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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Your Christmas TV countdown! The first look at this year’s 60 best shows, so you don’t miss a thing

Christmas may be very different this year, but there’s a feast of dazzling delights to look forward to on television. 

With enchanting animations like Zog And The Flying Doctors, sparkling new costume dramas The Great and Bridgerton and special festive episodes of your favourite shows like BGT, Bake Off and The Repair Shop, it promises to be a bumper bonanza of TV baubles.  

Today we’re highlighting the very best 60 shows so you don’t miss a thing, starting with these ten magical movies… Mike Mulvihill, TV Editor

TOP TEN FESTIVE MOVIES 

Weekend magazine rounded up a selection of the best films (pictured) and TV shows for entertainment throughout the festive season

Weekend magazine rounded up a selection of the best films (pictured) and TV shows for entertainment throughout the festive season

Weekend magazine rounded up a selection of the best films (pictured) and TV shows for entertainment throughout the festive season



1. EARLY MAN 

BBC1

British animation from Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park, about a Stone Age hero called Dug (voiced by Eddie Redmayne) whose passion for football saves his tribe.

2. COCO 

BBC1




Disney’s colourful animation follows a musical 12-year-old Mexican boy on a quest to meet his ancestors in the Land of the Dead.

3. LITTLE WOMEN 

 SKY CINEMA 

Critically acclaimed adaptation of the timeless Louisa May Alcott novel starring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson and Florence Pugh.

4. SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING 

BBC1

British actor Tom Holland is the teenage Peter Parker, eager to impress Tony Stark/Iron Man with his crime-fighting when he should be in school.

5. TROLLS WORLD TOUR 

SKY CINEMA

Trolls World Tour (pictured) on Sky Cinema, sees Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake return as the voices of Poppy and Branch

Trolls World Tour (pictured) on Sky Cinema, sees Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake return as the voices of Poppy and Branch

Trolls World Tour (pictured) on Sky Cinema, sees Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake return as the voices of Poppy and Branch






Hollywood stars Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake return as the voices of loveable trolls Poppy and Branch for this sequel to 2016’s smash hit.

6. THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS 

CHANNEL 4 

This festive tale, starring Downton’s Dan Stevens, follows the journey that led to Charles Dickens’s creation of his classic A Christmas Carol.

7. SOUL

DISNEY +

Uplifting jazz-fuelled animation following a teacher whose soul becomes trapped in an inbetween world where he helps young souls to develop and learn to love life.

8. DUNKIRK  

BBC1

Benedict Cumberbatch voices Dr Seuss’s Grinch (pictured) as he plans to ruin Christmas for Whoville

Benedict Cumberbatch voices Dr Seuss’s Grinch (pictured) as he plans to ruin Christmas for Whoville

Benedict Cumberbatch voices Dr Seuss’s Grinch (pictured) as he plans to ruin Christmas for Whoville 




Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hardy are among the stars of this stunning drama charting the epic evacuation of Allied troops from the beaches in northern France.

9. THE GRINCH 

ITV

Benedict Cumberbatch provides the voice of Dr Seuss’s grumpy green Grinch, who has plans to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville. But is he simply misunderstood?

10. THE PROM

NETFLIX

 Broadway stars played by Meryl Streep, James Corden and Nicole Kidman try to revive their flagging fortunes by hijacking a small-town high school prom.

FAMILY FAVOURITES 

Gigantic adventures! Walliams and Worzel, BGT and Miranda – there’s a feast of fun festive shows this year that will enchant children and adults alike

11. JACK AND THE BEANSTALK: AFTER EVER AFTER 




SKY ONE 

David Walliams is set to return with a second alternative fairytale. Pictured: David Walliams, Sheridan Smith and Eddie Karanja in Jack And The Beanstalk: After Ever After

David Walliams is set to return with a second alternative fairytale. Pictured: David Walliams, Sheridan Smith and Eddie Karanja in Jack And The Beanstalk: After Ever After

David Walliams is set to return with a second alternative fairytale. Pictured: David Walliams, Sheridan Smith and Eddie Karanja in Jack And The Beanstalk: After Ever After

Following last year’s inspired Cinderella, David Walliams is back with the second of his alternative fairytales, which imagine what might have happened to our favourite characters after their Happy Ever After. 

This time he takes a look at Jack after he’s defeated the giant, with David as the very angry behemoth who wakes up on earth, concussed and with no idea how to get home.

