What to watch on TV this Christmas and New Year 2019

Better get comfy on the sofa, you won't be moving during the festive season

First Dates Christmas

by Marianna Manson |
Updated on

Timing is of the essence, so as long as lunch is served by 2, pud is polished off by 4 and nan’s done with her annual festive tantrum by 5.30 (at the latest), there will be more than enough time to resume positions on the couch and settle down to watch some of the finest tellybox of the year.

But it’s not just the 25th to get excited about; Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day and even the week leading up to it is jam packed with drama, comedy, and TV nostalgia gold.

Call the Midwife
Call the Midwife ©BBC

There’s the weekly favourites with a festive twist – like First Dates and Chatty Man – and of course, the annual traditions that Christmas simply wouldn’t be the same without (we’re looking at you, Call the Midwife).

Feast your eyes on this lot and get your telly schedule sorted early, for one less thing to worry about come the 25th.

CHECK OUT: the best festive telly this 2019


Christmas and New TV 2019

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New Year's Day, 5.45pm, BBC1This special one-off show, celebrating the 10th anniversary of Miranda hitting our screens, was filmed at the London Palladium. Miranda is joined by castmates Patricia Hodge and Sarah Hadland (fingers crossed for Tom Ellis as well), and musical guests include McFly and Heather Small. Such fun!

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Michael McIntyre's Big Christmas Show

Christmas Day, 6pm, BBC1Yes, this may be part of the regular series – but as it's Christmas Day and the BIG ONE, Michael McIntyre is going all out to make this show simply the best. Don't miss the TV gold of Sharon Osbourne handing over her mobile phone for Send To All (see more on this in our chat with Michael below), while Craig Revel Horwood potentially isn't feeling quite so fab-u-lous as usual when Michael wakes him up mid-slumber. And there's a spectacular festive performance from the Unexpected Star. Merry Yule!

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CREDIT: Channel 4

Kylie's Secret Night

Christmas Day, 10.30, C4A specially invited audience arrive at a TV studio and settle in for what they think is a Kylie-themed evening for fans hosted by Alan Carr. But no! Actual Kylie herself is there, chatting through her career, from Neighbours' pop poppet to the national treasure and icon she is today. There are surprises for both the audience and the singer, some super-fans get the shock of their lives when someone unexpected gets in their taxi, and Kylie meets people who were named after her. Hilarious and heart-warming – don't miss. ALSO WATCH: Kylie's Golden Tour, Xmas Day, 12 midnight, C4

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Alan Carr's Celebrity Re-play 2019

Monday 30th Dec, 9pm, ITVCan we all remember what's happened over the past 12 months in Celebville? Alan Carr and Angellica Bell are here to help, with this fun-filled entertainment show celebrating the best 2019 had to offer in terms of all things famous people-related. Topics under discussion include Stormzy smashing Glastonbury, RuPaul finally bringing Drag Race to the UK, and Boris Johnson doing his thing in Parliament. We're promised clips, virals, comedy moments and surprise guests – and one pair getting to win £25,000 for charidee. With Alan at the helm, anything could happen!

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The Graham Norton Show: New Year's Eve Show

New Year's Eve, 10.20pm, BBC1It's NY Eve – why would you even want to go out when Graham Norton's on the box? Obvs, the guests are on the impressive side tonight – Tom Hanks (starring as an American kids' TV host in his new film), Strictly judge Motsi Mabuse, and Line Of Duty/This Is England star Stephen Graham. Melanie C is providing the tunes, plus there's a special Hogmanay Red Chair slot. You can also catch Graham on Good Show Business Guide, 3 Jan, 11pm, BBC1.

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CREDIT: Sky One/Now TV

Cinderella: After Ever After

Christmas Eve, 8pm, Sky One/Now TVDavid Walliams plays Prince Charming in a new version of Cinderella – but with a twist. After her wedding to the prince, Cinderella (Sian Gibson) soon realises that she hasn't got the fairytale ending she thought. Rather than her knight in shining armour, the prince is a vain, flossing-obsessed (the dance, that is) doofus, and her evil stepmother (Celia Imrie) is making the life of Cinders' father-in-law (Tom Courtenay) an absolute misery. Silly lines and fart jokes abound. Great fun.

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Take Off with Bradley and Holly

Christmas Eve, 8pm, ITVBradley Walsh and Holly Willoughby spread festive joy as lucky audience members have the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Lapland in this one-off festive entertainment show.

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CREDIT: Channel 4

The Great Christmas/Festive Bake Off

Christmas Day/New Year's Day, 7.10/7.40, C4Noel, Sandi, Prue and Paul re-assemble for a seasonal edition of the show. The Dec 25 episode sees them joined by bakers past (2017's Tom and Yan, plus 2018's Briony and Terry). The biggest excitement, however, is rockers Status Quo dropping by – and everyone singing along to Rockin' All Over The World. On NY Day, the Derry Girls cast do some baking, and make the judges dress up in school uniform. Ace.

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Paddington: The Man Behind the Bear

Boxing Day, 9pm, BBC2The tale of how a humble bear from Peru – with a liking for marmalade – became such an icon. Narrated by Hugh Bonneville, it's also the story of his unassuming creator, Michael Bond. Famous admirers pop up as well, such as Stephen Fry and Jeremy Clarkson.

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Call The Midwife Christmas Special

Christmas Day, 7pm, BBC1Our favourite CTM characters return for the annual Christmas outing. This epic 90-minute episode is a break from the norm (the cast have been shipped to the remote Outer Hebrides, where Mother Mildred – Miriam Margolyes – thinks their skills are needed). Brace yourselves for antics including Trixie (Helen George) getting friendly with a calf, Dr Turner rolling his sleeves up in the most intense of settings, and Reggie on a mass paper chain-making mission.

