Braving the terrors of the black chair, comedian Omid Djalili, Geordie Shore’s Charlotte Crosby, This Morning doctor Zoe Williams and former England rugby star James Haskell are the first contestants to face John Humphrys’ questions in a celebrity-version series of the classic quiz.
2. Strictly Come Dancing: The Final
Who’ll be taking home the coveted Glitterball Trophy?
Find out as the final four stars and their professional partners are put through their faultlessly timed paces over three dances to decide the winner, taking the title from reigning champion Kelvin Fletcher. Robbie Williams performs to add some superstar lustre.
3. Home Alone: Britain’s Favourite Christmas Movie
It was the 1990 Hollywood comedy that almost got killed off after going vastly over budget – only to become a phenomenal, much-loved box-office hit.
Thirty years on from its release, the full story of the Home Alone franchise is revealed in a fans’ must-watch documentary. Channel 5, 8.20pm
Idris Elba Meets Paul McCartney
As the Beatle releases his latest solo album – on which he has played every single instrument – he recalls his matchless career in an enthralling hour of conversation with actor, DJ and unabashed Fab Four fan Elba.
5. My Generation
Here’s one star who can remember the swingiest moments from the 1960s: Michael Caine (above) looks back to when London was the grooviest place on Earth, with appearances by Twiggy, Marianne Faithfull, Roger Daltrey and Mary Quant.
Dr Seuss’ The Grinch Musical!
So what if we can’t go to the panto this year?
Instead, tune in as the much-loved classic children’s book is brought to life in a heartwarming, hilarious stage musical with Glee star Matthew Morrison all but unrecognisable beneath the make-up as the curmudgeonly Grinch (above), who discovers there’s more to Christmas than he thought.
Sky One, 3.30pm
7. Our Big Yorkshire Christmas
Make it a Yorkshire Yuletide in a very special celebration featuring choirs and carols from white rose country, with Jane McDonald and friends, the Owen family from Our Yorkshire Farm, the stars of The Yorkshire Vet and the good people of Harrogate.
Channel 5, 6.40pm
8. Sports Personality Of The Year 2020
A year of sport unlike any other at least ends with the traditional public vote to choose 2020’s personality.
Lewis Hamilton (above) may be fancied after his F1 record, but there are five other contenders: snooker’s Ronnie O’Sullivan, cricketer Stuart Broad, Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson, boxer Tyson Fury and jockey Hollie Doyle, the first woman to ride five winners on the same card.
9. Michael Palin’s Himalaya: Journey Of A Lifetime
Even after half a lifetime’s travels, Michael Palin looks back with particular excitement to his journey through the Himalayas in 2004.
Now the Python star shares his memories of Mount Everest, the Tibetan Plateau and Bhutan in an epic 90-minute special. BBC2, 8pm
The South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2020
It’s the gong the arts world loves to Bragg about: culture doyen Melvyn presents the annual event from the London Coliseum, with winners from dance, classical music, comedy, film, literature, opera, pop, theatre, TV drama and visual art to be announced. Sky Arts, 8pm
It was the moment viewers worldwide realised women would no longer be mere sex objects – the invasion of the 1970 Miss World contest by campaigning feminists.
Keira Knightley stars with Lesley Manville and Keeley Hawes (above with Rhys Ifans) in a winning, fact-based comedy-drama. Sky Cinema Premiere, 8pm
Victoria Wood: In Her Own Words
Still fondly mourned as one of Britain’s favourite comedy stars four years after her death, Victoria Wood (above) is celebrated in this loving profile with clips from her brilliant one-woman shows and interviews with Jo Brand, Jenny Eclair, Susie Blake and Gyles Brandreth.
Channel 5, 9pm
13. David Blaine: Beyond Magic
Some of the biggest celebrities on the planet have their minds blown as superstar illusionist David Blaine demonstrates his unsurpassable brand of street magic and showmanship on them.
Brace yourself for tricks that may leave you questioning your very sanity. Sky One, 9pm
14. FILM: The Death Of Stalin
The demise of history’s bloodiest tyrant might seem an unlikely source of laughs, but Armando Iannucci turned the farcical events after Joseph Stalin died into a scorchingly brilliant comedy.
