Little gets you in the festive spirit more than cuddling up on the couch and indulging in some Christmas telly.

With more channels than ever before, not to mention catch-up and streaming services, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to Christmas TV.

To simplify the matter, we’ve come up with a list of highlights – here are the shows you simply don’t want to miss this festive season.


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Christmas Eve TV highlights

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Royal Carols: Together At Christmas, hosted by the Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey, will be broadcast on Christmas Eve on ITV. Picture: PARoyal Carols: Together At Christmas, hosted by the Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey, will be broadcast on Christmas Eve on ITV. Picture: PA

Carols from King's
BBC Two, 6.15pm
Directed by Daniel Hyde, the world-famous choir sings carols old and new including The Holly and the Ivy, In the Stillness and O Holy Night.

The Repair Shop at Christmas 2021
BBC One, 7pm
The team restore a very special mechanical doll, a traditional German decoration, an ageing harmonium and a train set from Kenya.

Royal Carols: Together at Christmas
ITV, 7.30pm
The Duchess of Cambridge hosts a Christmas carol service at Westminster Abbey to celebrate the work of those who supported communities during the pandemic.

Spitting Image Christmas Special
ITV, 10pm
In this festive feast, Elton John meets an angelic Brad Pitt, Nicola Sturgeon shares a Glasgow kiss under the mistletoe and Tom Cruise finds driving a sleigh can be risky business.

A Ghost Story for Christmas: The Mezzotint
BBC Two, 10.30pm
1923. In the heart of an old English college, Edward Williams receives an engraving of an unknown country house with an imposing facade, a sweeping lawn - and, just perhaps, something else.

The Last Leg Christmas Eve Special
Channel 4, 10:30pm
Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker host a festive special of the quadruple BAFTA-nominated and multi-award-winning The Last Leg.


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Christmas Day TV highlights

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Watch Terry Pratchett's The Abominable Snow Baby at 7.30pm on Channel 4. Picture: PAWatch Terry Pratchett's The Abominable Snow Baby at 7.30pm on Channel 4. Picture: PA

Ainsley’s Christmas Good Mood Food
ITV, 2pm
Ainsley is joined by Shane Richie, Shirley Ballas and Brian Turner for a festive good mood feast, including a biryani, a delicious duck dish and sumptuous desserts.

The Queen’s Speech 2021
BBC One, ITV, Sky One and Sky News, 3pm
The Queen will carry out her annual Christmas speech this year, keeping with the tradition started by her grandfather in 1932.

The Alternative Christmas Message
Channel 4, 5pm
The alternative message is a tradition that started in 1993 and has since featured illustrious and varied speakers such as Danny Dyer, John Bercow and whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
BBC One, 5.10pm
Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman return to the ballroom for an all-star Christmas special as six Strictly stars take to the floor in a bid to be crowned Christmas Champions 2021.

Terry Pratchett's The Abominable Snow Baby
Channel 4, 7.30pm
The magic of Terry Pratchett comes to life in this half-hour animation. The Abominable Snow Baby tells the story of an English town, thrown into disarray by a huge snowfall and the dramatic appearance of a 14-foot tall Abominable Snow Baby.

Call the Midwife Christmas Special
BBC One, 8pm
Christmas promises to be a memorable one at Nonnatus House as Lucille and Cyril prepare for their upcoming winter wedding.

The Great British Bake Off Festive Special
Channel 4, 8pm
The cast of Channel 4’s award-winning hit show It’s A Sin will be reuniting this Christmas for a seasonal special of The Great British Bake Off.

The Larkins at Christmas
ITV, 9pm
The Larkins are preparing for Christmas, but there’s been an ongoing spate of burglaries in the village. Pop and Ma are overjoyed to have Mariette and Charley back for Christmas, but when Charley’s parents arrive, chaos descends on the Larkins’ farm.