Can a repentant Jack (Eddie Karanja) help him before he’s lynched by the villagers? Sheridan Smith appears as a self-professed giant-killing expert, while Inbetweeners actor Blake Harrison is bean salesman Dodgy Dave.

12. NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE: JANE EYRE AND TWELFTH NIGHT 

SKY ARTS

Culture vultures deprived of their live theatre fix will welcome these streamed productions of two popular plays. 

NT Live’s version of Jane Eyre was highly acclaimed when it was performed in the theatre in 2017, and its gender-bending take on Shakespeare’s comedy stars Tamsin Greig as Malvolio.

13. MIRANDA’S GAME WITH SHOWBIZ NAMES




 BBC1

Three of Miranda Hart’s favourite celebrity couples compete with each other in a series of outrageous Christmas games and challenges from inside their own homes as she hosts this one-off festive entertainment show. Such fun!

14. GORDON, GINO AND FRED: DESPERATELY SEEKING SANTA 

ITV

The three intrepid foodies’ mix of macho derring-do, banter and cooking has been a hit with viewers, and in this first Christmas special they’ll be exploring Lapland by reindeer and learning how the Sami people herd them. 

They’ll also pop in on Santa and enjoy ice swimming and husky rides. Expect snowball fights – and arguments.

15. ROALD & BEATRIX: THE TALE OF THE CURIOUS MOUSE 

SKY ONE

Roald Dahl's trip to visit Beatrix Potter in the Lake District is brought back to life in a film starring Dawn French (pictured)

Roald Dahl's trip to visit Beatrix Potter in the Lake District is brought back to life in a film starring Dawn French (pictured)

Roald Dahl’s trip to visit Beatrix Potter in the Lake District is brought back to life in a film starring Dawn French (pictured) 

When he was six, author Roald Dahl was taken by his mother to meet his heroine Beatrix Potter in the Lake District.






Now that real-life trip has been brought back to life in this charming film, which boasts a star-studded cast including Dawn French as the ageing Beatrix, who had such an influence on the young boy that he would grow up to rival her in literary prowess.

16. WORZEL GUMMIDGE: SAUCY NANCY 

BBC1

Mackenzie Crook stars as scarecrow Worzel Gummidge (pictured), following the delight of his first appearance last Christmas

Mackenzie Crook stars as scarecrow Worzel Gummidge (pictured), following the delight of his first appearance last Christmas

Mackenzie Crook stars as scarecrow Worzel Gummidge (pictured), following the delight of his first appearance last Christmas 

Mackenzie Crook’s reboot of Worzel Gummidge was one of the delights of last Christmas. 

In this second outing Mackenzie again stars as the walking, talking scarecrow, with India Brown and Thierry Wickens as his young friends Susan and John, and Shirley Henderson as grumbling ship’s figurehead Saucy Nancy (all right), who’s desperate to return to the sea.

17. BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT AT CHRISTMAS 

ITV

Singer-songwriter Jon Courtenay lifted the Covid gloom this year when his witty and topical songs saw him win BGT. Now he’s back for a Christmas special, joining previous winners and past favourites in a show that’s purely for entertainment, rather than votes.

18. QUENTIN BLAKE’S CLOWN

CHANNEL 4

Quentin Blake's Clown (pictured) voiced by Helena Bonham Carter, follows a cuddly toy who has been abandoned by his owner

Quentin Blake's Clown (pictured) voiced by Helena Bonham Carter, follows a cuddly toy who has been abandoned by his owner

Quentin Blake’s Clown (pictured) voiced by Helena Bonham Carter, follows a cuddly toy who has been abandoned by his owner

Voiced by Helena Bonham Carter, this inspiring handdrawn animation is based on the classic book by acclaimed cartoonist Quentin Blake. Clown (above) is a cuddly toy who, along with his friends, has been abandoned by his owner, but he’s determined to find a loving new home.

19. DANCING ON THIN ICE WITH TORVILL AND DEAN 

ITV

As children, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean were inspired by a mural at Nottingham ice rink of skaters on a frozen lake. 

Yet remarkably, despite 45 glorious years on the ice, they’d never skated together in the great outdoors. 

They attempt to put that right in this beautiful but troubling documentary, in which they travel to Alaska in search of wild ice to perform a special Bolero on before it all melts after the hottest year on record in the state.

20. ZOG AND THE FLYING DOCTORS 

BBC1

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Zog, Princess Pearl and Sir Gadabout (pictured) offer medical help until the princess finds herself in peril

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Zog, Princess Pearl and Sir Gadabout (pictured) offer medical help until the princess finds herself in peril

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Zog, Princess Pearl and Sir Gadabout (pictured) offer medical help until the princess finds herself in peril 

We’ve never been so grateful to our medics, so this is a timely adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s follow-up to Zog, the story of an accident-prone dragon and the princess who patches him up. 

That first tale came to BBC1 at Christmas in 2018 and now Zog, Princess Pearl and Sir Gadabout are a trio of flying doctors caring for everyone from unicorns to sneezy lions… until they’re forced to land at the palace and the princess finds herself in peril. Stars lending their voices include Hugh Skinner and Sir Lenny Henry.

21. THE REAL FULL MONTY ON ICE 

ITV

Hats (and everything else) off to Coleen Nolan, Dame Jenni Murray and Bob Champion, among others, who’ll be learning to skate naked in what must surely be one of the oddest shows of the season. 

But there’s a serious message too – the need to check yourself for signs of cancer at a time when fewer of us are seeing GPs face to face.

22. MORTIMER & WHITEHOUSE: GONE CHRISTMAS FISHING

BBC2 

Comedians Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse (pictured) reflect on life, love and fishing in a hour-long special

Comedians Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse (pictured) reflect on life, love and fishing in a hour-long special

Comedians Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse (pictured) reflect on life, love and fishing in a hour-long special 

Comedians Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse ponder life, love and fishing once more in this hour-long special of the award-winning show. 

Paul tries to kindle a bit of festive joy in Bob, who thinks the season has become too commercialised. They also throw a Christmas party for two, fish in the rivers Esk and Tees and chat to singer Chris Rea.

23. THE MISADVENTURES OF ROMESH RANGANATHAN 

BBC2

Romesh (pictured) travels to the Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland for a BBC2 adventure

Romesh (pictured) travels to the Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland for a BBC2 adventure

Romesh (pictured) travels to the Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland for a BBC2 adventure

Sheep, music and beautiful beaches feature in the comedian’s latest misadventure. Romesh travels to the Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland, where he enjoys the stunning scenery – and a very eventful day on a farm.

NATURAL WONDERS WITH ALL THE FUN OF THE FUR 

24. REINDEER’S FIRST CHRISTMAS 

CHANNEL 4

Fascinating Channel 4 documentary visits young reindeer (pictured) in the Scottish Highlands

Fascinating Channel 4 documentary visits young reindeer (pictured) in the Scottish Highlands

Fascinating Channel 4 documentary visits young reindeer (pictured) in the Scottish Highlands

Prepare to have your hearts melted – by Santa’s best friends. This beautiful documentary takes us to the Cairngorms in the Scottish Highlands where a herd of young reindeer, including an orphaned calf, are being taught to pull Santa’s sleigh so they can ferry him around to any festive events that are still going ahead this year. 

It delves into the history of these fascinating creatures and also focuses on the dedicated herders who live with them, and are going to remarkable lengths to nurture the herd in troubled times.

25. ANIMAL PARK CHRISTMAS 

BBC1

Presenters Ben Fogle, Kate Humble and Jean Johansson give gifts to the animals at Longleat Safari Park on BBC1

Presenters Ben Fogle, Kate Humble and Jean Johansson give gifts to the animals at Longleat Safari Park on BBC1

Presenters Ben Fogle, Kate Humble and Jean Johansson give gifts to the animals at Longleat Safari Park on BBC1

It’s Christmas, so of course the animals at Longleat Safari Park are going to receive gifts. Presenters Ben Fogle, Kate Humble and Jean Johansson do Santa’s leg work, roaming the park with a sackful of goodies including a Yule log for the lions, an edible Christmas wreath for the otters and a large toy for the tigers. 

Hopefully, it will keep the mischievous cubs on the straight and narrow, and could there be love in the air for the park’s fennec foxes? Everyone has their fingers – and paws – crossed.

26. CHEETAH FAMILY AND ME 

BBC2

Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchana

Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchana

Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan visits the Kalahari wilderness to explore the threats cheetahs (pictured) face 

There are plenty of cute cubs to fall in love with when acclaimed wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan gets close to two cheetah families in South Africa. 

Tracking the animals on foot, Gordon – who’s renowned for gaining the trust of the animals he’s following – goes deep into the stunning Kalahari wilderness to understand the threats cheetahs face in modern-day Africa. 

He introduces us to two brave mothers – Savannah, who’s trying to keep her two cubs safe from leopards, lions, hyenas and the unpredictable elements, and Chili who must take her five newborns on an epic migration to feed.

27. PENGUINS: MEET THE FAMILY 

BBC1

Hour-long BBC1 documentary presented by Liz Bonnin, explores various species of penguin living around the world

Hour-long BBC1 documentary presented by Liz Bonnin, explores various species of penguin living around the world

Hour-long BBC1 documentary presented by Liz Bonnin, explores various species of penguin living around the world 

Think of a penguin’s habitat and the chances are an ice-cold outcrop close to the South Pole springs to mind. But this fascinating hour-long documentary provides a whole new perspective on these lovable flightless birds. 

Presented by Liz Bonnin, it reveals that there are 18 species of penguin living in all manner of extraordinary locations around the world, including city streets and even in deserts. 

Liz explores how satellite imagery has provided a window on previously unknown communities and shown how penguins deal with the dangers of rock climbing, sea lions… and catastrophic moulting. The show also explains how they form lifelong bonds and become such devoted parents.

DRAMA AND COMEDY 

Christmas comforts… and cliffhangers! Put your cares on hold with these sizzling new thrillers, rib-tickling festive sitcoms and – as always – a heartwarming Call The Midwife 

28. CALL THE MIDWIFE

BBC1

Pictured: Sister Monica Joan and Sister Julienne alongside nurses Lucille Anderson, Trixie Franklin and Phyllis Crane in Call The Midwife

Pictured: Sister Monica Joan and Sister Julienne alongside nurses Lucille Anderson, Trixie Franklin and Phyllis Crane in Call The Midwife

Pictured: Sister Monica Joan and Sister Julienne alongside nurses Lucille Anderson, Trixie Franklin and Phyllis Crane in Call The Midwife

It’s December 1965 and the circus is in Poplar, but not everyone is around to enjoy it as Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) is rushed to hospital. Meanwhile, Trixie (Helen George) is upset when she’s gifted a subscription to a Marriage Bureau and several of the midwives are involved in a tough birth. Wallow in the roaring fires and tinsel and welcome the return of an old friend.

29. ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

CHANNEL 5

Darrowby prepares for Christmas (pictured) in the festive special of All Creatures Great and Small

Darrowby prepares for Christmas (pictured) in the festive special of All Creatures Great and Small

Darrowby prepares for Christmas (pictured) in the festive special of All Creatures Great and Small

But vet James Herriot, played by Nicholas Ralph, (pictured) and Helen, played by Rachel Shenton, are stuck at a cottage on the moors

But vet James Herriot, played by Nicholas Ralph, (pictured) and Helen, played by Rachel Shenton, are stuck at a cottage on the moors

But vet James Herriot, played by Nicholas Ralph, (pictured) and Helen, played by Rachel Shenton, are stuck at a cottage on the moors

As Darrowby prepares for Christmas, vet James Herriot (played by Nicholas Ralph) and Helen (Rachel Shenton) are stuck at a cottage on the moors, just before Helen is due to get married, which could be the perfect time to reveal their feelings for each other.  

30. THE SERPENT

BBC1

Tahar Rahim as Charles Sobhraj and Jenna Coleman as Marie-Andrée Leclerc (pictured together) star in The Serpent

Tahar Rahim as Charles Sobhraj and Jenna Coleman as Marie-Andrée Leclerc (pictured together) star in The Serpent

Tahar Rahim as Charles Sobhraj and Jenna Coleman as Marie-Andrée Leclerc (pictured together) star in The Serpent 

This addictive eight-part thriller profiles a murderer with million-dollar looks. Tahar Rahim plays Charles Sobhraj (with Jenna Coleman as Marie-Andrée Leclerc), who killed at least a dozen people on the Hippie Trail through Asia in the 70s.

31. THE GREAT

CHANNEL 4

Elle Fanning as Catherine (pictured) in ten-part series The Great

Elle Fanning as Catherine (pictured) in ten-part series The Great

Nicholas Hoult assumes the role of her emperor husband Peter (pictured)

Nicholas Hoult assumes the role of her emperor husband Peter (pictured)

Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult play it more for laughs as Catherine and her emperor husband Peter (pictured above) in ten-part series The Great

Dame Helen Mirren gave us her serious take on Catherine the Great last year – now Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult play it more for laughs as Catherine and her emperor husband Peter in this ten-part series. Filmed across England, it’s a satirical look at Russia’s most famous monarch that also stars Phoebe Fox as handmaid Marial and Charity Wakefield (Mary Boleyn in BBC drama Wolf Hall) as Peter’s mistress Georgina.

32. BLACK NARCISSUS  

BBC1

This three-part drama, based on Rumer Godden’s book, follows a group of Anglican nuns who slowly go mad after moving to a convent in the Himalayas. Gemma Arterton appears as Sister Clodagh, who leads the missionaries to an abandoned palace once home to concubines, but the atmosphere of the place soon seeps in as the nuns fight their unspoken desires.

33. BRIDGERTON 

NETFLIX 

Daphne, played by Phoebe Dynevor, begins a romance with duke Simon Basset, played by Regé-Jean Page, (pictured together) but all is not as it seems in Bridgerton

Daphne, played by Phoebe Dynevor, begins a romance with duke Simon Basset, played by Regé-Jean Page, (pictured together) but all is not as it seems in Bridgerton

Daphne, played by Phoebe Dynevor, begins a romance with duke Simon Basset, played by Regé-Jean Page, (pictured together) but all is not as it seems in Bridgerton

This Regency romp is based on the Jane Austen-inspired books by American novelist Julia Quinn. Set among the wealthy aristocrats of early 1800s London, it stars Julie Andrews as mysterious gossip Lady Whistledown and Phoebe Dynevor (daughter of Corrie’s Sally) as Daphne, the eldest daughter of the Bridgerton family. Daphne begins a romance with duke Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page). But all is not as it seems… 

34. VICTORIA WOOD’S SECRET LIST 

BBC2 

Comic Victoria Wood (pictured) is giving us a glimpse into her favourite sketches for this Christmas special

Comic Victoria Wood (pictured) is giving us a glimpse into her favourite sketches for this Christmas special

Comic Victoria Wood (pictured) is giving us a glimpse into her favourite sketches for this Christmas special

Discovered in one of her notebooks after her death in 2016, legendary comic Victoria Wood had made a list of more than 20 of her favourite sketches from her illustrious 40-year career, including some Acorn Antiques and Dinnerladies classics. And here they are, in two gloriously funny hour-long shows. 

35. GHOSTS

BBC1 

Owners Alison and Mike (above, front, played by Charlotte Ritchie and Kiell Smith-Bynoe) feature in the BBC's Ghosts

Owners Alison and Mike (above, front, played by Charlotte Ritchie and Kiell Smith-Bynoe) feature in the BBC's Ghosts

Owners Alison and Mike (above, front, played by Charlotte Ritchie and Kiell Smith-Bynoe) feature in the BBC’s Ghosts

The hit sitcom, set in a country house haunted by the ghosts of people who’ve died there, gets its first Christmas special – centred on philandering MP Julian Fawcett. ‘We see his debauched life before he died without his trousers on,’ says Simon Farnaby, who plays him. Owners Alison and Mike (played by Charlotte Ritchie and Kiell Smith-Bynoe) also host Mike’s family – what could go wrong?

36. THE VICAR OF DIBLEY CHRISTMAS SERMONS 

BBC1 

These three ten-minute specials show that even having to deliver homilies over Zoom hasn’t dimmed the passion of Geraldine Grainger (Dawn French) for the important things of the season: wine, chocolate and the merits, or otherwise, of a haircut by farmer Owen. Look out for Hugo (James Fleet) too.

37. JENNIFER SAUNDERS’ MEMORY LANE 

ITV 

Jennifer Saunders gets behind the wheel of a classic Jaguar to take actor Michael Sheen (pictured together) as she takes a trip down Memory Lane

Jennifer Saunders gets behind the wheel of a classic Jaguar to take actor Michael Sheen (pictured together) as she takes a trip down Memory Lane

Jennifer Saunders gets behind the wheel of a classic Jaguar to take actor Michael Sheen (pictured together) as she takes a trip down Memory Lane

Jennifer Saunders gets behind the wheel of a classic Jaguar to take actor Michael Sheen on a trip around his hometown, Port Talbot in south Wales, to see how it has shaped his life.

38. MOTHERLAND

BBC2 

Amanda (Lucy Punch) is hosting her festive party – with strict rules and a 30ft tree, of course – but with only Meg (Tanya Moodie) invited, Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin), Kevin (Paul Ready) and Liz (Diane Morgan) try to join in. 

