This isn’t a guide to all the things that are on terrestrial TV this Christmas. You can go grab the Radio Times for that! This is a self-indulgent post about what I’m personally looking forward to watching terrestrial TV this Christmas break. But, I know lots of you have very similar tastes to me so I’m guessing you will be looking forward to very similar things. I’ve broken this down to things I want to watch with the kids and then things I’ll be watching without them and have put them in date and time order for your ease. Here’s what I’m looking forward to watching on terrestrial TV this Christmas…
Things I’m looking forward to watching with the kids
The Tiger who Came to Tea, C4, Christmas Eve, 7.30pm, (repeated 1.50pm Christmas Day)
A 30 minute special adaptation of the beloved Judith Kerr book. The Tiger Who Came To Tea follows the story of a young girl called Sophie (Clara Ross) whose afternoon tea is disrupted by a friendly but greedy tiger. With an all star voice cast of Benedict Cumberbatch, Tamsin Greig, David Walliams, David Oyelowo and Paul Whitehouse. Robbie Williams has created the theme tune, Hey Tiger! He’s really trying to make a comeback lately isn’t he?!
The Snail and the Whale, BBC 1, Christmas Day, 2.30pm
This looks very cute. The Snail and the Whale tells Julia Donaldson’s story of a tiny snail with huge ambition who hitches a ride on the tail of a humpback whale. This animated tale boasts a formidable voice cast that includes Sally Hawkins, Rob Brydon and Cariad Lloyd.
Top Of The Pops – Christmas and New Year Specials BBC One, Christmas Day 11.35am and New Year’s Day 4.45pm
Standard. Fearne Cotton and Clara Amfo present culminating in the all-important Christmas Number One (which I’m hoping will be Jarvis Cocker Running the World). Featuring performances by Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Stormzy with Mnek, Clean Bandit, Rita Ora, the Script, JP Cooper, Jax Jones with Raye, Jonas Blue and William Singe, James Arthur and Anne-Marie. I must be getting old because I don’t know who half of these are. Tradition though innit.
Mimi and the Mountain Dragon, BBC1, Boxing Day, 3.20pm
Based on a popular Michael Morpurgo book, this 25-minute animated children’s Christmas adventure tells the story of a shy girl who discovers a baby dragon in her family woodshed, and the journey she subsequently embarks on to return it to its mother. My 4 year old loves dragons so this will be a must watch for us.
Thing I’m looking forward to watching without the kids
A Merry Tudor Christmas with Lucy Worsley, BBC2, Friday 20 December, 9pm
Here’s the History graduate in me – did you know I did a module as part of my degree about the history of Christmas? As you can expect, it was dreamy! I got to legitimately read Christmas classics over Christmas time. What a life students lead. Anyway, in this show, historian Lucy Worsley recreates festive traditions from the reign of Henry VIII. With the aid of food historian Annie Gray, she prepares two royal feasts, including the ancestors of the modern Christmas pies and Christmas cake. Lucy also gets a taste of the rabble-rousing Lord of Misrule!
Cunk and other Humans on 2019, BB2, Friday 20 December, 10.30pm
I can’t wait to see Philomena Cunk and Barry Shitpeas take on the travesty that was 2019.
Call the Midwife, BBC1, Christmas Day 7pm
It wouldn’t be Christmas without the Call the Midwife Christmas special. Who else would make us simultaneously sob and then feel uplifted on Christmas day?! This year the team are off to the idyllic Outer Hebrides to provide support where it’s very much needed. And Miriam Margoyles is back – more sassy matriarchs is just what I want on my Christmas day!
Gavin and Stacey, BBC1, Christmas Day, 8.30pm
I’m SO excited about the return of Gavin and Stacey. This is what I’m most excited to watch. So much so that we’ve been re-watching the old episodes of the show to get ready to enjoy all the in-jokes at their best. In re-watching the shows, it’s clear that quite a few jokes wouldn’t be appropriate for a 2019 audience. It’s interesting to see how much times have changed since it aired. I’m hoping the new jokes have moved with the times!
All the old cast are returning, apart from the legend that was Doris who has sadly died – but what a legacy she left. I’m hoping for a little tribute to her in the episode. Will we find out what happened on the boat on the camping trip? I can’t wait to watch and see.
Ruth Jones has said about the special ‘‘Gavin and Stacey are at the heart of this show – they’re the only reason these people all met – so we needed something solid and chunky for them. It’s about their story ten years on. They so capture what a lot of couples with kids feel, that sometimes there’s no time for romance. That’s what we realised was the heart of the show.” I think I’ll identify with this episode, hard!
The Great Christmas Bake Off, C4, Christmas Day 8pm, New Years Day 7.40pm
I don’t normally watch bake off – sorry, don’t @ me! The second of these specials has the cast of Derry Girls baking though and I love Derry Girls. I bet it’s hilarious!
The Big Fat Quiz Of The Year Channel 4, Boxing Day 9pm
Jimmy Carr (and his laugh) and the gang (including Noel Fielding, Roisin Conaty and Maya Jama) take apart the best and worst of 2019 and Goddess knows there will be a lot to unpack and we could all do with a laugh.
Liam Gallagher: As It Was, BBC2, 29 Dec 10.15pm
Could this be this year’s Bros documentary? I really hope so. It’s previously aired on Amazon and the reviews said it was a good insight into the life of a rock star so I think it will be worth a watch.
So that’s what I’ll be watching on terrestrial TV this Christmas. What are you most looking forward to watching? Did I miss any of your favourites off? Let me know in the comments.
Still looking for last minute gifts? Check out: