Christmas and New Year's Eve TV guide and listings 2020: What’s on and when – Series, films and specials on over the holidays

Must-watch films, dramas, comedy and kids shows on TV this Xmas season on BBC, ITV, Channel 4, NOW TV, Sky Cinema, Netflix, Prime Video and BritBox.

By Alex Fletcher Updated: 1 June 2020 - 11.36am
BBC Jools Holland returns for the 2020 Hootenanny

Christmas may be over, but there's still lots of fantastic TV to tuck into as you polish off your final plate of leftovers and just one more mince pie.

From all the best Xmas specials still available to watch on catch-up to great TV shows and Premier League footballl kicking off the New Year, there's no shortage of entertainment as we welcome in 2021.

If you don’t want to miss any of your favourite films and shows, check out our handy guide to all the best TV on BBC, ITV, Channel 4, NOW TVNetflixBritBox and Amazon Prime Video.

All available in one place on your BT TV box.

Get the lowdown on the all-important TV listings for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day - we don't want any arguing over the remote at the start of a new year.

What's on TV on New Year's Eve?

Graham Norton New Year's Special 2020 BBC

BBC kick off the New Year's Eve celebrations with a bumper selection of family movies including Home (9am), Monsters vs Aliens (10.25am) and Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast (2.20pm).

The early evening entertainment includes a celebrity edition of Danny Dyer gameshow The Wall (6.40pm) and celebrity special of The Great British Sewing Bee (8pm).

And the muted 2020 end of year party includes Paddy McGuinness's Big New Year's In (9pm), Graham Norton's New Year special (10.25pm), Alicia Keys in concert on BBC One (11.30pm) and Jool Holland's Hootenanny on BBC Two (11.15pm).

ITV finish the year with a screening of Skyfall (9pm), while Channel 4 will be lifting spirits with Paddington (5.15pm) and a two-hour edition of The Last Leg of the Year (9pm).

Must Watch

1. Graham Norton's New Year's Eve Show - BBC One, 10.25pm

2. Alicia Keys Rocks New Year's Eve - BBC One, 11.30pm

3. Paddington - Channel 4, 5.15pm

What's on TV on New Year's Day?

The Serpent key artwork BBC

2021 starts with some big premieres on BBC One, including the return of Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who (6.45pm) and highly-anticipated true story thriller The Serpent (9pm).

The BBC also has family movies ranging from Captain Underpants (9am) and How to Train a Dragon 3 (2pm) to Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (4.30pm).

Channel 4 starts the year with a screening of The Greatest Showman (5.30pm) and David Walliams's documentary Chitty Flies Again (7.30pm). They also have a very special one-off Taskmaster (9pm) with contestants including Rylan and Shirley Ballas.

ITV start the year with a nod to the return of Dancing on Ice as Torvill and Dean's Dancing on Thin Ice documentary finds the skating legends doing their first ever performance in the great outdoors.

Must Watch

1. Doctor Who - BBC One, 6.45pm

2. The Serpent - BBC One, 9pm

3. Taskmaster New Year's Treat - Channel 4, 9pm

Christmas movies galore on Sky Cinema with NOW TV

Emilia Clarke's Last Christmas is among the films available on NOW TV's Sky Cinema Entertainment Pass this year
© 2020 Universal City Studios Productions LLLP and Perfect Universe Investment Inc.

The best place to get your Christmas films fix this year is with the Sky Cinema Pass on NOW TV.

Kids (and parents) will love festive delights such as Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, The Polar Express and Miracle on 34th Street.

And when the kids have gone to bed, why not snuggle down on the sofa for a Christmas classic like Love Actually, It’s A Wonderful Life, The Holiday or Scrooged or a new seasonal treat like Emilia Clarke’s Last Christmas.

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Our VIP, Big Entertainment and Entertainment packages include Sky channels with a NOW Entertainment Membership.

Christmas films galore in the BT TV Store

Disney's Frozen Disney 2020

Don't miss out on getting a bargain over the Christmas holidays. If you've got BT TV, head to the Film Store in the BT Player and you'll find Disney Classics, all the movies from Harry Potter’s Wizarding World and a collection of Anti-Christmas films for the Grinch in your family.

All the films in the festive collections are available to buy and own at bargain prices, including The Muppet Christmas Carol, Frozen and more.

Check out all the Winter Deals in the BT TV Store >

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Have a Merry Britmas on BritBox

Only Fools and Horses Christmas special - Del Boy, Rodney dressed as Batman and Robin BBC

If you want the very best in British Christmas classics then look no further than BritBox. You can currently get a Six Months On Us Offer if you are BT Broadband or BT TV customer and there’s all your favourite shows included to watch over and over again.

Take a trip down memory lane with Christmas editions of All Creatures Great and Small, Allo ‘Allo!, Are You Being Served, Bergerac, Bread, Hi De Hi!, Last of the Summer Wine, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Em, To the Manor Born, Absolutely Fabulous, Birds of a Feather, Blackadder, French and Saunders, Gavin & Stacey, Keeping Up Appearances, Only Fools and Horses, The Good Life, The Vicar of Dibley, Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, The Catherine Tate Show and many more.

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Best new Drama

Doctor Who

BBC One, New Year's Day, 6.45pm

Doctor Who Special 2020 - Revolution Of The Dalek BBC

It’s been a long wait for Who fans, but the show’s back with a bang at Christmas as Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole and Bradley Walsh team up in Revolution of the Daleks.

Prepare yourselves the biggest battle yet this Christmas with the Doctor’s team taking on the most feared enemy.

Oh and did we forget to mention... Captain Jack is back!

The Serpent

BBC One, New Year's Day, 9pm

Jenna Coleman and Tahar Rahim in costume for The Serpent BBC

Tahar Rahim, Jenna Coleman, Billy Howle and Ellie Bamber star in The Serpent, a new eight-part drama for BBC One.

Inspired by real events, The Serpent tells the remarkable story of how Charles Sobhraj (Rahim) was captured. As the chief suspect in unsolved murders of young Western travellers across India, Thailand and Nepal’s ‘Hippie Trail’ in 1975 and 1976, Sobhraj had repeatedly slipped from the grasp of authorities worldwide to become Interpol's most wanted man, with arrest warrants on three different continents.

Call the Midwife

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

Peter Davison in Call the Midwife's 2020 Christmas special as a ringmaster BBC

The Nonnatus House ladies managed to finish filming the Christmas special during the summer, so fans can look forward to the usual mix of tears, joy and festive cheer.

This year’s Christmas special is set in December 1965 and everyone at Nonnatus House is looking forward to traditional celebrations with all the trimmings, but nothing goes quite to plan.

Sister Monica Joan is rushed to hospital, and Trixie is incensed to receive a subscription to a Marriage Bureau as a Christmas gift.

All the regular cast are back for the special and they will be joined by guest star Peter Davison, above, who plays a visiting circus ringmaster, Mr Percival.

Coronation Street 60th birthday

ITV Hub catch-up

It’s going to be the biggest Christmas ever in Corrie as the show celebrates its 60th anniversary on December 9.

The anniversary week will see three storylines reach spectacular conclusions, while at the same time starting new chains of events which will take the show into 2021.

At the centre of the anniversary drama is of course Coronation Street itself as the residents unite to save the cobbles from the dastardly dealings of Ray Crosby. Having bought up most of the property and businesses in the area, Ray is ready to flatten the lot to make way for his new development. As the bulldozers arrive on the cobbles the race is on to save Britain’s most famous street.

All Creatures Great and Small

My5 Catch-Up

All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special AMC

Starring Nicholas Ralph, Samuel West, Anna Madeley, Rachel Shenton, and Callum Woodhouse, Channel 5's update on All Creatures Great and Small has been one of the success stories of 2020.

