Christmas TV and film guide

Christmas TV and film guide

When were were young, we always knew Christmas was coming when the bumper edition of the TV guide hit the shelves. We would enthusiastically trawl through the pages with a highlighter, planning the two weeks of festive specials and movie premieres. Times have changed but we all still love Christmas television. Here is our guide to the best of the box and how you can find it on TV, Netflix and at the cinema.

The Drama

Doctor Who

It wouldn’t be Christmas without mortal danger and the adventures of a madman in a blue box. This year’s capers with Capaldi feature a superhero called The Ghost, the return of Matt Lucas and brain swapping aliens.
How to watch: Christmas Day at 5:45pm on BBC One


Maigret’s Dead Man

The feature-length drama about French detective Maigret starring Rowan Atkinson is the centrepiece of ITV this Christmas. It has big shoes to fill in the former Downton Abbey slot but looks set to be popular with two more editions ready for 2017.
How to watch: Christmas Day at 9pm on ITV

Call The Midwife

The midwives are going somewhere a little more exotic than the East End this Christmas, venturing out to South Africa to save a struggling hospital. Sadly, Miranda Hart was unable to shoot with her busy schedule but the cast is joined by Sinead Cusack.
How to watch: Christmas Day at 8pm on BBC One

The Witness For The Prosecution

Agatha Christie adaptations are a perennial favourite for TV fans. This Christmas we have a two-part story about a married man arrested for the murder of a wealthy woman who made him her heir.
How to watch: Boxing Day and Tuesday 27 December at 9pm on BBC One


It has been a whole year since Sherlock wound back the clock to the 1890s but whilst that episode wasn’t well received, expect this one to be a big hit after Christmas.
How to watch: New Year’s Day on BBC One


The Comedy

Great British Bake Off

Wipe your tears away, we still have some Bake Off before it departs for its new Channel 4 home. Favourites from series past have come together to cook up a storm. Hopefully there will be no soggy bottoms in this year’s Christmas puddings!
How to watch: Christmas Day at 4:45pm on BBC One


Do you remember the Brockman family with Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner trying to raise their adorable kids who are fond of saying hilariously awkward things? They are back, the kids have grown up but they promise to be just as funny as ever.
How to watch: Boxing Day at 10pm on BBC One


Charlie Brooker’s 2016 Wipe

2016 has been such an absurdly busy year that Charlie Brooker’s brutal and relentless take will make you giddy with laughter. Expect Trump and Brexit rants aplenty.
How to watch: Thursday 29 December at 9pm on BBC Two


The Soaps


A producer of Emmerdale has said that this year’s show will be lighter and fluffier but still expect some dramatic plot twists and drama.
How to watch: Christmas Day at 5.45pm on ITV

Coronation Street

Expect secret affairs to blow up in the festive edition of Corrie this year, as the show promises shocks that will make you choke on your leftover Turkey sandwiches.
How to watch: Christmas Day at 8:00pm on ITV


The soap will be fizzing with excitement this year with the return of Max Branning and some emotional storylines for Lee and Phil.
How to watch: Christmas Day at 9:30pm on BBC One


The Films


The big film this Christmas. Singalong and get Let It Go stuck in your head again and enjoy the exploits of Olaf, Elsa and co.
How to watch: 25 December at 3.10pm on BBC One

Office Christmas Party

Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston attempt to stage the most epic Christmas office party ever to save their jobs. Expect a lot of laughs from a star-studded cast.
How to watch: Cinema

Star Wars: Rogue One

After the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the new golden age of galactic blockbusters is returning for another year. Go back to the events before the very first movie as a plucky band of rebels collude to steal the plans for the Death Star.
How to watch: Cinema



This is a magical Disney classic in the making, with a smart script, great cast and positive feel good factor. Follow Moana on her journey to find the demigod Maui and save her Polynesian island home.
How to watch: Cinema

Home Alone

It wouldn’t be Christmas without this childhood classic. Relive the moment that Kevin was left behind fooling the bumbling burglars.
How to watch: Netflix

Arthur Christmas

This original animated Christmas comedy is perfect for the whole family. Arthur is the clumsy son of Santa who must save the day for one girl who accidentally didn’t receive her presents.
How to watch: Netflix