Michael Palin and Steve Buscemi star with Jason Isaacs and Simon Russell Beale. BBC2, 9.30pm
Marcus Rashford: Feeding Britain’s Children
While other young footballers are distracted by sports cars and nightclubs, England striker Marcus Rashford has used his fame to combat the food poverty he knew growing up.
Behind-the-scenes cameras chart the Manchester United star’s astonishing past few months. BBC1, 7pm
16. Inside John Lewis: Trouble At The Tills
For decades they’ve been ‘never knowingly undersold’.
But John Lewis’s success story has come to a screeching halt with job losses and store closures, worsened still further by the pandemic. Steph McGovern investigates a national institution facing a daunting future. Channel 4, 8pm
Celebrity MasterChef Christmas Cook-off
Janet Street-Porter, Christopher Biggins, DJ Dev Griffin and Vicky Pattison (Geordie Shore) return to the Celebrity MasterChef kitchen hoping to be chosen as Christmas champion by judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace, in the first of two seasonal specials.
The second features Craig Revel Horwood, Amar Latif, Crissy Rock and Spencer Matthews. BBC1, 9pm & Wed 23, BBC1, 9pm
Upstart Crow: Lockdown Christmas 1603
Ben Elton’s delicious comedy returns for an all-too-topical festive outing.
The year is 1603, and in a plague-ridden London, Shakespeare (David Mitchell, above) is hunkering down at home with his long-suffering family for the 15th bout of enforced lockdown. But can the Bard find true Christmas spirit – or at least inspiration for a new play?
Gemma Whelan co-stars in a spot-on two-hander. BBC2, 9pm
19. 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown Christmas Special
It’s a clash of the comedians, as Jon Richardson and Sarah Millican face off against Sean Lock and David Mitchell.
Jimmy Carr presides over the fun, supported by Countdown brainboxes Rachel Riley and Susie Dent. Channel 4, 9pm
20. David Jason: Britain’s Favourite TV Star
From Only Fools And Horses to The Darling Buds Of May and A Touch Of Frost, David Jason’s been a phenomenally versatile and much-loved prime-time star.
Narrated by Sue Johnston, this entertaining tribute charts his iconic career. Channel 5, 9pm
21. National Theatre: Twelfth Night
Shakespeare’s comedy of mistaken identity and unrequited love is given a gender-bending twist in this acclaimed production. It’s a particular tour de force for Tamsin Greig as the achingly superior Malvolia at the centre of the whirlwind of farcical madness.
Sky Arts, 9pm
The Goes Wrong Show: The Nativity
It may not be the greatest story ever told when the Cornley Dramatic Society are done with the Nativity, but it just might end up being the silliest. The amateur antics verge on the apocalyptic in this seasonal extravaganza.
23. FILM: Spider-man: Homecoming
Friendly neighbourhood family entertainment: our favourite web-spinning superhero is given a new lease of life in the first outing for British star Tom Holland in the title role (above), taking on the villainous Vulture (played by former Batman Michael Keaton).
24. Nigella’s Cook, Eat, Repeat Christmas Special
Hankering for something a little more ambitious than the same old turkey for your Christmas feast?
Let Nigella be your inspiration, as she guides us through a Continental seasonal menu, complete with Linzer cookies from Austria, mouth-meltingly light Norwegian pork ribs, and Dutch-style doughnuts coated in icing sugar for a New Year’s Eve treat. BBC2, 8pm
Julie Andrews Forever
Discover the surprisingly tumultuous life behind the silver-screen legend of Julie Andrews in a documentary profile of the veteran British actress. That’s followed by Sound Of Music Live, an enthralling stage production of the hit musical in which Andrews found her greatest movie role. Sky Arts, 8pm & 9pm
Being Bridget Jones
Marking a quarter of a century since boozy singleton Bridget Jones’s debut in a newspaper column, this documentary looks at Helen Fielding’s comic creation: her legacy and influence. Featuring interviews with Fielding and the friends who inspired the characters in the column and subsequent films (no, Mark Darcy was not based on Keir Starmer). BBC2, 9pm
All Creatures Great And Small: Christmas Special
The reboot of the beloved series about a vet in the Yorkshire Dales was one of the hits of the year. Lovelorn James is trapped with Helen when a thick fog descends on the Dales – will he take the opportunity to tell her how he really feels, before she marries another?