Skeldale House is getting a festive makeover for the Christmas special, so viewers can look forward to mince pies, mistletoe and most exciting of all, a wedding.

Black Narcissus

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

Gemma Arterton in Black Narcissus BBC

Starring Gemma Arterton, Jim Broadbent and the late Diana Rigg, this three-part drama is set during the latter years of British rule in India.

An ambitious story with a haunting atmosphere, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about this explosive series.

Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse

Sky One with NOW TV

Dawn French as Beatrix Potter

An all-star cast including Dawn French, Jessica Hynes, Rob Brydon, Alison Steadman, Nina Sosanya, Bill Bailey and Nick Mohammed appear in this heart-warming comedy drama arriving in time for Christmas.

3 reasons to watch Roald & Beatrix this Christmas >

Telling the story of how a lonely young boy sets off on a big adventure to meet his favourite author, one Beatrix Potter (Dawn French). Their eventual meeting would play a big role in his life, as the boy would grow up to become Roald Dahl and write magical children’s books of his own. It’s a joyous and uplifting story that teaches us all that a little magic can go a long way.

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Best Comedy

The Vicar of Dibley in Lockdown

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

The Vicar Of Dibley in Lockdown BBC

“Back in the dog collar, back in Dibley and back on your telly at Xmas,” said Dawn French, celebrating the return of one of the country’s biggest ever sitcoms.

However, like everything in 2020, the sitcom will look a little different this year.

Geraldine has been writing and delivering monthly sermons to her parishioners via Zoom… when she can make it work.

These new thoughts on life (and chocolate) will air after repeat showings of classic episodes.

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Christmas Fishing

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Christmas Fishing BBC

This hour-long Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Christmas Fishing follows Bob Mortimer returning to his childhood roots in Middlesbrough where he will fish the River Esk and Tees with his dear friend and angling mentor Paul Whitehouse.

As well as trying to catch the glorious Grayling, Bob is also going to try to ignite the joy of Christmas in Paul, who thinks the magic of the season has been lost to commercialism.

Bob will host their office party for two, help cook a memorable Christmas dinner and together they will chat to fellow Middlesbrough lad Chris Rea. They also meet Laurie, from a national charity organisation, who tells us how we can all look out for lonely people over the holidays.

Will Paul finally see the magic of Christmas through Bob’s eyes? 

Meet the Richardsons

Dave, UKTV Play catch-up

Jon Richardson and Lucy Beamont in Christmas jumpers UKTV

Prepare yourself for a family Christmas quite unlike anything you’ve seen before in Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont’s award-winning series Meet the Richardsons.

The funny and frustrated marriage of Jon and Lucy gets even tenser over the holidays and a special guest visitor at the Dog and Bastard causes festive carnage for the couple.

Our exclusive interview with Jon and Lucy >

Motherland Christmas Special

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

Motherland cast reunite for a Christmas special BBC

If it’s Christmas, it’s time for Amanda’s (Lucy Punch) Annual Seasonal Soiree (dress code: Tinsel and Tiaras!).

Nothing says festive like Evil Santa, a thirty-foot Christmas Tree and very strict rules about where you can and can’t drink mulled wine. Only Meg (Tanya Moodie) has an official party invite but Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin), Kevin (Paul Ready) and Liz (Diane Morgan) tag along as her plus threes.

Apart from Anne (Phillipa Dunne), the gang find the other guests a little frosty, but for Julia it’s still a welcome distraction from playing festive butler to a houseful of in-laws. Liz is trying to ignore Christmas altogether whilst Kevin is single-handedly stuffing, wrapping, roasting, parboiling, laying up, washing up and decorating everything he can lay his hands on.

Celebrity Juice Christmas

ITV Hub Catch-Up

Keith Lemon dressed as Santa ITV

Keith Lemon will bring in the festive cheer in his own ‘unique’ way on ITV2 as the Juice team serves up a cocktail of outrageous games and celebrity guests.

