It’s cold outside, so better stay inside with a mince pie, a glass of mulled wine (or three) and reacquaint yourself with your old friend: the sofa. Across Christmas and New Year, there is some great festive television, ranging from the usual specials of Doctor Who and Downton Abbey to wonderful one offs, such as Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot. Here are In the Middle’s best festive flicks – your one and only guide to Christmas television!
Not Going Out – BBC1 Christmas Eve 9.30pm
When Lee Mack’s comedy sitcom was cancelled back in 2009, outrage broke out amongst fans, who petitioned to get it back on television screens until in 2011, it did. But all things must come to an end, and this Christmas Eve brings us the final ever episode of Not Going Out. After many years of ‘will they won’t they’ questions surrounding Lee and Lucy, we will finally found out in what will apparently be an ‘epic finale’. It is bound to put a smile on your face.
Doctor Who – BBC1 Christmas Day 6.15pm
Every year, we go on an adventure with the Doctor in his Tardis, and this year is current Doctor Peter Capaldi’s first Christmas outing in the famous blue box. Entitled ‘Last Christmas’, this special episode looks like great fun, with Nick Frost appearing as Santa Claus; what a cracking piece of casting! Most importantly, though, we will find out whether Clara (Jenna Coleman) is leaving behind the Doctor for good. An essential watch on Christmas Day every year, it is sure to be good fun.
Downton Abbey – ITV1 Christmas Day 9.00pm
A feature length Christmas special of our favourite period drama is the perfect way to round off Christmas day. With Anna facing imprisonment for Green’s murder, Bates decides to take drastic action, but will he land himself in trouble? And will we say a final goodbye to Branson this Christmas? Expect lots of drama, of course.
A Christmas Cracker – ITV1 Boxing Day 8.00pm
What better to do Boxing Day than chill out with Bradley Walsh; an evening of pure entertainment awaits, with A Christmas Cracker taking over ITV1 for the night. Everyone from the Muppets to Cirque du Soleil to Al Murray will be there to put a smile on your face.
Top Gear’s Patagonia Special – BBC2 Saturday 27th 8.30pm and Sunday 28th 8pm
You may have already heard about this year’s Top Gear Christmas special, after our favourite petrol heads Clarkson, May and Hammond caused quite a stir in Argentina during the filming. Yes, Top Gear can be controversial, but it is still incredibly funny. This year’s Patagonia episode, coming in two parts to our screens this Christmas, looks especially humorous, and simultaneously also quite terrifying!
Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot – BBC1 New Year’s Day 6.30pm
Roald Dahl is one of Britain’s most beloved writers, with many of his stories being adapted forour screens. One of his lesser known stories is Esio Trot, a story about tortoises and love. What could be better? We’ll see the wonderful Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman united on screen as the protagonists, Mr Hoppy and Mrs Silver. Bound to be sweet and charming, this is not just for children.