A second series is also on the way. Channel 5, 9pm
The Midnight Sky
George Clooney (above, with Caoilinn Springall) plays a white-bearded, twinkly-eyed older gent living at the North Pole in this Christmas offering.
Yes, that’s right, he’s a scientist at an Arctic base. After a catastrophe on Earth, he has to contact a spaceship to warn it not to return to the planet. Felicity Jones is one of the astronauts in this seasonal sci-fi. Peaky Blinders’ Sophie Rundle also stars. Netflix, from Wednesday Dec 23
Pointless Celebrities Christmas Special
Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman present a festive edition of the addictive general-knowledge quiz. Dianne Buswell, Max George, Sally Phillips and Milton Jones compete to come up with answers that nobody else has thought of.
30. Mary Berry Saves Christmas
Mary secretly teaches three novice chefs who have never cooked a meal from scratch how to make amazing Christmas food so that they can surprise their loved ones.
Helping out are The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades, comedian Tom Allen and presenter Angela Scanlon. BBC1, 6.30pm
The Magical World Of Julia Donaldson
Celebration of the life and work of the bestselling children’s author, with animated sequences by long-term illustrator Axel Scheffler bringing her story to life. The film reveals the surprising stories behind iconic characters like the Gruffalo, Zog and Stick Man, and explores how her simple but poignant handling of themes of love, loss, fear and tyranny appeal to children and adults alike.
32. Jack & The beanstalk: After Ever After
As with his Cinderella: After Ever After last year, David Walliams’ reimagined Jack & the Beanstalk begins where the traditional story we all know ends.
Walliams is the giant (who wasn’t actually killed when Jack chopped down the beanstalk) and the comedy also stars Sheridan Smith and Blake Harrison. Sky One, 8pm
The hit sitcom from the Horrible Histories team gets its first Christmas special. Mike’s family are due at Button House so he and Alison have to try to keep the ghosts happy and it turns out that the spooks are not big fans of Chrimbo.
34. Motherland Christmas Special
The harassed, competitive middle-class mums of North London pitch up to Amanda’s Annual Seasonal Soirée, a posh do with very strict rules and where they’re not entirely welcome (only Meg, another alpha female like Amanda, had an official invitation).
Anna Maxwell Martin, Diane Morgan, Lucy Punch, Paul Ready, Philippa Dunne and Tanya Moodie all feature and Sharon Horgan is among the writers. The third full series is to air next year. BBC2, 9pm
Jennifer Saunders’ Memory Lane
Saunders is joined in the passenger seat of a classic red Jaguar E-Type by Quiz and Good Omens star Michael Sheen for an emotional journey, stopping at key locations for poignant, funny and surprising stories about the actor’s life and times.
36. QI: Rejoice! A Christmas Special
Festive edition of the long-running comedy quiz show with host Sandi Toksvig, regular Alan Davies of course, and guests Holly Walsh, Justin Moorhouse and Chris McCausland.
37. FILM: Clemency
Nothing says Christmas like a heavyweight, harrowing Death Row drama.
However, while it might not be typical festive fare, Clemency is a powerful, affecting and thought-provoking story about Bernadine (a remarkable Alfre Woodard), a prison warden who has to preside over executions. Sky Cinema Premiere, 9.45pm
King Gary Christmas Special
It’s been a tough old year but Essex geezer ‘King’ Gary (Tom Davis) is determined to do Christmas proper and turn the neigbourhood into a winter wonderland in the Only Fools And Horses-inspired sitcom.
His neighbour Stuart (Romesh Ranganathan) isn’t so keen but Gary ain’t 'aving it. BBC1, 10pm
39. FILM: Phantom Thread
In Daniel Day-Lewis’s final film before his retirement, he again teams up with director Paul Thomas Anderson (with whom he made 2007’s There Will Be Blood) for this very strange story of a fashion designer and his waitress muse, Alma (Vicky Krieps). BBC2, 10pm
Dolly Parton’s Christmas Concert
As if the iconic singer-songwriter and philanthropist (above) wasn’t already beloved enough, earlier this year she donated $1m for research into one of the Covid-19 vaccines.