39. THE GOES WRONG SHOW: THE NATIVITY 

BBC1 

Hapless am-dram troupe the Cornley Dramatic Society are back in action in another festive spoof. There’s a dispute between the two actors playing the donkey, the angel Gabriel becomes obsessed with fireworks, and baby Jesus is eaten by a sheep! 

40. NOT GOING OUT 

BBC1 

Lee Mack and Sally Bretton (pictured together) take leading roles in the BBC's Not Going Out Christmas Special

Lee Mack and Sally Bretton (pictured together) take leading roles in the BBC's Not Going Out Christmas Special

Lee Mack and Sally Bretton (pictured together) take leading roles in the BBC’s Not Going Out Christmas Special 

Feckless but lovable Frank (in the late Bobby Ball’s last appearance) joins Lee and Lucy (Lee Mack and Sally Bretton) for fireworks and fallouts with the family. 

41. MRS BROWN’S BOYS

BBC1 

In Brendan O’Carroll’s two-parter, Mrs Brown’s best friend Winnie suffers a burglary in which her mother’s wedding ring is stolen, and there’s a flasher called the Knickie Knackie Dickie on the loose. Father Damien also goes to Mrs Brown for help with making his Christmas message more impactful. 

42. BIRDS OF A FEATHER CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 

ITV 

Pauline Quirke was too busy to appear so her character Sharon has been stuck on a Covid cruise. But Tracey (Linda Robson) and Dorien (Lesley Joseph) are still on hand, annoying each other more than ever at their home in Essex. In the middle of their bickering is Les Dennis as Dorien’s new flame, Graeme, and Tracey’s friend Jordan (Ami Metcalf). 

SPECTACULAR SCI-FI THRILLS 

43. THE MIDNIGHT SKY 

NETFLIX 

George Clooney, who also directed the film, appears as Augustine (pictured), a lonely scientist in the Arctic who somehow needs to warn the crew about an impending global catastrophe in The Midnight Sky

George Clooney, who also directed the film, appears as Augustine (pictured), a lonely scientist in the Arctic who somehow needs to warn the crew about an impending global catastrophe in The Midnight Sky

 George Clooney, who also directed the film, appears as Augustine (pictured), a lonely scientist in the Arctic who somehow needs to warn the crew about an impending global catastrophe in The Midnight Sky

Only George Clooney can save the team of astronauts in danger in this absorbing sci-fi thriller based on the novel Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton. George, who also directed the film, appears as Augustine, a lonely scientist in the Arctic who somehow needs to warn Sully (Felicity Jones) and her crew about an impending global catastrophe before they re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere. 

44. DOCTOR WHO: REVOLUTION OF THE DALEKS 

BBC1 

The Daleks are back but the Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker, (pictured) isn't around to repel the deadly metallic creatures

The Daleks are back but the Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker, (pictured) isn't around to repel the deadly metallic creatures

The Daleks are back but the Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker, (pictured) isn’t around to repel the deadly metallic creatures

The Daleks have been scaring the living daylights out of us since 1963. Now they’re back, but the Doctor (played by Jodie Whittaker) isn’t around to repel the deadly metallic creatures because she’s in a high-security jail light years away. Only her friends on Earth – Yaz, Ryan and Graham – are left to try to see them off. 

45. WE CAN BE HEROES  

NETFLIX 

Miracle Guy, played by Boyd Holbrook (pictured), is among the superheroes who have been kidnapped by aliens in Netflix's We Can Be Heroes

Miracle Guy, played by Boyd Holbrook (pictured), is among the superheroes who have been kidnapped by aliens in Netflix's We Can Be Heroes

Miracle Guy, played by Boyd Holbrook (pictured), is among the superheroes who have been kidnapped by aliens in Netflix’s We Can Be Heroes

When the world’s superheroes, such as Miracle Guy (played by Boyd Holbrook), are kidnapped by aliens, their children are left in the charge of a mysterious babysitter. But the kids are determined to save their parents – and the world – using their very own powers. Created by Robert Rodriguez, the man behind the Spy Kids movies, this is a film for the whole family. 

FOOD AND FACTUAL 

Fancy a festive fix? From The Repair Shop to a Bake Off double bill, your favourite shows are back to stir the emotions and tickle the tastebuds 

46. CHRISTMAS IN DEVON AND CORNWAL

CHANNEL 4

Fishing crews catching lobster for seasonal feasts and farmers expecting the first lambs of winter for the village Nativity are among the highlights in this fascinating show. It also looks at unique local traditions like burning a Yule log made of ash sticks while making a toast, and enjoying mulled cider. 