Team captains Emily Atack and Laura Whitmore will be joined by Maya Jama, Paddy McGuinness, Paloma Faith and Ricky Wilson for the Christmas special.

Would I Lie To You? At Christmas

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

Would I Lie To You at Christmas? 2020 guests BBC

Rob Brydon, Lee Mack and David Mitchell return for a seasonal special packed with tremendous truths and festive fibs.

Joining them are guests Jo Brand, Joe Lycett, Joe Swash and Ruth Madeley, and the questions posed include: did Joe Lycett once fall out with his family over the number of doof-doofs at the end of EastEnders?

Did Joe Swash once programme his satnav incorrectly, meaning his mum’s trip to Lakeside ended up in the Lake District? And did David Mitchell once hold up a train in order to get his daughter’s cuddly toy back?

After Ever After Jack & The Beanstalk

Sky One with NOW TV

David Walliams and Sheridan Smith in Jack and the Beanstalk After Ever After

Fee Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of David Walliams. The comedian, talent judge and children’s author returns with another tale of what happens after happily ever after, this time looking into what happened after Jack felled the beanstalk and defeated the giant.

This star-studded treat features Sheridan Smith as the Woman With No Name – the self-professed greatest giant killer in the village, Blake Harrison as bean salesman Dodgy Dave, and Walliams himself as the ornery giant (there’s no getting rid of him).

Ghosts Christmas Special

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

The Ghosts cast in a Christmas-themed preview poster BBC

The hugely successful sitcom from the creators and stars of Yonderland, Bill and Horrible Histories is bringing the spirit of Christmas to BBC One this festive season.

It’s Christmas at Button House, and as Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) are hosting his family for the first time, Mike is determined to make it perfect. However his plan to make his parents relax may be optimistic.

Alison is also determined to deliver the best Christmas ever for the living and the dead, although the latter aren’t filled with festive cheer: it turns out Christmas just isn’t that much fun when you’re deceased.

A new arrival in the house forces Julian (Simon Farnaby) to confront past wrongs and as he delves into memories of his former life, he has a revelation that could help the ghosts rediscover the real message of Christmas.

Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas BBC

Love it or hate it, it simply wouldn’t be Christmas without Mrs Brown’s Boys on the BBC.

Brendan O’Carroll and his gang are back for two new episodes of outrageous fun including Agnes coping with lockdown, a flasher called Knickie Knackie Dickie and a burglary.

Not Going Out Christmas Special

BBC One, Wednesday December 30, 9pm

Lee Mack and Sally Bretton pose by a Christmas tree for the Not Going Out Christmas Special 2020 BBC

A chance to see the late great Bobby Ball in action as he joins Lee Mack and Sally Bretton in a New Year’s Eve themed episode.

A no-holds-barred round of New Year’s Resolutions spark family fireworks for Lee and Lucy as things get a little too personal. It looks like it will be far from a  Happy New Year in suburbia.

King Gary Christmas Special

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

Tom Davis as King Gary BBC

The larger than life family sitcom is back for a festive special.

The Butterchurn Crescent Christmas Light Display is set to brighten up the neighbourhood after a tough year, but the festivities are under threat when Gary (Tom Davis) learns that his neighbours simply can’t afford the ‘leccy' bill.

When Gary potentially lands a new contract at work he takes it upon himself to save the lights and indeed save Christmas.

Read our exclusive interview with Tom Davis >

Billy Connolly: It’s Been a Pleasure…


Billy Connolly in Florida Keys ITV

To mark Billy Connolly’s retirement from stand-up comedy, this star-studded one-hour special celebrates the Big Yin's anarchic genius and life-affirming brand of humour.

Built around brand new filming with Billy at his home in the Florida Keys, this fond, uproariously funny tribute will look back at his illustrious comedy career. The special features Billy’s greatest stand-up moments, unseen performance footage and exclusive chats with some of Billy’s most famous fans.

An uplifting, emotional and hilarious hour in the company of the legendary Connolly at his entertaining best. It will make you laugh, it may even make you cry. A fitting send-off for a stand-up megastar.