Here she performs a Christmas concert featuring a host of her favourite festive songs. BBC1, 11.15pm
Katherine Jenkins: Christmas Spectacular From The Royal Albert Hall
The Welsh star (above) presents a glamorous and magical Christmas musical from the Royal Albert Hall, one of her favourite venues.
She promises ‘a feature film using the spaces of the hall and camera and story-telling techniques in ways never done before’ and is joined by Vanessa Redgrave, Bill Nighy and Sir Bryn Terfel among others. ITV, 2.15pm
Carols From King’s
The spine-tingling carol service (above) from the beautiful candlelit chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, has become one of the great traditions of Christmas.
It begins, as always, with Once In Royal David’s City, the first verse being sung by a lone male chorister, and will also include the Sussex Carol, In The Bleak Mid-Winter, Still, Still, Still, Candlelight Carol, and O Come All Ye Faithful. BBC2, 5.30pm
The Simpsons Christmas Special
We’re now, incredibly, เกมสล็อตน้องหมา on season 32 of The Simpsons, which debuted as a fully fledged show in December 1989. In the intriguingly titled ‘A Springfield Summer Christmas For Christmas’, a cable channel films a Christmas movie in the town. Sky One, 5.45pm
Worzel Gummidge: Saucy Nancy
Mackenzie Crook’s (above, as Worzel) brilliant revival was last Christmas’s TV highlight.
Crook’s version was hilarious, and carried a valuable message about respecting the countryside. This time the scarecrow of Scatterbrook Farm is helping Saucy Nancy, a ship’s figurehead, to return to the sea. Shirley Henderson, Vanessa Redgrave and Brian Blessed join the cast and the haunting music is, again, provided by The Unthanks.
45. a baby reindeer’s first christmas
Documentary following a herd of baby reindeer in the Scottish Highlands.
Reindeer are much in demand for festive events and although things are different this year because of the pandemic, their herders are still making sure they are properly trained. Channel 4, 6.40pm
The Great Christmas Bake Off
Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith and Matt Lucas are joined by Tom Allen as previous contestants Jamie and Rosie from 2019, Ruby from 2018 and James from 2017, battle for the title of Christmas Star Baker title.
The Great British Bake Off: The Winners (Wednesday Dec 23, C4, 7pm) pays tribute to the five most recent star bakers including Nadiya, Candice and Rahul. Channel 4, 7.40pm
Would I Lie To You? At Christmas
The true-or-false game show returns with host Rob Brydon and captains Lee Mack and David Mitchell. Did Joe Lycett once fall out with his family over the number of doof-doofs at the end of EastEnders?
Did Mitchell once hold up a train? All will be revealed. BBC1, 7.45pm
48. Cinderella: A Comic Relief Pantomime For Christmas
Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter – the Queen and Princess Margaret in The Crown – are reunited in this Comic Relief panto.
Colman is the fairy godmother, Bonham Carter is Lady Devilia, Cinderella is played by Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy and Tom Hollander is Baron Hardup. BBC2, 8.15pm
Roald & Beatrix: The Tail Of The Curious Mouse
Comedy drama based on the true story of when lonely six-year-old Roald Dahl (Harry Tayler) met his favourite author Beatrix Potter (Dawn French), an encounter which supposedly inspired him to write children’s books of his own. The cast also includes Bill Bailey, Alison Steadman and Rob Brydon. Sky One, 8.15pm
FILM: A Christmas Gift From Bob
A big-hearted, feline-good (get it?) family film that’s the follow-up to the hit A Street Cat Named Bob, based on the bestselling book.
Luke Treadaway (above, with Bob the cat) plays James Bowen, a busker whose life is transformed through his relationship with a ginger tom. This time, he is looking back on a less happy Christmas. Charming, moving and with a particularly relevant seasonal message.
Multi platforms, available now
51. Birds Of A Feather
Thirty-one years since we first met the squabbling Essex friends, they’re back.
