Christmas TV Guide 2022: Our pick of the Christmas TV listingsDec 17 | 14 min read
For all the convenience of catch-up TV and streaming services, Christmas viewing is all about making an appointment with your telly.
Whether it's entertainment traditions like the Strictly special, Christmas Day visits to soapland or fresh adaptations of old favourites, the festive season is the one time when the whole family can gather round and enjoy the best TV shows and movies together.
From December 21 right through to New Year's Day, we've picked out the programmes and movies we think you should be watching this Christmas, from dazzling dramas and entertainment essentials to the film premieres and classic movies we know you'll love.
So get your highlighter out and happy Christmas viewing!
Wednesday 21 December
Film: Beauty and the Beast (2017) - 2.45pm, BBC One
Emma Watson is Belle and Dan Stevens her cursed captor in this live-action remake of Disney's 1991 animation. Co-stars Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson and Ewen McGregor.
Sports Personality of the Year 2022 - 6.45pm, BBC One
The BBC's annual celebration of the year's sporting glory is a little later this year due to the World Cup. Euro-winning Lioness Beth Mead is favourite to take the trophy.
Inside M&S at Christmas - 9pm, ITV
From the farm to the factory to the shop floor, go behind the checkouts to discover how Marks & Spencer has remained at the heart of Britain's Christmases for 137 years.
Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama - 9pm, Channel 4
Dramatisation of the Wagatha Christie trial starring Chanel Cresswell as Colleen, Natalia Tena as Rebekah and Michael Sheen as barrister David Sherborne. Part 2 9pm tomorrow.
Lionesses: Champions of Europe - 10.40pm, BBC One
Relive England's historic European Championship triumph in July 2022 through the eyes of key figures including Lionesses captain Leah Williamson and manager Sarina Wiegman.
Thursday 22 December
Question of Sport Christmas Special - 6.30pm, BBC One
Paddy McGuinness, Sam Quek and Ugo Monye are joined by Paralympian Sarah Storey, England goalie David James, Strictly pro Kai Widdrington and Love Island's Chris Hughes.
World's Strongest Man 2022 - 7pm, Channel 5
The Christmastide TV tradition sees 10 strongmen toss kegs, lift logs, pull a bus and carry those infamous Atlas stones to discover who is indeed the World's Strongest Man.
The Great British Sewing Bee Celebrity Christmas Special - 8pm, BBC One
Johannes Radebe, Natalie Cassidy, Rosie Ramsey and Penny Lancaster put their sewing skills to the test, creating novelty baby outfits and pop star-inspired fancy dress.
Luke Evans: Showtime! - 8pm, BBC Two
The Hollywood and West End star is joined by LeAnn Rimes, Olly Murs and Beverly Knight in a special concert, held in Wales, which celebrates his love of musical theatre.
Inside No.9 - 9pm, BBC Two
Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton team up with Shobna Gulati and Simon Callow to conjure up a Christmas ghost story set in an old church - The Bones of St Nicholas.
Film: Die Hard (1988) - 11.15pm, ITV
Put the 'Is it a Christmas movie?' debate to one side and enjoy one of the best action films of the 1980s as Bruce Willis's John McClane battles Alan Rickman's villain Hans Gruber.
Friday 23 December
Film Premiere: Trolls 2 - World Tour (2020) - 1.45pm, BBC One
When the Queen of the Hard Rock Trolls tries to take over all the Troll kingdoms, Queen Poppy and her friends come to the rescue. Starring Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake.
Celebrity MasterChef Christmas Cook-Off 2022 - 8pm, BBC One
Happy Mondays' Bez, athlete Iwan Thomas, pop star Josh Cuthbert and opera superstar Lesley Garrett compete for the Celebrity MasterChef Golden Whisk trophy.
Super Seasonal Sitcoms
The Cleaner – 9pm, BBC One, 23 December
Motherland - 9.30pm, BBC One, 23 December
Ghosts - 7.25pm, BBC One, Christmas Day
Mrs Brown's Boys - 10.25pm, BBC One, Christmas Day
Detectorists - 9pm, BBC Two, Boxing Day
Gino's Italian Christmas Feast - 8.30pm, ITV
It's Christmas at Villa D'Acampo and the whole family are heading for Sardinia for a celebration of Italian food and tradition, ending in a feast of all Gino's favourite dishes.
