Tuesday 12 December 2023


Usually at this time of year I buy the festive edition of the TV listings magazine and pick out my festive favourites. This year I've decided to forego the expense (and they are getting expensive) but doing a bit of internet research instead. So here is my 2023 guide to the Yuletide televisual event.

As usual... here's the rules;

No films (although feature length 'made for TV' are fine).
Festive fayre is preferred but not essential.

Nothing that would ordinarily be in the schedule unless it's a festive special. It's strictly my taste so you might find it heavy on the comedy.

13th December 
Bad Education Christmas Special, BBC3
Jack Whitehall's sitcom returns for a festive special.

16th December
Blood Actually, Gold
Mildly amusing comedy series.

18th December 
QI XL Christmas Special, BBC2
Who doesn't love QI?
Live at the Apollo Christmas Special, BBC2
Quality stand up comedy.
Richard Osman's Festive House of Games, BBC2 (and for next four consecutive days)

19th December 
Never Mind the Buzzcocks: Christmas Special - Sky Max
Sister Boniface Mysteries Christmas Special - Alibi
(this one's for Morticia)

21st December 
8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Christmas Special, Ch4
Joe Lycett's Late Night Lycett Christmas Special - Ch4
This could go anywhere, Lycett is nuts!

22nd December 
Would I Lie to You? at Christmas, BBC1
Festive staple.
The Last Leg of Christmas, Ch4
Topical seasonal fun.

Christmas Eve
Beyond Paradise, BBC1
Seasonal edition of the ' Death in Paradise' spin off. 
A Ghost Story For Christmas: Lot No.249, BBC2
Mark Gatiss’ adaptation of the Arthur Conan Doyle short story.
The Repair Shop at Christmas, BBC1
The Great Christmas Bake Off - Ch4
The Heist Before Christmas, Sky Max
James Nesbitt and Timothy Spall star in this Christmas special.
Not Going Out, BBC1
100th episode of Lee Mack's sitcom. 

Christmas Day
Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel, BBC1
Surprisingly fun entertainment quiz.
Doctor Who, BBC1
The Christmas Special is back, complete with a new Doctor.
Ghosts, BBC1
Final ever episode of the supernatural sitcom.
Death In Paradise, BBC1
The original light-hearted mystery drama.
The 1% Club Christmas Special, ITV
Festive edition of the addictive quiz.
The Masked Singer Christmas special, ITV
Guilty pleasure. "take it off!"

Boxing Day
Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2023, Ch4
Jimmy Carr presents the big quiz.

29th December 
Men Up, BBC1
Drama about five ordinary Welshmen who take part in the trial of a new drug which would later become Viagra.

New Year's Eve 
The Last Leg of the Year, Ch4
Review of the year's news.

New Year's Day
Mr Bates vs. The Post Office, ITV (and for next 3 consecutive days)
Drama about the Post Office computer system scandal.
The Great New Year Bake Off, Ch4

2nd January
Taskmaster New Year Treat, Ch4
Special edition of the comedy task show. 

Streaming Highlights

You can't ignore the streaming services, here's my pick from there...

The Winter King, ITVx
Retelling of the Arthurian legends that takes place in Post-Roman Dark Age Britain.

Best. Christmas. Ever!, Netflix
Romantic comedy where a boastful holiday newsletter is sent that makes an old friend feel like a lump of coal.

EXmas, Amazon Prime
When a guy decides to surprise his family by traveling home for Christmas, he is shocked to discover them already celebrating with an unexpected guest.

Dashing Through the Snow, Disney+
A good-hearted man who has lost his faith in Christmas befriends a mysterious character named Nick.

Family Switch, Netflix
A family descends into chaos days before Christmas when a rare cosmic event causes the parents to swap bodies with their teenage kids.

Candy Cane Lane, Amazon Prime
Eddie Murphy stars in this festive offering. It's never going to be as good as" Trading Places".

Genie, Sky Cinema/Now TV
Remake of " Bernard and the Genie"

Your Christmas or Mine 2, Amazon Prime 
Sequel to last year's rich family/ poor family romantic comedy.

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