beloved Boy) whereas Ruth Wilson is rumoured to make a return from the presumed lifeless as psycho Alice. Let’s hope so.

Comedy

Not Going Out Reside

21 December, 9pm BBC1

Inside No. 9 triumphed with its stay episode at Halloween nevertheless it’s a courageous choice to broadcast this long-running sitcom in a single take. It’s a query of who will corpse first – Lee Mack or Sally Bretton – as Lee and Lucy broadcast unfiltered from their festively adorned front room, nervously discussing the Christmas selection present they’ve been strong-armed into organising to increase cash for his or her youngsters’s faculty.

Goodness Gracious Me – 20 Years innit!

22 December, 10.15pm BBC2

The creators and stars of the BBC’s ground-breaking British-Asian sketch present – Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, Kulvinder Ghir and Nina Wadia – reunite to have fun the 20th anniversary of such well-loved regulars as “Going for an English” (subverting the best way Englishpeople may “go for an Indian”) and Mr “Everything Comes from India”, whereas there’s a countdown of the 10 favorite sketches as voted for on the BBC web site.

Inbetweeners 10th Anniversary. (Photo: Channel 4)Inbetweeners 10th Anniversary. (Photograph: Channel four)

Trollied: the Wedding ceremony

23 December, 9pm Sky One

The final ever episode of considered one of Sky’s hottest home-grown sitcoms. The employees of Valco grocery store get collectively for the marriage of Cheryl (Sarah Parish) and Gavin (Jason Watkins). Gavin has handed in his discover at Valco and they’ve huge plans for a brand new life in France (properly, Calais). However having the stag do on the night time earlier than the marriage – as they solely ever do in TV exhibits – seems to be an enormous mistake.

King Gary

23 December, 9.30pm BBC1

For a sitcom pilot to be aired on BBC1 in Christmas week – even one from the group behind the Bafta-winning Homicide in Successville – is sort of an accolade. Tom Davis and Laura Checkley play childhood sweethearts Gary and Terri, as they try to discover social acceptance in aggressive suburbia. Additionally within the forged are Romesh Ranganathan, as a neighbour who ill-advisedly throws a barbecue on the identical day as Gary’s, and The Quick Present’s Simon Day as Gary’s dad.

Upstart Crow

Christmas Day, eight.45pm BBC2

Among the many numerous sitcom specials arising (Dangerous Transfer, Two Doorways Down and the John Cleese comedy Maintain the Sundown being among the many others), Ben Elton’s Shakespearean pastiche is arguably the most effective suited to the season, particularly as there’s a little bit of a Dickens mash-up happening. A mysterious stranger (performed by Kenneth Branagh) rescues Will from despair and persuades David Mitchell’s Bard to save Greene from a miserly life.

Mrs Brown’s Boys

Christmas Day, 10.45pm/New Yr’s Day, 10pm BBC1

The largest panto dame of all of them, Agnes Brown (Brendan O’Carroll) returns to squeeze extra jokes out of a comedy Christmas tree in two particular episodes. In “Exotic Mammy”, Father Damian organises a Christmas ornament competitors in help of the boy’s soccer group whereas “Mammy’s Motel” sees Mrs Brown placing up Winnie and Sharon after their pipes burst.

The Queen and I

Boxing Day, 6pm Sky One

David Walliams stars in a comedy concerning the Royal Household being pressured to reside on an city council property on this adaptation of Sue Townsend’s 1992 republican fantasy. Walliams is the novel prime minister, whereas Samantha Bond performs her former majesty slumming it on Hellebore Shut – nicknamed Hell Shut by locals together with Johnny Vegas and Lorraine Ashbourne.

Idris Elba stars in Luther. (Photo: BBC Still)Idris Elba stars in Luther. (Photograph: BBC Nonetheless)

The Morecambe and Clever Present: the Misplaced Tapes

Boxing Day, 7.50pm BBC2

What a deal with. For the primary time since their unique broadcast in 1968, two episodes of The Morecambe and Clever Present shall be performed after the unique color tapes have been misplaced for 50 years. The two, black-and-white episodes have been present in a derelict cinema in Sierra Leone and have been reworked again into color by decoding color info inside the copies.