All Creatures Great and Small Christmas Special - 9pm, Channel 5
Christmas, 1939: The world is at war but the people of Darrowby are determined to celebrate the festive season in the face of new regulations, conditions and separations.
8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Christmas Special - 9pm, Channel 4
Jon Richardson and Jack Dee take on Lee Mack and Rose Matafeo in a festive edition of the words-and-numbers comedy mashup. Host Jimmy Carr manages the mayhem.
The Cleaner Christmas Special - 9pm, BBC One
It's Christmas Day, so naturally Wicky is in an ice cream parlour, cleaning up a blood-soaked crime scene and trying to get rid of a regular customer. Greg Davies stars.
Motherland Christmas Special - 9.30pm, BBC One
It's a full house at Julia's as Kevin, Liz and countless kids and grandparents turn up for dinner. Amanda, meanwhile, is spending the day with her ex-husband and his wife...
Film: It's a Wonderful Life (1946) - 1.25pm, Channel 4
Classic tale of Christmas redemption as James Stewart's George Bailey, whose selflessness has brought him to the brink of ruin, is saved by the intervention of his guardian angel.
From Elf to The Muppet Christmas Carol: Where to stream classic Christmas movies >
Charlie Mackesy: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, The Horse, and Me - 3.55pm, BBC Two
Artist and illustrator Charlie Mackesy takes us on a journey through his life, revealing the events that inspired his bestselling book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.
Unmissable Film Premieres
Trolls 2: World Tour – 1.45pm, BBC One, 23 December
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms - 5.25pm, BBC One, Christmas Eve
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon – 1pm, BBC One, Christmas Day
Aladdin - 3pm, BBC One, Christmas Day
The Mitchells vs The Machines – 3.30pm, ITV, Boxing Day
1917 - 9pm, BBC One, 27 December
No Time to Die - 8pm, ITV, New Year's Day
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse - 4.55pm, BBC One
A story of kindness, friendship, courage and hope for viewers of all ages in a heart-warming, hand-drawn animated film based on the children's book by Charlie Mackesy.
Film Premiere: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) - 5.25pm, BBC One
Magical adaptation of the Nutcracker story featuring music from Tchaikovsky's seasonal ballet. Stars Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Matthew Macfadyen and Helen Mirren.
Carols from King’s – 6.55pm, BBC Two
The choir of King's College Chapel, Cambridge, lead this Christmas Eve tradition in singing carols old and new alongside readings telling the story of the birth of Jesus.
Royal Carols: Together at Christmas - 7pm, ITV
HRH The Princess of Wales hosts a special Christmas carol service at Westminster Abbey. Attended by HM The King, this year’s service will pay tribute to HM Queen Elizabeth II.
Blankety Blank Christmas Special - 8pm, BBC One
Joanna Lumley, Alison Hammond, Alex Horne, Jonathan Ross, Joanna Page and Guz Khan try to fill in the missing blanks to win prizes for the contestants. Bradley Walsh hosts.
Britain Get Singing - 8.05pm, ITV
Roman Kemp hosts a seasonal celebrity sing-off between groups comprising stars of ITV shows Love Island, The Chase, Loose Women, Emmerdale and Coronation Street, below.
The Great Festive Bake Off - 8.15pm, Channel 4
Bake Off celebrates 40 years of Channel 4 by welcoming network legends Gaby Roslin, Tony Robinson, Miquita Oliver, Terry Christian and Claire Sweeney to the tent.
Christmas Comedy Club with Lost Voice Guy - 10.40pm, ITV
Britain's Got Talent winner Lee Ridley hosts a yuletide comedy extravanganza featuring standups Josie Long and Dara O'Briain, ventriloquist Paul Zerdin and rapper Abandoman.
Top of the Pops Review of the Year 2022 - 10.40pm, BBC Two
After 57 years, the Christmas afternoon staple moves to a new slot on Christmas Eve. Enjoy the chart hits of 2022 in the company of Radio 1's Clara Amfo and Jack Saunders.
Film Premiere: A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019) - 1pm, BBC One
When an alien crash-lands near Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun the Sheep goes on a mission to shepherd the intergalactic visitor home before a sinister organization can capture her.
Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker - 1.30pm, BBC Two
Influenced by 1930s Hollywood, this witty reinvention of Tchaikovsky's classic Christmas ballet celebrates its 30th birthday with this screening filmed at London's Sadler's Wells.
HM The King – 3pm, BBC One, BBC Two & ITV
King Charles III delivers his first Christmas message to Britain and the Commonwealth since succeeding to the throne on the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Film Premiere: Aladdin (2019) – 3.10pm, BBC One
Will Smith stars as the wise-cracking Genie in Guy Ritchie's live-action remake of Disney's animated favourite. Mena Massoud plays the titular urchin, with Naomi Scott as Jasmine.
The Canterville Ghost - 3.10pm, Channel 5
Four-part retelling of Oscar Wilde's tale starring Anthony Head as the malevolent spectre and Caroline Catz and James Lance as the unwelcome buyers of the house he haunts.
Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special - 5.10pm, BBC One
Rosie Ramsey, Larry Lamb and Nicola Roberts are among the celebrities performing festive foxtrots and seasonal sambas in this staple of Christmas Day entertainment.
Read more about the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special >
Best for Kids
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse – 4.55pm, BBC One, Christmas Eve
The Snowman & The Snowman and the Snowdog - 11.25am, Christmas Day, Channel 4
The Smeds and the Smoos – 2.35pm, BBC One, Christmas Day
Aladdin – 3.10pm, BBC One, Christmas Day
The Mitchells vs The Machines – 3.30pm, ITV, Boxing Day
The Alternative Christmas Message – 5.20pm, Channel 4
Channel 4's alternative to the Queen's Speech has aired on Christmas Day since 1993. Presenters have included Quentin Crisp, Neville and Doreen Lawrence and Danny Dyer.
Coronation Street - 7pm, ITV
The best-laid Christmas plans go awry on the cobbles as both a marriage proposal and a surprise wedding hit problems. Meanwhile the Platts' dinner goes as smoothly as ever...
The Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show 1972 - 7.15pm, BBC Two
Rewind 50 years to enjoy a Christmas classic. Eric and Ernie are joined by Glenda Jackson, Vera Lynn, Pete Murray and Kenny Ball for more memorable songs, spoofs and sketches.
Ghosts Christmas Special - 7.25pm, BBC One
When Alison's Christmas plans unravel, the ghosts are determined to give her a special present. Meanwhile a trip down memory lane prompts Pat to question his very identity.
The Great Festive Pottery Throwdown - 7.50pm, Channel 4
A first Christmas special for the clay-and-kiln challenge puts four celebrities behind the wheel. Will James Fleet, Jenny Eclair, Jamie Laing or Sunetra Sarker come out on top?
Call the Midwife – 7.55pm, BBC One
Trixie returns from Portofino as the maternity clinic moves to a new premises and Fred organises a talent show for families affected by the train crash - Poplartunity Knocks.
Doc Martin - 9.05pm, ITV
Martin Clunes' grouchy GP bows out after 22 years, but not before he has closed Santa's grotto on health and safety grounds, prompting son James to track down the real Santa.
EastEnders – 9.25pm, BBC One
As Mick and Janine prepare to marry, a Christmas return leaves one resident of Albert Square fuming, while secrets and lies are exposed and all hell breaks loose in the Vic.
The Greatest Christmas Telly Ever! - 9.25pm, Channel 5
Haven't had your fill of Christmas TV yet? Sit back and enjoy two hours of the best seasonal drama, comedy, soaps and entertainment shows to have graced our screens.
Mrs Brown’s Boys – 10.25pm, BBC One
When Buster turns up with a magic vanishing Christmas tree which he claims is only visible to a select few, a naturally sceptical Agnes sets out to solve the mystery.
Film: Love Actually (2003) – 10.40pm, ITV
Richard Curtis's romantic comedy interweaving 10 tales of love and loss in the run-up to Christmas has become a modern classic that makes for a perfect end to Christmas Day.
Film: Frozen (2013) - 12.25pm, BBC One
Wintry modern Disney classic. Anna sets out on a journey with iceman Kristoff, reindeer Sven and snowman Olaf to find sister Elsa, whose magical powers have frozen their land.
Film: Mary Poppins (1964) - 2.25pm, BBC One
Julie Andrews stars as the practically perfect nanny alongside Dick Van Dyke's cheery chimney sweep Bert as they bring a little happiness into the lives of the Banks family.