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A Christmas Carol

Sunday 22nd - Christmas Eve, 9.05pm, BBC1Written by Peaky Blinders creator Stephen Knight, and with Tom Hardy as one of the executive producers, this spine-tingling version of A Christmas Carol is definitely one to put on your viewing list. The three-part adaptation of Charles Dickens' timeless novel boasts a stellar cast that includes Stephen Graham as Jacob Marley, Guy Pearce as Scrooge and Andy Serkis as the Ghost Of Christmas Past, along with Joe Alwyn and Charlotte Riley. Prepare to be spooked as Scrooge is forced to face his many misdemeanours…

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Dr Who New Year's Special

New Year's Day, 6.55pm, BBC1Jodie Whittaker's 13th Doctor lands back on our TVs, and she's got all her old gang with her. Graham (Bradley Walsh), Mandip Gill (Yaz) and Ryan (Tosin Cole) are once again her travelling companions. Tonight's first instalment of a two-part adventure sees the crew hook up with Stephen Fry.

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The Christmas Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan

Sunday 22nd December, 9pm BBC2After the Arctic, Romesh Ranganathan vowed never to go anywhere cold again. He's in the Sahara – where an inescapable wall of heat beats down...

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Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas and New Year's Special

Christmas Day and New Year's Day, 10.30pm, BBC1Mrs Brown fans, rejoice! You've got two helpings of hilarious potty-mouthed festive fun from the queen of Dublin town. There's bad news for Winnie when Agnes discovers Peggy Piper the Pernod Poisoner is out on appeal and could be coming back to Finglas. Yikes! Meanwhile, Betty's annoyed with Mrs B for giving Bono money, but then an angel-in-training shows up (yep, really), and the world turns upside down.

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Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special

Christmas Day, 8.30, BBC1Tidy! Back after a 10-year break, Gavin & Stacey is as funny as ever, with Ruth Jones and James Corden's writing still bang on the money. Alison Steadman is on brilliant form as Pam packs in her own inimitable way for a Welsh Christmas, and Uncle Bryn (Rob Brydon) is attempting to prepare lunch for 13 people. Meanwhile, Neil The Baby only answers to his full name even though he's 11. As for Smithy, he's still the same old lovable idiot. Lush festive viewing.

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Dancing on Ice at Christmas

Sunday 22nd December, 7pm, ITVThere's still a fortnight to go until the new series lands, but tonight we find out who the new batch of celebrities are paired with, professional dancer-wise, and the 12 famous faces take to the rink for the first time. The likes of Joe Swash, Ian Watkins (aka 'H' from Steps), Love Island's Maura Higgins, Michael Barrymore and Trisha Goddard have all signed up to dice with danger (those blades!). John Barrowman is a new judge, and Torvill 'n' Dean will be performing a fancy routine. Ooh!

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Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special

Christmas Day, 4.40pm, BBC1Celebs from previous series, including Debbie McGee, Richard Arnold and Mark Wright, slip back into their dancing shoes for a joyous helping of festive Strictly magic. Actress Gemma Atkinson teams up with real-life partner Gorka Marquez, and YouTuber Joe Sugg and professional dancer Dianne Buswell – who also found love on the show – compete as well. Perfect post-turkey viewing.

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CREDIT: Channel 4

First Dates at Christmas

Christmas Day, 9.30pm, Channel 4Singletons from across the UK gather at a cosy countryside pub for a date night sprinkled with Yuletide magic. Fred Sirieix and co are there to welcome the likes of Kieran, 25 (he wants a real-life Barbie who can see past his six-pack), 67-year-old divorcée Suzy and single-mum Amy, 30, who wants a man who accepts her fake tan addiction.

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Gordon, Gino and Fred Christmas Road Trip: Three Unwise Men

Monday 23rd December, 9pm, ITVGordon Ramsay, Gino D'Acampo and Fred Sirieix once again join forces for a cultural road trip. This time, they're in Morocco, with such highlights as seeing the unlikely trio attempting to ride camels, herd goats, and travel in donkey carts. They don't actually celebrate Christmas in Marrakesh, but the boys are determined to make it a culinary road trip to remember regardless.

WATCH: Keanu and Sharon's baby bombshell REVEALED | Christmas Soap Spoilers

And don't even get us STARTED on the soaps.

This year's storylines promise to be some of the most explosive in soapland history, with Coronation Street in particular ramping up the drama for a some seriously high octane chaos on the cobbles.

"Christmas Day this year is big, exciting and a bit bonkers – in my long time working in soap we’ve done warm and cosy Christmases and slightly crazy ones and I thought, let’s go with something big and cataclysmic," Corrie boss Iain McLeod told Closer online.

Gavin and Stacey Christmas special
Gavin and Stacey Christmas special ©BBC

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"There’s a ton of high octane action stuff but when we were designing the episode, we were conscious that there’s a certain expectation of a Corrie Christmas – a certain, feel, warmth and humour to it. It’s one of those episodes where you sit there on the edge of your seat – it’s so exciting and tense. Most importantly, it’s the culmination of a lot of really big stories."

There's also the long-awaited Gavin and Stacey Christmas special to look forward to, with the hotly anticipated official trailer dropping at the start of the month.

In the short video, Bryn can be seen trying to make Christmas dinner, but ultimately failing, while the Christmas classic, I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday plays and Stacey and Nessa look on.

A little stressed by the situation, Bryn drops a pan on the floor. Looking up at Stacey and Nessa, he says, "Would you kindly inform everyone that dinner is ever so slightly delayed?"

Maybe we'll FINALLY find out what happened to Uncle Bryn on that fishing trip?

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