At least, two of them are. While Sharon, the character played by Pauline Quirke, is stuck on a cruise abroad, Tracey (Linda Robson) and Dorien (Lesley Joseph) are at home, still ruffling each other’s feathers. Les Dennis plays man-eater Dorien’s new fella. ITV, 9.15pm
Miranda’s Games With Showbiz Names
The ever-chirpy Miranda Hart (above) hosts a hilarious hybrid of a Zoom meeting and Gogglebox: the comedian plays host to three celebrity couples, from their own homes, in a virtual festive game show. Playing along are Robbie Williams, Shirley Ballas and footballer Jermaine Jenas plus their partners – or in Williams’s case, his drummer.
Jolly japes all round. BBC1, 9.45pm
53. Cliff Richard: The Christmas King
The Bachelor Boy, who has just turned 80, has previous form at this time of year: he’s had four Christmas No 1s and performed in many a TV special.
His friends, including Gloria Hunniford, Paul Gambaccini and Anita Harris look at the singer’s Christmas presence. Channel 5, 10pm
Netflix has high hopes for its lavish period drama based on a series of best-selling novels. It suits the purposes of both society beauty Daphne Bridgerton and the dashing Duke of Hastings to pretend to be courting, but can they pull the wool over the eyes of the mysterious Lady Whistledown, the author of a hugely popular and uncannily accurate scandal sheet?
Phoebe Dynevor is Daphne Bridgerton, Regé-Jean Page is the Duke, Julie Andrews voices Lady Whistledown and there is a huge colour-blind cast. Delicious escapist fun. Netflix, from Christmas Day
Pixar’s animated tale is a kind of modern-day It’s A Wonderful Life: just right for the holiday season. Jamie Foxx provides the voice of a jazz musician who, after an accident, finds his soul whisked into the afterlife.
He recruits the help of another lost soul, the sceptical Tina Fey, to get back to his body before it dies… but Fey needs persuading of the merits of life on Earth. Disney+, from Christmas Day
FILM: Early Man
Turkey? Tick. Queen’s Speech? Tick. Wallace and Gromit on TV? Not quite, but here’s another rollicking tale from Nick Park and his stop-motion team: a group of Stone Age cavemen take on a gang of Bronze Age city boys… at football.
It’s Escape To Victory with bearskins – and a stellar cast. BBC1, 1.15pm
57. Zog And The Flying Doctors
From the creators of The Gruffalo comes a second adventure for Zog the flying dragon (above), following the 2018 animated film that used the voices of Lenny Henry and Hugh Skinner.
They reprise their roles in a new yarn, also starring the voices of Rob Brydon and Patsy Ferran. BBC1, 2.35pm
58. Strictly Come Dancing: The Christmas Countdown
In place of the usual Christmas special, which has been affected by the Covid-19 crisis, comes a show that’s a little like a Best Of package: hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly (above) present the pick of the finest dance routines from the show’s long history – and some of the clangers, too.
59. Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1948 film, a tale of a ballet star caught between ambition and love, was brought to the stage in a ballet by choreographer Bourne in 2016, selling out theatres in the US and UK.
His hauntingly beautiful production has now been filmed, with a cast including Ashley Shaw (above), Adam Cooper and Dominic North. BBC2, 6pm
Blankety Blank Christmas Special
What the blankety blank is this? The return of the 1970s quiz made famous by hosts Terry Wogan and later Les Dawson? They’ve both gone off to the great wobbly set in the sky… but here’s Coronation Street’s Bradley Walsh to host a one-off show.
Is the prize still a chequebook and pen? BBC1, 7pm
61. Call The Midwife
Covid-19 may have taken a wrecking ball to TV drama in 2020, but the Christmas edition of Call The Midwife manages to deliver, as always.
Filming of the special stopped in March, but resumed in time to create this year’s festive treat. The sisters of Nonnatus House, including Jenny Agutter, Helen George, Judy Parfitt et al, are excited that the circus is coming to town: and Who’s that as the ringmaster?
Former Doctor Peter Davison. BBC1, 7.40pm
62. Quentin Blake’s Clown
A magical animated children’s tale in the Yuletide tradition of The Snowman. This time it’s the artwork of cartoonist Quentin Blake that is brought to life to tell the story of a discarded toy clown who goes off in search of a new home.
