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Best Christmas TV guide: Can’t miss festive telly on BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Sky

Best Christmas TV and Movies 2021: The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky have packed Christmas schedules. Here’s how to watch the best Christmas week telly

Whether it’s festive Top of the Pops, an emotional rollercoaster with Call The Midwife or seeing in the New Year with Jools, we’ve got a guide to some of the must-see Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve television.

Seeing as we’re all probably going to be spending a little bit more time indoors than many of us had hoped, a packed TV schedule is no bad thing at all.

Best Christmas week TV

Hansel and Gretel: After Ever After
Thursday 23 December, 8pm, Sky Max

David Walliams and Sheridan Smith star in the latest of Sky’s traditional After Ever After fairytale movies. As usual, it’s the traditional “what happened after” the well-known Grimm Brothers tale ended. You can see the trailer below.

Sex And The City And Just Like That
Sky Comedy, Thursday 23 December

Carrie and co. are back on our television sets, thanks to a reboot of the classic HBO sit-com. Season one, episode 4 of the reboot airs on the 23rd December on Sky Comedy.

Best Christmas Eve TV

The Amazing Mr Blunden
Christmas Eve, 7pm, Sky Max

Sky Max is where it’s at for this show based on Antonia Baber’s novel. The family-friendly special starring Tamsin Greig and Simon Callow brings “adventure arrives for London teenagers Jamie and Lucy Allen in the form of a mysterious old man, Mr Blunden, who offers their mum the opportunity to become the caretaker of a ruined country house – one that’s said to be haunted.”

Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas
Christmas Eve, 6pm, BBC One
(and 11:25am Christmas Day)

What’s Christmas without a little festive comfort from Aardman Animations, eh? Shaun the Sheep is back in action with The Flight Before Christmas. “Shaun’s seasonal excitement turns to dismay when a farmhouse raid to get bigger stockings for the Flock inadvertently leads to Timmy going missing. Can Shaun get Timmy back before he becomes someone else’s present,” the official synopsis means.

Best Christmas Day TV

The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast
Christmas Day, 3pm, BBC One

Her Maj’ is back again for her annual Christmas address. We can’t imagine it’s going to be very cheerful considering how crap her and everyone else’s year has been. Still, you’ve gotta watch haven’t you? It’s like national service.

Call The Midwife
Christmas Day, 8pm, BBC One

Another Christmas tearjerker is in store at the delivery unit. It’s 1966 Nonnatus House and there’s a bunch of Christmas babies on the way. As you’d expect.

Terry Pratchett’s The Abominable Snow Baby
Christmas Day, 7:30pm, Channel 4

An animated adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s short story stars Julie Walters as a grandmother who, along with her grandson set out to rescue a furry, but friendly snow baby. It’s what Christmas telly is all about, isn’t it?

The Larkins at Christmas 
Christmas Day, 9pm, ITV

Bradley Walsh takes on the strides of David Jason in this Darling Buds Of May reboot. The first series was well received and that’s been rewarded with the Christmas Day Prime Time slot on ITV. In this feature-length episode, the village is dealing with a spate of festive burglaries.

The Larkins At Christmas

Best Boxing Day TV

A Very British scandal 
Boxing Day, BBC One, 9pm

The BBC is bringing out the big guns on Boxing Day with a star-studded cast bringing the events surrounding the controversial divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll in the 1960s. Paul Bettany and Clare Foy star in this period drama.

Bit Fat Quiz of the Year
Boxing Day, 9pm, Channel 4

Jimmy Carr is back for this traditional festive quiz. This year he’ll be joined in the merriment by Sarah Millican, James Acaster, Jonathan Ross, Judi Love and Guz Khan. Carr also hosts an 8 Out of 10 Cars Does Countdown on Christmas Eve on Channel 4.

Best New Year’s Eve TV

Top of the Tops New Year Special
New Year’s Eve, 4:15pm, BBC One

Alright, pop pickers? No longer a Christmas Day special, TOTP rounds out 2021 with a round up of the year’s biggest hits.

Jools’ Annual Hootenanny 
New Year’s Eve, 11:25pm BBC 2

This doesn’t need an introduction. See in the New Year with Jools Holland and a little Auld Lang Syne. Let’s hope for a better 2022, eh?

Best Christmas Movies on TV

Christmas telly is also about settling in for some good flicks, old and new. Here’s some of our favourites you should definitely be tuning into over the course of the season.

December 20, 3.05pm, BBC One

Saving Mr Banks
December 21, 2.45pm, BBC One

Christmas Eve, 1.30pm, BBC One

Mary Poppins Returns
Christmas Day, 3.10pm, BBC One

The Suicide Squad
Boxing Day, December 26, Sky Cinema

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
Boxing Day, 3:50pm, ITV2

Blade Runner 2049
December 27, 9pm, BBC 2

Wonder Woman
December 27, 6.15pm, ITV 2

A Star is Born (2018)
December 29, 9pm, BBC One

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
December 29, 12.55am, BBC Two

December 30, 9pm, BBC 2

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