47. THE YORKSHIRE VET’S CHRISTMAS CAROL 

Channel 5

One of Cannon Hall Farm's reindeer Jeffrey (pictured)

One of Cannon Hall Farm's reindeer Jeffrey (pictured)

Vet Julian Norton sees if the reindeer are well enough to help Santa deliver his gifts

Vet Julian Norton sees if the reindeer are well enough to help Santa deliver his gifts

Vets Peter Wright and Julian Norton see if Cannon Hall Farm’s reindeer Jeffrey and Prince are well enough to help Santa deliver his gifts in The Yorkshire Vet’s Christmas Special

Vets Peter Wright and Julian Norton (right) see if Cannon Hall Farm’s reindeer Jeffrey (left) and Prince are well enough to help Santa deliver his gifts, while two donkeys are due a dental check-up ahead of their Nativity play.

48. CHITTY FLIES AGAIN 

CHANNEL 4 

David Walliams (pictured) set out to discover if a replica of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang really can get off the ground

David Walliams (pictured) set out to discover if a replica of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang really can get off the ground

David Walliams (pictured) set out to discover if a replica of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang really can get off the ground

Comedian and children’s author David Walliams is a big fan of classic family film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and he’s keen to find out if a replica of the original car can actually take to the skies. Aviation engineer Tony Hoskins – a real-life version of the movie’s eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts – is the man who could make it happen. David also meets superfans of the film, original cast and crew members and inventors inspired by the movie. Along for the ride is a class of eightyear- old children who learn more about the film’s magical inventions – and the terrifying child-catcher!

49. THE REPAIR SHOP AT CHRISTMAS 

BBC1 

The Repair Shop team (pictured) come together to restore a rocking horse in an emotionally charged Christmas special

The Repair Shop team (pictured) come together to restore a rocking horse in an emotionally charged Christmas special

The Repair Shop team (pictured) come together to restore a rocking horse in an emotionally charged Christmas special

An emotionally charged Christmas special sees a rocking horse brought to the barn by vicar Steve and wife Amanda that was a Christmas present for their five-year-old daughter Tamsin. Sadly she died two years later, but the couple are hoping the Repair Shop team can restore the toy for their daughter Hetty, nine, who never met her elder sister. There’s also a toy truck made by his father in 1945 that Christopher, 80, wants brought back to life for his grandson to enjoy, and a stereogram – an early record player – that was once the centrepiece of a family’s festive celebrations but hasn’t worked in decades. 

Channel 5 has released a 90-minute special on the Home Alone story

Channel 5 has released a 90-minute special on the Home Alone story

Channel 5 has released a 90-minute special on the Home Alone story

50. THE HOME ALONE STORY 

CHANNEL 5 

This 90-minute special tells how the hit festive movie – filmed in an abandoned school gym – was almost a disaster. 

Convinced it would flop, the studio tried to pull their money out and the actors threatened to quit. 

The only person holding it together was unknown ten-year-old Macaulay Culkin. 

51. THE MAGICAL WORLD OF JULIA DONALDSON 

BBC2 

Julia’s children’s yarns are a festive TV fixture now and this illuminating portrait of the woman behind The Gruffalo, Zog and Stick Man delves deep into her world. With an exclusive interview, home videos and animated segments from her long-term illustrator Axel Scheffler, it also looks at how she tackles themes of love, loss, fear and tyranny in a way that will appeal to children. 

52. THE SUPERVET AT CHRISTMAS 

CHANNEL 4 

Animals don’t stop getting ill at this time of year, but Professor Noel Fitzpatrick is here to ensure they’re home in time for Christmas. As usual he has to deal with all manner of animal ailments, and there are also some famous faces hoping he can perform miracles on their beloved pets. 

53. WARTIME AT CHRISTMAS 

CHANNEL 5 

With the nation facing its most challenging Christmas in decades, can we learn lessons from our wartime past? This uplifting documentary draws on archive footage and first-hand interviews to present a heartwarming picture of festive life during the Second World War. From homemade cards and decorations to mince pies made under rationing, it focuses on the ingenuity and determination that allowed the nation to enjoy Christmas despite the shadow of war.

EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY WITH THESE TASTY TREATS

54. THE GREAT CHRISTMAS BAKE OFF 

CHANNEL 4 

Matt Lucas will host alongside Bake Off: The Professionals presenter Tom Allen (pictured with judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith)

Matt Lucas will host alongside Bake Off: The Professionals presenter Tom Allen (pictured with judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith)

Matt Lucas will host alongside Bake Off: The Professionals presenter Tom Allen (pictured with judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith)

It’s back to the tent as past contestants battle to be named Christmas Star Baker. Vying to win praise from judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith in this first of two festive specials will be Jamie Finn and Rosie Brandreth-Poynter from 2019, Ruby Bhogal from 2018 and James Hillery from 2017. Matt Lucas will host alongside Bake Off: The Professionals presenter Tom Allen because Noel Fielding was on paternity leave, and the icing on the cake will be Alexandra Burke singing Silent Night. 

55. THE GREAT FESTIVE BAKE OFF 

CHANNEL 4 

The team are back together again at New Year, and this time previous contestants Henry Bird and Helena Garcia from 2019, 2014 winner Nancy Birtwhistle and 2018 winner Rahul Mandal will be hoping to impress judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood. Presenters are Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding, and after the competition the group will have a New Year singalong around the piano.

56. JAMIE: KEEP COOKING AT CHRISTMAS 

CHANNEL 4 

Jamie Oliver is presenting his Keep Cooking At Christmas this year on Channel 4

Jamie Oliver is presenting his Keep Cooking At Christmas this year on Channel 4

Jamie Oliver is presenting his Keep Cooking At Christmas this year on Channel 4

Christmas really wouldn’t be Christmas without Jamie Oliver’s expert tips on cooking your festive food. 

This year he’ll be showing you how to make edible gifts for people you might not be able to meet in person, as well as sharing ideas for Christmas lunch and suggestions for what to do with those endless leftovers. 

There’s also a peek into family life at the £6 million Essex mansion Jamie shares with wife Jools and their five children. 

57. MARY BERRY SAVES CHRISTMAS 

BBC1 

Comedian Tom Allen co-hosts The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice, while The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades is a dab hand at restoring furniture. But can they cook? Sadly not. However, former Bake Off judge Mary is the ideal person to teach them and TV presenter Angela Scanlon to prepare some fuss-free festive dishes for their loved ones – with just the odd mishap along the way. 

58. THE SAVOY AT CHRISTMAS 

ITV 

The Savoy Grill's executive head chef Ben (right) has organised a seven-course Christmas lunch at the London hotel

The Savoy Grill's executive head chef Ben (right) has organised a seven-course Christmas lunch at the London hotel

The Savoy Grill’s executive head chef Ben (right) has organised a seven-course Christmas lunch at the London hotel

Spare a thought for Ben, the Savoy Grill’s executive head chef. He’s organising a seven-course Christmas lunch, served at three separate sittings, at the luxurious London hotel. That’s 4,500 dishes to prepare on the big day. In this absorbing documentary we also meet restaurant director Anne, who’s busily preparing her 160 staff, and head butler Sean as he gets new recruit Michael ready for his first Christmas at the hotel. 

59. NIGELLA’S CHRISTMAS COMFORTS 

BBC2 

Nigella Lawson (pictured) will take a trip round the world for her festive special set to air on BBC2 over the Christmas period

Nigella Lawson (pictured) will take a trip round the world for her festive special set to air on BBC2 over the Christmas period

Nigella Lawson (pictured) will take a trip round the world for her festive special set to air on BBC2 over the Christmas period

Nigella Lawson will take a trip round the world for her festive special – without leaving her kitchen. ‘I haven’t been able to get away this year so I’ll be travelling at the table with some of my favourite Christmas recipes from abroad, as well as cooking some home-made treats,’ says Nigella. On the menu are Norwegian pork ribs, a creamy Swedish fish dish and Dutch doughnuts. 

60. JAMES MARTIN’S CHRISTMAS DAY 

ITV 

Chef and Weekend columnist James Martin (pictured) will be talking us through his foolproof Christmas fare

Chef and Weekend columnist James Martin (pictured) will be talking us through his foolproof Christmas fare

Chef and Weekend columnist James Martin (pictured) will be talking us through his foolproof Christmas fare

The chef and Weekend columnist will be talking food, food and more food with his special guests. There’ll be a recipe from Tom Kerridge, The Ritz’s head chef John Williams will discuss high-end entertaining, Bake Off: Crème de la Crème winner Mark Tilling will treat viewers to some decadent chocolate treats and James himself will talk us through his foolproof Christmas fare. 

Source: Daily Mail

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