Dangerous Transfer

Boxing Day, eight.30pm ITV

Overloaded with festive cheer? There’s just one man to rectify that, and that’s Jack Dee, in a seasonal particular of his sitcom a few metropolis couple who shortly come to remorse their transfer to the countryside. Nicky (Kerry Godliman) and Steve (Dee) make a pact not to rejoice Christmas this yr: they’re decided to deal with it identical to some other day. So how do they find yourself throwing a drinks social gathering for the entire village?

Click on and Acquire

Boxing Day, 9pm BBC1

Stephen Service provider (The Workplace, Extras) and Asim Chaudhry (Chabuddy G in Individuals Simply Do Nothing) star as mismatched neighbours driving throughout the nation to decide up the one toy that may make somewhat woman’s Christmas goals come true – Sparklehoof the Unicorn Princess. However will they get there earlier than the outlets shut for the festive season? And can they handle to keep away from driving one another loopy alongside the best way?

The Inbetweeners: Fwends Reunited

New Yr’s Day, 9pm C4

Simon Hen, James Buckley, Blake Harrison and Joe Thomas (aka Will, Jay, Neil and Simon) reunite for a studio present wanting again on the comedy’s basic moments, going behind the scenes of its success and celebrating with well-known followers. Don’t anticipate any additional collection of The Inbetweeners, although; the forged have persistently dominated that out.

Leisure

Love Island: The Christmas Reunion

17 December, 9pm ITV2

Caroline Flack may even be presenting this midwinter get-together for the celebs of the yr’s most talked-about actuality present, as winners and the nation’s sweethearts Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham replace us on the state of their relationship. Have they been crackin’ on or recoupling? Anticipate loads of cringe as estranged couples Laura and Paul and Ellie and Charlie are introduced face to face.

Take That perform. (Photo: BBC Still)Take That carry out (Photograph: BBC Nonetheless)

Strictly Come Dancing

Christmas Day, 5.30pm BBC1

Like Call the Midwife, Strictly has insinuated itself as a Christmas Day fixture – even decide Craig Revel Horwood managing to be much less “bah-humbug” than typical. Everyone’s favorite comedy contestant, Ann Widdecombe, returns, alongside Anita Rani, Michael Vaughan and Caroline Flack, whereas Aston Merrygold has an opportunity to avenge his shock exit in 2017 and Jake Woods shakes these snake hips as soon as extra.

Michael McIntyre’s Massive Christmas Present

Christmas Day, 6.45pm BBC1

With Doctor Who lacking from the Christmas Day schedule for the primary time in ages, BBC1 replaces it with the Saturday-night selection present it has been in search of for many years to fill its Era Recreation-shaped gap. The id of the visitors has but to be revealed, however the format stays the identical, together with “Midnight Game Show” and “Send to All”.

The Nice Festive Bake Off

Christmas Day, 8pm/New Yr’s Day, 7.40pm C4

Paul Hollywood will get to put on a Christmas jumper whereas it’s anyone’s guess what Noel Fielding will probably be sporting for the
festive season, as two specials giveChannel four’s scores some seasonal chew. 4 bakers might be competing in every contest. When was it filmed? If the timber outdoors the tent are nonetheless recent and inexperienced, we’ve the reply.

Hellebore Close, an everyday street in northern England that’s home to the kind of neighbours you won’t see over the fence at Buck House. (Photo: Sky SEAC)Hellebore Shut, an on a regular basis road in northern England that’s house to the sort of neighbours you gained’t see over the fence at Buck Home. (Photograph: Sky SEAC)

MasterChef: the Professionals Rematch

27 December, 8pm BBC2

Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace get out of the MasterChef kitchen to go to a few of the previous rivals whose lives have been modified by getting into – however they don’t simply depart it at that: the 5 cooks are then thrown collectively in a contest to see who comes out the last word winner.

Journey Man Christmas Particular: 96 Hours in Jordan

27 December, 9pm C4

There’s a suitably Biblical theme operating by way of this prolonged tour, during which host Richard Ayoade (who can also be presenting a Crystal Maze Christmas particular) is joined by David Baddiel for a four-day stopover in Jordan. Like a activity in The Apprentice, the duo try to purchase gold, frankincense and myrrh, beginning in a gold souk in Amman, earlier than following within the footsteps of Moses and scaling Mount Nebo.

Arts and Music

Fleetwood Mac: a Musical Historical past

21 December, 9pm BBC4

Fleetwood Mac are the good survivors of rock music, overcoming break-ups and breakdowns to promote greater than 100 million data, with their 1977 smash Rumours accounting for almost half of these gross sales. From Peter Inexperienced to Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, the band has contained some extraordinary songwriters, and this documentary celebrates all of them.

Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas

22 December, 10.35pm BBC4

“White Christmas”, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Winter Wonderland” – the soundtrack to Christianity’s most musical vacation – was written virtually totally by Jews, from Irving Berlin to Mel Tormé. This stylishly offbeat documentary tells their tales.

A wolf cub playing with She-wolf . Photo: (Boréales/ Cyril RUOSO/ BBC Still)A wolf cub enjoying with She-wolf . Photograph: (Boréales/ Cyril RUOSO/ BBC Nonetheless)

Funny Woman: The Musical

23 December, 9pm Sky Arts

As anybody who noticed the current BBC documentary about Barbra Streisand will now know, the musical story of Broadway star Fanny Brice made a star out of Babs, and hers are massive footwear to fill. Sheridan Smith delivers triumphantly, nevertheless, mixing bodily comedy with a belting voice, making the songs her personal as she imbues the tunes with uncooked emotion.

Bros: After the Screaming Stops

23 December, 10pm BBC4

Within the 80s, Bros have been one of many largest bands on the earth. After three years of hysteria wherever they went, and then nothing, the documentary charts twins Matt and Luke Goss’s reunion 28 years on, having hardly spoken and not performed collectively since their cut up. Can their extremely fractured relationship keep intact with solely three weeks to go till sell-out gigs at The O2 London?

Christmas at St Paul’s

Christmas Eve, 9pm BBC2

For the primary time in its historical past, St Paul’s Cathedral has granted the BBC entry to movie behind the scenes within the countdown to Christmas. With greater than 45,000 guests attending 17 providers and occasions, the strain is on for the workforce gearing up for the cathedral’s busiest time of yr – not least the 12-year-old chorister chosen to sing the solo in “Once in Royal David’s City”.

Take That perform. (Photo: BBC Still)Take That carry out (Photograph: BBC Nonetheless)

Swan Lake from the Royal Opera Home

Christmas Day, 7pm BBC4

Christmas isn’t Christmas with out pantomime for some, and ballet for others. Darcey Bussell presents thrilling younger choreographer Liam Scarlett’s new manufacturing for the Royal Ballet of Tchaikovsky’s dance basic, which garnered five-star critiques when it opened in Might with Argentinian ballerina Marianela Núñez within the massively difficult dual-role of Odette/Odile.

Ken Dodd: How Tickled We Have been

Boxing Day, 9pm BBC2

Fellow scousers Jimmy Tarbuck and Ricky Tomlinson, in addition to Ken Dodd’s widow Woman Anne, contribute to this profile to the final of the good music-hall comedians, who died final March after a 70-year profession in showbiz. Among the many artefacts being dusted down are Doddy’s well-known purple coat (supposedly made from 28 cat-skins, which is hopefully a joke), Union Jack hat, tickling stick and the Diddymen puppets.

Mark Kermode’s Christmas Cinema Secrets and techniques

27 December, 11pm BBC4

A seasonal version of the movie critic’s insightful collection concerning the films. He argues that an ideal Christmas film does greater than merely set its story within the festive season; it captures one thing magical – the Christmas spirit – and on this programme, he exhibits us how.

Take That

28 December, 7pm BBC1

The most profitable boy band in UK chart historical past rejoice their 30th
anniversary with a one-off particular. Robbie Williams rejoins them to share favorite reminiscences, whereas followers reveal how their lives have been modified by the band.