Gogglebox: Best of 2021
Channel 4, 9.15pm
Britain's favourite opinionated TV viewers share their sharp, insightful, passionate, and sometimes emotional critiques of 2021's biggest and best shows so far.

Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Special
BBC One, 10.20pm
It’s Christmas time in Finglas. Agnes is in charge of the choir, and Buster and Dermot organise a murder mystery night. What could possibly go wrong?

Boxing Day TV highlights

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Billy Connolly: My Absolute Pleasure will be shown on ITV on Boxing Day at 6pm. Picture: PABilly Connolly: My Absolute Pleasure will be shown on ITV on Boxing Day at 6pm. Picture: PA

Saturday Night Takeaway Presents: Double Trouble
ITV, 4.15pm
In this action-packed, fun-filled festive caper, Ant and Dec lead a gang of Britain’s best-loved celeb on a daring bank heist - but is everything really as it seems?

Billy Connolly: My Absolute Pleasure
ITV, 6pm
Billy Connolly invites us to his adopted home of the Florida Keys for an intimate look at the life he leads since deciding to step back from stand-up comedy.

Death in Paradise Christmas Special
BBC One, 7.30pm
A wealthy shipping magnate is found dead at a Christmas party.

All I Want(ed) For Christmas
Channel 4, 8pm
As kids, Christmas meant one thing: toys! But no matter how many mountains of presents we tore through, there was always that one longed-for toy that Santa never delivered.

Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2021
Channel 4, 9pm
To celebrate the welcome dawn of another year, Jimmy Carr puts a panel of top celebrity teams to test as he presents his big, fat and fiendishly difficult quiz.

Christmas Day Soaps

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Will Meena Jutla kill Manpreet to keep her secrets? Find out in Emmerdale's Christmas Day episode. Picture: Channel 4Will Meena Jutla kill Manpreet to keep her secrets? Find out in Emmerdale's Christmas Day episode. Picture: Channel 4

Emmerdale - ITV
ITV, 7pm
It’s Christmas Day, and there’s snow on the ground in the village – or at least that’s what it looks like. However, a flashback reveals that all is not what it seems…

Coronation Street - ITV
ITV, 8pm
Sarah’s Christmas plans end in disaster, but Daisy saves the day by holding a party at the pop-up bar.

Eastenders - BBC One
Christmas Day, 9.35
Wedding bells are ringing as Denise and Chelsea prepare for their special days. Janine goes to extreme lengths to ensure this Christmas is not one Scarlett will ever forget, and an unexpected guest at Christmas lunch panics Rocky.

Christmas films to stream

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Amazon
Based on the 1957 Dr Seuss book of the same name this full-length comedy feature film is narrated by Anthony Hopkins and stars Jim Carrey in the lead role.

Home Alone
Disney+
This classic John Hughes film is the story of eight-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) who wakes to find himself alone in his house after his family accidentally head off on holiday without him.

Love Actually
Amazon
This Christmas-themed romantic comedy film, written and directed by Richard Curtis, delves into different aspects of love through ten separate stories.

The Muppet Christmas Carol
Disney+
Closely following Charles Dickens' novel but with a Jim Henson twist, The Muppet Christmas Carol stars Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge alongside his puppet co-stars such as Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Apple TV+
The very first TV special based on the comic strip Peanuts, A Charlie Brown Christmas shows Charlie feeling depressed at the start of the holiday season so Lucy suggests he directs a neighbourhood Christmas play to cheer himself up.

The Christmas Chronicles
Netflix
After accidentally crashing Santa's sleigh, a brother and sister pull an all-nighter to save Christmas with a savvy, straight-talking St. Nick.

Scrooged
Amazon
Another film based on Dicken's Christmas novel A Christmas Carol, this modern retelling features Bill Murray as Frank Cross who is visited by a succession of ghosts on Christmas Eve.

The Princess Switch
Netflix
When a down-to-earth Chicago baker and a soon-to-be princess discover they look like twins, they hatch a Christmastime plan to trade places.