Helena Bonham Carter (above) narrates. Channel 4, 7.40pm
63. Britain’s Got Talent Christmas Spectacular
A cracker of a festive treat, with Ant and Dec at the helm as usual, and judges Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon, David Walliams and Ashley Banjo.
They’ll be watching as the best acts from the show’s 14-year run get together to perform as one… and for once the judges will be stepping out from behind their desk and onto the stage themselves. ITV, 8pm
Victoria Wood: The Secret List
Victoria Wood kept a private notebook in which she listed her own favourite performances from her 40-year career. A two-part show includes more than 20 of the sketches she chose, as well as previously unseen clips and celebrations of her career from some famous faces.
BBC2, 9.10pm and Boxing Day, BBC2, 9.05pm
65. It’s Clarkson On TV
While we will be only too glad to see the end of 2020, Jeremy Clarkson takes an acerbic look back at the year’s non-Covid-related TV highlights.
Dramas Quiz and White House Farm, for example, and on-demand oddities Love Is Blind and Selling Sunset – ruthlessly subjected to the Clarkson wit. ITV, 9.55pm
Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit (or in this case two) to the bizarre world of the Brown family and its magisterial Mammy, played by Brendan O’Carroll. In the year of coronavirus, Agnes and her household struggle to deal with the ‘new normal’.
Though to be fair, their old normal was pretty unusual, too. BBC1, 10pm; and Mrs Brown’s Boys New Year Special, เกมสล็อตน้องหมา BBC1, 10pm
Paul McCartney At The Cavern Club
In 2018 a tiny crowd of adoring fans saw him standing there: on the stage at Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club, where The Beatles first performed 60 years ago.
In a blistering 28-song set, McCartney (above) and his band rattled through the moptops’ greatest hits in a secret gig that rocks with sweaty energy. BBC1, 11.45pm
The Repair Shop At Christmas
Jay Blades and his team of expert craftspeople perform magical makeovers on a range of beloved objects in a festive edition of the feel-good show that became the nation’s favourite in lockdown. Among the items their owners hope to see restored to glory today are a vintage toy truck and a child’s rocking horse with a tragic story behind it.
69. The Masked Singer
The show that defied the critics (and, indeed, logic) to become a huge family favourite is back for a new series.
If you’ve somehow managed to miss it, the idea is simple: celebrities disguised in ever-more weird costumes (a seahorse, for example, or a giant bee) perform before a panel, who have to try to guess their identity. It shouldn’t work, but it does… ITV, 7pm
The Great British Sewing Bee: Celebrity Christmas Special
Two festive episodes of the show that recruited thousands of fans in the year of lockdown. Joe Lycett hosts as celebrity guests including Denise Van Outen, Dr Ranj Singh, Shirley Ballas, Sara Pascoe and Lesley Joseph take up needle and thread and attempt to make Christmas-themed clothes – including a fancy-dress outfit for a dog.
BBC1, 7.45pm, and The Great British Sewing Bee: Celebrity New Year Special, New Year’s Eve, BBC1, 8pm
71. FILM: Cats
On its release, Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber hit stage musical was met with much critical hissing and scratching.
Here’s your chance to judge for yourself, as James Corden, Judi Dench, Idris Elba and, memorably, Taylor Swift are digitally transformed into a moggy tribe called Jellicles. Sky Cinema Premiere, 8pm
An utterly captivating retelling of the miraculous 1940 evacuation of British forces from France.
Starring Kenneth Branagh, Fionn Whitehead, Tom Hardy (above) and One Direction singer Harry Styles, the story is told on three fronts: เกมสล็อตน้องหมา in the air, at sea and, most chillingly, on the beach, where the tension is unbearable as the soldiers anxiously await rescue, even as the Stukas rain down bombs.
Christopher Nolan’s nail-biting blockbuster won three Oscars. BBC1, 9.05pm
73. big fat quiz of the year 2020
Megxit. What a year it’s been. In the now traditional festive special of the quiz show, eternally cheeky-chappie host Jimmy Carr tests the memories of celebrity panellists, who include Stacey Solomon, David Mitchell, Maya Jama and Richard Ayoade. Channel 4, 9.05pm
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Celebrity Special
Their bitter feud lasted for years. Now Piers Morgan has to squirm in the hot seat as Jeremy Clarkson asks the questions. Other celebrities set to phone a friend include Prue Leith, Diversity’s Jordan Banjo, Ronni Ancona and Kym Marsh.