Birds of a Feather


Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph back together in the 2020 Birds of Feather Christmas special ITV

The Essex girls are back, but this time there’s only Tracey (Linda Robson) and Dorien (Lesley Joseph) as Sharon is stuck on a Covid-cruise - in reality actress Pauline Quirke has stepped back from acting to concentrate on her academy of the performing arts.

It’s been three years since we last saw the Birds, after Tracey reluctantly sold the house they all shared to Dorien and it should come as no surprise that the women have been getting right on each others’ thruppennies.

The special also features Les Dennis as Dorien’s new flame Graeme.

It’s Clarkson On TV


Jeremy Clarkson ITV

The Grand Tour presenter and broadcaster will be reviewing the best, worst and most bizarre TV offerings of 2020, a year in which a housebound nation has enjoyed more telly than ever - whether it wanted to or not.

With his signature caustic delivery, he will pass judgement on what the great British public watched (and didn’t), and what fascinating foreign TV shows managed to make it to air.

If you ever wondered what Jeremy Clarkson would make of Love is Blind or Selling Sunset, you may soon have the answer.

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Best Kids TV

Zog and the Flying Doctors BBC/Magic Light Pictures

Zog and the Flying Doctors

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

The latest magical kids film from Julia Donaldson and the team behind The Gruffalo, Stick Man and Room on the Broom is Zog and the Flying Doctors.

Zog, Pearl and Gadabout are now a flying doctor trio, caring for creatures including a mermaid, a unicorn and a sneezy lion. However, when bad weather forces them to land at the palace, Pearl is locked up by her uncle, the King.

Zog and Gadabout try in vain to set her free. Pearl gets a chance to escape, but instead decides to stay and care for the ill King, in the process gaining his respect and regaining his love and with it her freedom.

Quentin Blake’s Clown

Catch up now on All4

Helen Bonham-Carter reading Clown Channel 4 / Charlie Clift

Quentin Blake’s Clown is inspired by a book of the children's book of the same name and one of Sir Quentin’s favourites amongst his title.

A half-hour animation, narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, brings to life the adventures of a little toy clown, thrown away with a load of old discarded toys, as he goes on a journey to find a new loving home for himself and his friends.

Christmas In Storyland

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

The cast of CBeebies Christmas in Storyland BBC

With no pantos or Christmas parties this year, CBeebies and CBBC are doing their bit to create some stay-at-home fun. Families can join in with the CBeebies Christmas In Storyland show with a mass pyjama party across the country.

Christmas in Storyland is set in an enchanting world, featuring a cast of CBeebies favourites, upbeat songs and dances and a range of characters including a yodelling Yeti and singing sea creatures to bring much welcomed Christmas joy to living rooms across the UK.

It follows the tale of Dillydally the Delivery Elf, played by Andy Day and his boss Head Elf Jiffy, played by Jennie Dale, as they set out on a quest to deliver a stocking full of Christmas goodies. Their journey will take them deep under the ocean, high up to castles in the clouds, via the solar system and through the snow-capped mountains.

Worzel Gummidge: Saucy Nancy

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

Worzel Gummidge cast BBC

A brand new beautifully crafted and magical one-hour film from Mackenzie Crook’s Worzel Gummidge,

With Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter) as Saucy Nancy and Vanessa Redgrave as Peg, the whole family will adore this wild and spectacular adventure.

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Best TV food shows

The Great Christmas Bake Off

Catch up now on All4

Paul Hollywood in festive headwear for the Christmas Bake Off special Love Productions

Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith and Matt Lucas are joined by Bake Off: The Professionals host Tom Allen as they celebrate Christmas in the famous white tent.

Also invited to the celebrations are Jamie and Rosie from 2019, Ruby from 2018 and James from 2017, all back and ready to battle in the festive fight for the Christmas Star Baker title.

Jamie: Keep Cooking at Christmas

Catch up now on All4

Jamie is back with two brand new specials, offering a helpful guide to the whole festive season.  