Film Premiere: The Mitchells vs The Machines (2021) - 3.30pm, ITV
A quirky, dysfunctional family's road trip is upended when they find themselves in the middle of the robot apocalypse and suddenly become humanity's unlikeliest last hope.
The Repair Shop at Christmas - 8pm, BBC One
Jay Blades and team conjure up the magic of Christmas past to mend four festive items: a 1960s home bar, a bedraggled tree, an old film projector and a battered trombone.
The Voice Kids - 8.30pm, ITV
Ronan Keating joins Will.i.am, Pixie Lott and Danny Jones as judges on the chair-turning spin-off for singers between the ages of 7 and 14. Continues Tuesday and Wednesday.
Detectorists - 9pm, BBC Two
Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones's treasure hunters Andy and Lance return for a feature-length special with the Danebury Metal Detecting Club under threat - can they save it?
Death in Paradise Christmas Special - 9pm, BBC One
Christmas in Saint Marie takes a spooky turn when an old case of Selwyn’s comes back to haunt him following the murder of a true crime podcaster on the hunt for a missing child.
Big Fat Quiz of the Year - 9pm, Channel 4
Stephen Merchant, Katherine Ryan, Richard Ayoade, Jonathan Ross and Rose Matafeo are among the celebrities joining host Jimmy Carr to look back over the past 12 months.
Tuesday 27 December – Bank Holiday
Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama - 9pm, Channel 4, 21 December
All Creatures Great and Small Christmas Special - 9pm, Channel 5, 23 December
A Ghost Story for Christmas: Count Magnus - 10pm, BBC Two, 23 December
Call the Midwife – 7.55pm, BBC One, Christmas Day
Doc Martin – 9.05pm, ITV, Christmas Day
Death in Paradise Christmas Special - 9pm, BBC One, Boxing Day
Riptide - 9pm, Channel 5, 27-30 December
Happy Valley - 9pm, BBC One, New Year's Day
Riptide - 9pm, Channel 5
Australia-set psychological thriller starring Jo Joyner as a newlywed whose husband goes missing while surfing. Continues at 9pm over four nights to 30 December.
Film Premiere: 1917 (2019) - 9pm, BBC One
Sam Mendes' Oscar-winning WWI film follows two soldiers' attempts to deliver a vital message to the front line. Stars George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman, with Colin Firth.
Miriam Margolyes: Australia Unmasked - 9pm, BBC Two
Miriam Margolyes heads west along the bottom of Australia to understand what the Fair Go means in Australia today and how it is playing out in the lives of her fellow citizens.
First Dates at Christmas - 9pm, Channel 4
Maitre D' Fred Sirieix and the gang pull out all the stops to make Christmas 2022 one to remember for the singletons hoping to find love over the First Dates restaurant table.
The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan Christmas Special - 10pm, Channel 4
Jason Manford, Danny and Dani Dyer, Marvin Humes, Sophie Willan and Samson Kayo join Mo for festive fun and games, including sketches and Christmas Nursery Grimes.
Wednesday 28 December
Film: Finding Dory (2016) - 2.20pm, BBC One
The sequel to Disney's Finding Nemo sees Marlin and Nemo accompany Dory on a quest to find her parents and save them from captivity with the aid of a seven-legged octopus.
Film: Whisky Galore! (2016) - 4.55pm, BBC Two
Eddie Izzard and Gregor Fisher star in a remake of the 1949 Ealing Comedy based on the true story of a ship that runs aground on a Scottish isle with 50,000 bottles of whisky.
Jon & Lucy's Party of the Year - 9pm, Channel 4
Married comics Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont look back over the year with guests including Roisin Conaty, Romesh Ranganathan, Rob Beckett, Jackie Weaver and Big Zuu.
Celebrity I Literally Just Told You with Jimmy Carr - 11.05pm, Channel 4
Judi Love, Dermot O'Leary, David Walliams and Kerry Katona attempt to win £25,000 for charity by answering questions on things that have happened earlier in the same show.
Thursday 29 December
Antiques Roadshow Toys & Childhood Special - 8pm, BBC One
A special episode about the toys we love and how they’ve shaped our childhood, from Sindy and Action Man to Subbuteo and Lego, with a guest appearance by Jonathan Ross.
