So it’s the most wonderful time of the year. People are wearing tacky sweaters, every coffee shop in the entire world is putting peppermint into their food, and it’s reasonably okay to spend the remains of your student loan on decorations and Christmas presents. I do love Christmas, I wasn’t being sarcastic, I actually do like this time of year. Whilst many families enjoy sitting by the fire, playing charades and chatting carelessly of this year’s antics, others like my own adore snuggling up in front of the TV and falling asleep in front of Michael McIntyre’s endless wit and wisecracks. There is nothing better than embracing the Christmas spirit alongside your favourite actors, comedians or presenters.
The classic scene I picture now when I think about British families and their relationship with the television at Christmas time is being slumped almost horizontally together on the sofa and arm chair wearing paper hats from their Christmas crackers, armed only with a remote control and a glass of alcohol. And let’s be honest, TV producers just know how to hit the spot. They know they have a captive audience on Christmas day. Everything is shut (for some unlucky souls even the local pub) and families need distraction for the sake of national peace. So television producers makers make it their mission to create Christmas specials and the nation waits with baited breath to view them.
In fact, Brits are actively planning and scheduling their Christmas TV viewing weeks before the turkey hits the oven, taking their position, armed and ready for the scheduling battles.
I thought I might enlighten you to the top six specials in store for this holidays screen entertainment:
Downton Abbey (8.45pm 25th December, ITV)
This is the FINAL episode of the period drama that has taken the world by storm. Will poor old Barrow find a reason to live again? Will Anna and Bates finally have their own mini-me?, Will writer Julian Fellowes finally allow Lady Edith a smidge of happiness?
Dickensian (9pm, 24th December, BBC1)
One of the most ambitious drama offerings of the season. A mash-up of the works of Charles Dickens, featuring some favourite characters interacting in a way never before imagined. Who knows what could happen when Scrooge, Fagin and Miss Havisham meet for a snifter down the Three Cripples pub?
Sherlock (9PM, 25th December, BBC1)
Possibly the most eagerly anticipated show of the festive season, this one-off sees the famous consulting detective and Watson time-travel back to a Baker Street of steam trains and frock-coats. A Holmes tale set in Victorian times. If this does not entice your TV taste buds I don’t know what will.
Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show (BBC1)
Comedian, Michael McIntyre, will return with another Christmas day special recorded at the Theatre Royal and packed to the rafters with (as yet unspecified) top class singers and assorted other guest stars – about as much festive merriment as fans can take.
Doctor Who (5.15pm 25th December, BBC1)
A festive adventure is in store when a call from a crashed spaceship sends the doctor on a hectic super-villain chase across the galaxy. Alex Kingston returns as fellow time traveller, with comedians Greg Davies and Matt Lucas.
Strictly Final and Xmas Special (BBC1)
By now a traditional feature of the run-up to Christmas, the sparkle and extravagance of the Grand Final will be followed just days later by a sparkling festive extravaganza featuring six winners and contestants from previous series – Abbey Clancy, Alison Hammond, Harry Judd, Lisa Snowdon, Tom Chambers and the winner of The People’s Strictly for Comic Relief 201, Cassidy Little.