Watership Down (Photo: BBC Still)Watership Down (Photograph: BBC Nonetheless)

Billy Connolly: Made in Scotland

28 December, 9pm BBC2

He has been referred to as the Beatles and Jesus of comedy by his friends and an immature “manure mouth” by a pacesetter of the Scottish Zion Baptist Church. These two one-hour specials discover the divisive funnyman returning to Scotland to reveal the influences and motivations that turned him from a welder into The Massive Yin.

Andrew Davies: Rewriting the Classics

30 December, 10.05pm BBC4

Now aged 82, the Welsh author talks us by way of the method of adapting basic novels for the display as he takes on Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables (see above). He reveals his tips of the commerce, whether or not it’s for Delight and Prejudice (the well-known BBC Colin Firth model), Conflict and Peace, Charles Dickens or Bridget Jones. Writer Helen Fielding contributes, together with Les Misérables stars Dominic West and Olivia Colman.

Raymond Briggs: Snowmen, Bogeymen and Milkmen

New Yr’s Eve, 9pm BBC2

On the 40th anniversary of the publication of The Snowman, the illustrator, now aged 84 and “a grumpy old man concealing a great heart”, is discovered at house in Sussex, the place he tells the tales behind his evergreen books depicting a long-lost every-day Britain. He’s helped alongside by fellow cartoonists Steve Bell and Posy Simmons, whereas animator Nick Park explains how Briggs’ Father Christmas impressed Wallace and Gromit.

Documentaries

The Secret Story of the BBC Christmas Tapes

23 December, 9.30pm BBC4

“The dark corner of broadcasting” is how the videotapes that have been proven on the BBC Christmas celebration from 1978 onwards are referred to as on this documentary. The tapes have been culled from outtakes and bloopers squirreled away over the earlier yr, in addition to specifically filmed segments, such because the infamous re-edited interview with Princess Anne that was leaked to the press. Invoice Oddie and Angela Rippon are amongst these recalling their very own inclusion.

Snow Wolf: a Winter’s Story

30 December, 7pm BBC1

For viewers struggling Dynasties withdrawal signs, this sensational wildlife documentary travels deep into the Italian Dolomites, the place a pack of wolves led by an alpha feminine and her mate have raised their household to turn out to be formidable hunters. A tragic occasion turns their lives the wrong way up, and cameras comply with because the mom should flee the pack in the hunt for a brand new territory. On the best way, she provides delivery to six cubs, which she should shield from people and predators.

Raymond Briggs. (Photo: BBC Still)Raymond Briggs. (Photograph: BBC Nonetheless)

Spy within the Snow

30 December, 7pm BBC1

How do animals deal with snow? A wintry spin-off of the favored collection during which tiny cameras are hooked up to wildlife follows a spy parrot within the snowy mountains of New Zealand and a spy penguin within the South Pole.

Christmas Sky with Chris and Michaela

23 December, 9pm BBC2

From the deserts of Jordan, the place they seek for the “star of Bethlehem” to the Northern Lights in Norway’s frozen wilderness, Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan go sky-gazing to convey us seasonal celestial wonders and winter wildlife.

Household/Animation

Watership Down

22 December, 7pm &23 December, 7.20pm BBC1

Richard Adams’ anthropomorphic basic a few group of rabbits fleeing their doomed warren for harmful pastures anew was animated in 1978, when it was deemed quite scary for younger youngsters. Now it will get a brand new remedy that includes an A-to-Z of British thespian expertise, from Gemma Arterton and John Boyega to Ben Kingsley and Olivia Colman. James McAvoy and Nicholas Hoult voice Hazel and Fiver, the bunny brothers main the good escape.

Zog the dragon (BBC Still)Zog the dragon (BBC Nonetheless)

Zog

Christmas Day, four.50pm BBC1

Narrated by Lenny Henry, this animated adaptation of the image e-book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler is a few lovable younger dragon who learns at college how to struggle knights and save princesses.

The Midnight Gang

Boxing Day, 7.30pm BBC1

One other seasonal establishment is the difference of one in every of David Walliams’ vigorous youngsters’s guide. Following final yr’s Grandpa’s Nice Escape comes his story of schoolboy Tom, who, after being injured by a cricket ball, results in a hospital run by Haydn Gwynne’s child-hating matron and a sinister porter (Alan Davies). Walliams himself performs Tom’s depraved headmaster.