Farewell Doc Martin - 8.30pm, ITV
Caroline Catz, who plays Louisa Ellingham, takes viewers behind the scenes of Doc Martin to discover the secrets of the ITV drama’s huge success in a special documentary.
John Bishop's End of Year Show - 9.35pm, ITV
The Scouse comic kicks off a new series of his chat show by looking back at 2022 in the company of Mother Goose co-star Sir Ian McKellen and England footballer Beth Mead.
Film: The Others (2001) - 11pm, BBC One
Nicole Kidman stars in Alejandro Amenabar's supernatural thriller about a mother of two sick children who becomes convinced that her family's remote country house is haunted.
Friday 30 December
The Secret World of Christmas Chocolate - 3.45pm, Channel 4
From Quality Street to Roses, Jo Brand unwraps the stories of the most popular Christmas chocolate and the fight to be the best in a business where nostalgia means everything.
Film: Maleficent (2014) - 3.50pm, BBC One
Angelina Jolie plays the title character in this imaginative retelling of Sleeping Beauty, told from the perspective of the wicked fairy whose curse sends Princess Aurora to sleep.
Celebrity Christmas Hell - 10.15pm, Channel 4
Famous families open their doors to share their Christmas confessions. Joel Dommett, Alex Brooker, Katherine Ryan and Oti and Motsi Mabuse are among the talking heads.
Film: Annie (1982) - 12.50pm, Channel 4
Aileen Quinn stars as the curly-haired orphan alongside Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks and Carol Burnett as cruel Miss Hannigan in the musical comedy featuring 'Tomorrow'.
The Last Leg of the Year - 9pm, Channel 4
Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker say goodbye and good riddance to 2022 in the company of Sue Perkins, Rylan, Ellie Simmonds, Tom Davis and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
The Graham Norton Show - 10.25pm, BBC One
Olivia Colman, Top Boy's Michael Ward, Lionesses captain Leah Williamson, Hugh Laurie and the stars of West End show Cabaret join Graham Norton to ring in the New Year.
Jonathan Ross' New Year Comedy Special - 10.35pm, ITV
Bill Bailey, Katherine Ryan, Tom Allen, Judi Love and - fresh from the I'm a Celebrity jungle - Babatundé Aléshé headline a comedy showcase hosted by Jonathan Ross.
Sam Ryder Rocks New Year’s Eve - 11.30pm, BBC One
Eurovision runner-up Sam Ryder rounds off a memorable year by singing his favourite songs with some special guests. Includes River Thames fireworks display at midnight.
Jools' Annual Hootenanny 2022/23 - 11.30pm, BBC Two
Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra see in the New Year with a 29th Hootenanny. Joining them this year are George Ezra, Self Esteem and Cat Burns.
New Year's Day Concert Live from Vienna 2023 - 10.15pm, BBC Two
The Vienna Philharmonic perform the traditional selection of Austrian classics, including The Blue Danube and the foot-stamping Radetzky March, from the stunning Golden Hall.
Film: Mary Poppins Returns (2018) - 4pm, BBC One
Emily Blunt is the 'practically perfect' nanny who returns to help the grown-up Banks children save their family home from the clutches of corrupt banker Wilkins (Colin Firth).
The Masked Singer – 6.30pm, ITV
TV's most gripping guessing game is back with a host of new disguises including Rhino, Jacket Potato, Phoenix and a Ball of Wool. Joel Dommett is the one without the mask.
The Great New Year Bake Off - 7.40pm, Channel 4
Former contestants Lottie Bedlow, Chigs Parmar, Manon Legrève and Antony Amourdoux return to the tent to try and impress judges Paul and Prue with their New Year bakes.
Film Premiere: No Time to Die (2021) - 8pm, ITV
Daniel Craig's fifth and final 007 movie finds the spy coming out of retirement to take on a dangerous new adversary in Rami Malek's Luytsifer Safin. Lashana Lynch co-stars.
Motown Master: Lamont Dozier at the BBC - 9pm, BBC Two
A celebration of the work of songwriter Lamont Dozier, who died in 2022, featuring a rich selection from the BBC’s archive of performances of his work from over the decades.
Happy Valley - 9pm, BBC One
Sally Wainwright's multi-BAFTA award winning crime drama returns for its third and long-awaited final series, starring Sarah Lancashire as Sergeant Catherine Cawood.