An unmissable Boxing Day treat. ITV, 9.30pm and Sunday 27, ITV, 9.15pm
FILM: Four Kids And It
Set on the stunning Cornish coast, this is a cheerful fantasy film (above) based on Jacqueline Wilson’s bestselling children’s novel of the same name, which in turn was an updating of the old E.
Nesbit classic. Four children discover a magical creature on the beach when on holiday. Sir Michael Caine voices the grumpy, wish-granting ‘Psammead’. Russell Brand is the scheming local toff. Sky Cinema Family, 1.15pm
Rumer Godden’s novel about nuns struggling to resist various forms of temptation when they set up a school in the Himalayas was turned into a celebrated 1947 film. This new three-part BBC-FX production is a classy, slow-burning, psychological drama and stars Gemma Arterton as the leader of the nuns’ mission, Sister Clodagh, and Aisling Franciosi as the unbalanced Sister Ruth who lusts after Mr Dean (Allesandro Nivola).
77. Last Woman On Earth With Sara Pascoe
Comedian Sara Pascoe offers up some post-Covid holiday inspiration with the first of three globetrotting journeys to meet the practioners of dying arts.
She begins in Cuba where she reads stories to cigar makers and learns how to spruce up old mattresses. BBC2, 9pm
78. Back To The 80s With Lenny Henry
The first of four nostalgic look backs at 40 years of Channel 4.
Sir Len revisits the 1980s, the decade when the channel launched with shows as diverse as The Tube, Whose Line Is It Anyway? and The Comic Strip Presents. Channel 4, 9pm
Meerkat: A Dynasties Special
The Beeb’s most red in tooth and claw wildlife documentary strand.
In the harsh Makgadikgadi salt pans of Botswana can the queen of a meerkat clan fend off her rivals, predators and the threat of huge duststorms long enough to keep her young pups alive? BBC1, 7.30pm
Two Doors Down: Christmas Special
Prepare for a classic sitcom getaway episode as the two households head to Colin and Cathy’s luxury lodge in the Scottish Highlands for a break between Christmas and New Year. They may have left Latimer Crescent behind, but their snarky rivalry certainly isn’t taking a holiday.
81. National Theatre: Jane Eyre
Take your seats for the National Theatre’s acclaimed stage production of Charlotte Brontë’s gothic Victorian classic.
Fantastically filmed, it’s arguably even better than seeing it in the theatre, with Madeleine Worrall and Felix Hayes excelling in the roles of Jane and Mr Rochester. Sky Arts, 9pm
Billy Connolly: It’s Been A Pleasure
There’ll be a fair smattering of tears in among the laughter as this celebration of the Big Yin marks his retirement from live stand-up. Looking back on his glorious career, it’s jam-packed with clips and tributes aplenty from Elton John, Dustin Hoffman and others. ITV, 9.30pm
FILM: Wonder Woman
The best by far of DC Comics’ recent movie efforts stars Gal Gadot (above) as the Amazonian princess heading to the battlefields of the First World War to save the world (and love interest Chris Pine) from the machinations of an evil war god.
84. Celebrity: A 21st-Century Story
From Big Brother anti-heroes to Pop Idol winners, the gateway to celebrity status has never loomed as wide.
This first in a four-part series examines the era when the rules about who could become a celebrity changed forever. BBC2, 9pm
Bob Monkhouse: Master Of Laughter
For more than half a century, Bob Monkhouse was the king of primetime TV. Telling the story of his life, this film features fantastic clips of him in stand-up action, rattling out punchlines. Channel 5, 9pm
Stephen Fry’s 21st-Century Firsts
From Facebook to smart phones, sat-navs to social change, Stephen Fry takes a 90-minute look back at the biggest innovations to have dawned in the past 20 years, talking to the brains behind them and the people whose lives they’ve changed.
