Christmas TV schedule and timings – What TV shows should you watch over Christmas 2020?
Christmas is usually a time to spend with loved ones but sadly this year will be a little different with fewer family members able to mix thanks to the Tier 4 restrictions. This means great Christmas TV is needed more than ever, so what should everyone be watching? Here’s a line-up of the best shows which are going to be shown tomorrow, Thursday, December 24, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
What TV shows should you watch over Christmas 2020?
Worzel Gummidge: Saucing Nancy
To kick off the celebrations, another Worzel Gummidge will be airing with actor Mackenzie Crook returning as the iconic scarecrow.
In this special, Worzel comes across an old friend, the carved ship’s figurehead Saucy Nancy who wants to return to the sea.
With the help of friends Susan and John, Worzel makes it his mission to help Nancy get back to where she belongs
Worzel Gummidge: Saucing Nancy will air tomorrow at 5.55pm on BBC One.
A Baby Reindeer’s First Christmas
Set in the beautiful Scottish Highlands, a community of herders will prepare young reindeers for their first-ever Christmas.
There were concerns many festivities would be cancelled because of the pandemic, but the herders continue to go to great lengths to nurture and train the reindeer during the winter.
This heartwarming documentary will follow the animals’ progress, including an orphaned reindeer calf who is in need of a little more help.
A Baby Reindeer’s First Christmas will start at 6.40pm on Channel 4.
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The Great Christmas Bake Off
This festive edition of the Bake Off will welcome back four contestants to the tent as they compete for the title of Christmas 2020’s Star Baker.
Judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith will be back to critique the cakes along with new presenter Matt Lucas trying to smuggle in a taste here and there.
As Noel Fielding wasn’t available for filming at the time, Lucas will be joined by Bake Off: The Professionals host comedian Tom Allen.
The Great Christmas Bake Off airs at 7.40pm on Channel 4.
Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse
This mini-film tells of the true story when two of the world’s most famous children’s authors met.
The drama will show how Beatrix Potter met six-year-old Roald Dahl who would then go on to inspire the latter to write his own stories.
Dawn French leads the cast as Beatrix and young actor Harry Tayler as Roald with the supporting cast including Nina Sosanya, Jessica Hynes and Rob Brydon.
Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse starts at 8.15pm on Sky One.
Birds of a Feather Christmas Special
Ending the night before Christmas with a bang is a one-off festive special of Birds of a Feather.
The sitcom was last seen three years ago but this time Sharon (Pauline Quirke) will not be featured as she is stuck on a Covid-cruise on the other side of the world.
So the special will focus on Tracey Stubbs’ (Linda Robson) and Dorien Green’s (Lesley Joseph) feuding friendship.
Actor Les Dennis will also be making a guest appearance as Dorien’s boyfriend.
Birds of a Feather Christmas Special begins at 9.15pm on ITV.
Zog and the Flying Doctors
This delightful children’s animation comes from the mind of The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson.
The show will see flying doctor trio Zog, Pearl and Gadabout land unexpectedly at a palace where Pearl is then locked up by her uncle and in need of rescuing.
There are some famous voices in this special as well with the likes of Lenny Henry, Rob Brydon, Alexandra Roach, Hugh Skinner and Patsy Ferran to name just a few.
Zog and the Flying Doctors will air at 2.35pm on BBC One.
Strictly: The Christmas Countdown
The competition may be over for another year but a festive edition will still be shown on Christmas Day.
Sadly, there will be no mini-competition thanks to the pandemic but instead, this will be a countdown of the 25 most memorable dances of all time voted by viewers.
The list will be made up of routines which won the show, those that left audiences in awe as well as the performances which left fans in stitches.
Strictly: The Christmas Countdown will begin at 4.45pm on BBC One.
The classic game show will be brought to life with The Chase presenter Bradley Walsh at the reins.
Six celebrities will compete to fill in the Blanks to try and win prizes for the contestants in this one-off special.
Blankety Blank starts at 7pm on BBC One.
The ITV soap marked its 60th anniversary this month but now there is even more to look forward to with the Christmas special.
Like every year, Christmas Day is an important day in the soap calendar but what will happen in this hour-long special?
Last year was the Christmas Day siege where Robert Preston (Tristan Gemmill) was killed off and Shona Platt (Julia Goulding) suffered brain damage after being shot.
Coronation Street will air at 7pm on ITV.
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Call The Midwife Christmas Special
As ever, fans will have a special episode of Call The Midwife to look forward to on Christmas Day.
Set in December 1965, there will be plenty of plot twists ahead with Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) rushed to hospital and a surprise reunion for Shelagh Turner (Laura Main).
There will also be a guest appearance from Peter Davison as the ringmaster of a circus which goes to Poplar.
Call The Midwife begins at 7.40pm on BBC One.
Britain’s Got Talent: Christmas Spectacular
For the first time ever, the judges will be performing alongside some of the show’s previous winners and memorable contestants.
For example, judge Ashley Banjo will perform a Christmas routine as part of Diversity, DVJ and season two winner George Sampson.
Then, judge Alesha Dixon will sing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas with 2017 winner Tokio Myers on piano.
Other acts to perform include 2020 winner Jon Courtenay, Richard Jones, Ben Hart, Attraction and Marc Spellman.
Britain’s Got Talent: Christmas Spectacular will air at 8pm on ITV.
Rivaling Corrie’s Christmas Day special, EastEnders will also be on December 25.
Executive producer Kate Oates has teased there will be a “huge” festive storyline as well as the return of a well-known character to the Square but who could it be?
Last Christmas, Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) found out about his wife Sharon (Letitia Dean) getting pregnant by Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters), who already had a baby with his daughter Louise (Tilly Keeper).
EastEnders will start at 9.10pm on BBC One.
Mrs Brown’s Boys
To round off the evening will once again be comedy Mrs Brown’s Boys.
The episode is called Mammy Of The People and will see the family try to come to terms with the new normal.
Another episode will be shown on New Year’s Day where the family gets to grips with life after lockdown.
Mrs Brown’s Boys begins at 10pm on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
The Story of SM:TV Live
SM:TV Live was a children’s show where many fans saw Geordie duo Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly for the first time, along with Cat Deeley.
This special will take fans down memory lane, looking at the first three years of the show from 1999.
The documentary features interviews with Ant, Dec and Cat and show footage from some of the episodes.
The Story of SM:TV Live will start at 9.25am on ITV.
Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2020
Ending the Christmas celebrations on a high will be comedian Jimmy Carr as he hosts the annual Big Fat Quiz of the Year.
The stars and comedians who will be taking part this year will be Stacey Solomon, David Mitchell, Maya Jama, Richard Ayoade, James Acaster and Joe Lycett.
Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2020 airs at 9.05pm on Channel 4.
Explaining the importance of Christmas television, psychologist and co-founder of mental health and self- development platform Remente Niels Eék explained to Express.co.uk: “Part of what Christmas TV provides is an opportunity for escapism. This has always been a function of Christmas shows, which usually provide a rose-tinted or even fantastical view of the world.
“On top of enjoying the cosy feel of Christmas TV, simply seeing programmes
where the pandemic is not mentioned, and social distancing is not a worry, can feel like a mental break.
“While we are seemingly surrounded by negative news and headlines, this
opportunity for respite becomes all the more valuable.
“Christmas TV can be seen as a form of relief, as it can provide a healthy dose of nostalgia to boost your mood!”
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