87. Not Going Out
Lee and Lucy foolishly host a New Year’s Eve family gathering as the veteran sitcom makes its always welcome return. The laughs will be slightly bittersweet, though, as the late Bobby Ball (who died in October) makes one of his final appearances as Lee Mack’s dad. BBC1, 9pm
Tom Allen Goes To Town
From drive-in chippies to rhubarb farming, the acerbic comic takes in the sites and sounds of Wakefield (it was filmed in 2019) as he spends a week getting to know the Yorkshire town before putting on a lavish extravaganza at the Theatre Royal.
Channel 4, 9pm
NEW YEAR’S EVE
Britain’s Best Selling Toys
Keith Lemon hosts this brilliantly nostalgic countdown of the best-selling toys of the past 50 years.
Will the Cabbage Patch dolls claim the number 1 spot? Or will they be pipped by Tamagotchis? Or Furbys? Or Buzz Lightyear dolls (above)? Time to find out. Channel 4, 7pm
The Big New Year’s In
Celebs aplenty join Paddy McGuinness to see out the last evening of 2020, as he presides over silliness, music, games and surprises. He’ll also be inviting the whole nation to play along with a comedy quiz about the events of the year.
91. Jools’ Annual Hootenanny
Prepare for a festival of chat and boogie-woogie piano as Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra prepare to welcome in the New Year for the 28th time.
Things will be slightly different this year as Jools and co cope with Covid, but the Beeb still promises a lockdown party to remember with guests including Celeste, Tom Jones, Michael Kiwanuka, Roisin Murphy, Rag 'n’ Bone Man, Ruby Turner and former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman. BBC2, 11.15pm
Alicia Keys Rocks New Year’s Eve
Performing from Los Angeles, the US singer (above) takes top billing in BBC1’s annual New Year’s Eve concert slot.
There’ll be hits aplenty before the cameras head over to Big Ben at midnight (but there are sadly no London fireworks this year). BBC1, 11.30pm
NEW YEAR’S DAY
New Year’s Day Concert From Vienna 2021
Few New Year traditions feel as cosy and welcoming as a trip to the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna for the annual concert of classical treats. Riccardo Muti conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker as they play marches, waltzes and polkas.
BBC2, 10.15am & BBC4, 7pm
94. FILM: The Boss Baby
The wonderfully deadpan Alec Baldwin provides the voice for the toddler tycoon in this cheery Oscar-nominated animated adventure that pits babies against cute puppies for the love of families.
Listen out too for the voices of Steve Buscemi and Lisa Kudrow. BBC1, 10.40am
95. FILM: How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
The third adventure in the animated franchise follows the young Viking Hiccup and his trusty dragon Toothless as they set out in search of a sanctuary for dragons.
Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett and F. Murray Abraham provide the voices. BBC1, 2pm
96. Doctor Who
As a new breed of Daleks prepares to invade the Earth, the Doctor’s faithful companions (plus John Barrowman as the irrepressible Captain Jack Harkness) face the menace alone as the Time Lady herself languishes in an extraterrestrial prison at the other end of the galaxy.
Jodie Whittaker (above) returns as the Doctor in a 75-minute festive special that promises action, surprises and a few fond farewells. BBC1, 6.45pm
Chitty Flies Again With David Walliams
Comic, actor and author David Walliams loves Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This documentary not only allows him to delve into the history of the film and of Ian Fleming’s original book, but also to see if he can fulfill his lifelong dream and build a car that can fly. Channel 4, 7.30pm
There’s a dark thriller at the heart of this drama. Jenna Coleman and Tahar Rahim star in the tale of a killer who targeted at least 12 Western travellers on the hippie trail across India, Thailand and Nepal in the mid-1970s, and the investigator determined to bring him to justice. BBC1, 9pm
Dancing On Thin Ice With Torvill & Dean
They’ve skated together for 45 years but Christopher Dean and Jayne Torvill still have one unfulfilled dream. Cue a journey into the wilds of Alaska in search of a patch of natural ice on which to perform a version of Ravel’s Bolero unlike any other. ITV, 9pm
Taskmaster’s New Year Treat
Ridiculous challenges and hilarity abound as Greg Davies and Alex Horne test the mettle of actor John Hannah, newsman Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan, Rylan Clark-Neal and Strictly’s Shirley Ballas. Channel 4, 9pm