The Oliver family invite us to Essex to get into the Christmas spirit as they prepare for their own family celebrations. From creating edible presents for those we can’t meet in person, to ideas for a gorgeous Christmas dinner with our more immediate family and ways to reinvent the leftovers we might have this year, Jamie has handy hints and tips for a bespoke Christmas to fit the current times.

Big Zuu's Christmas Eats

Dave, UKTV Play Catch-Up

Big Zuu and his crew pose in Christmas hats UKTV

Get ready for a next level Christmas dinner.

Not one but two Christmas specials of hit series Big Zuu’s Big Eats are coming in December to Dave.  Big Zuu’s Christmas Eats specials each include four guests being treated to a fine festive feast cooked by Big Zuu and his sous chef Hyder and chief taster Tubsey.

For the Comedy Special, stand-up comedians and series one guests Phil Wang, Desiree Burch, Ed Gamble and Rosie Jones return for more of Zuu’s delicious eats but not before he takes them on some festive foraging.  

In the Music Special, Big Zuu is joined by some mega musician friends including one of the UK’s biggest rappers AJ Tracey, grime MC JME with his sister and radio presenter Julie Adenuga and hip-hop musician Loyle Carner. 

Read our exclusive Christmas interview with Big Zuu >

Nigella’s Cook, Eat, Repeat Christmas Special

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

Nigella Lawson holding vegan gingerbread in the Cook, Eat, Repeat Christmas special BBC

The Christmas tree is up, the tea lights are sparkling, wood burns in the fire pit... From gloriously pink cocktails to doughnuts the festive season is upon us and Nigella brings joy, warmth and a little kitchen table tourism with food to brighten up even the darkest days.

Outside in her garden Nigella enjoys the first of many treats, her delicious Linzer cookies and then she is off for a wintery walk through the woods where she divulges her plans and menus for a festive feast.

BBC iPlayer’s Christmas feast

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

Don’t get stuck with the usual dry turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day this year. The BBC has tons of festive food inspiration from Nadiya, Nigella and a library of cooking classics such as Keith Floyd, Rick Stein and even good old Fanny Craddock.

James Martin’s Christmas Day


James Martin's Christmas Day ITV

For the first time ever on Christmas Day, James will kick off the nation’s afternoon celebrations in style as he serves up a fantastic feast of festive food and entertainment. There’ll be a mouth-watering recipe from the Michelin-starred Tom Kerridge, plus The Ritz’s head chef John Williams and Bake Off Creme De La Creme winner Mark Tilling will be treating viewers to some of his deliciously decadent chocolate creations.

If you’ve still got room for more, James will be serving up a delicious dish with a little help from a British food hero and laying on a culinary Masterclass that will teach you how to cook a true Christmas classic.

Ainsley’s Festive Food We Love


Ainsley Harriott ITV

Who wouldn’t want to spend Christmas with Ainsley Harriott? The much-loved TV star is bringing holiday cheer to kitchens with a Christmas edition of his Saturday cooking show - Ainsley’s Festive Food We Love.

There’s festive bubble patties, Thai turkey and coconut broth with chilli, coconut and coriander scones plus chocolate bread and butter pudding with spiced cherries. If that wasn’t enough, he’s got drinks expert Olly Smith on hand to mix up some jolly tipples - including a naughty boozy chocolate milkshake.

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Joel Dommett with two performers on The Masked Singer series 2 ITV

The Masked Singer

ITV Hub 

The biggest new entertainment show of 2020 returns for a second series and with a brand-new panelist as BAFTA award-winning comedian Mo Gilligan takes up a chair and the challenge of figuring out ‘who’s that behind the mask?’

Host Joel Dommett is back to preside over the unique guessing game that gripped the nation at its first outing. Davina McCall, Rita Ora and Jonathan Ross will also all resume their celebrity sleuth roles.

The Real Full Monty on Ice

ITV Hub catch-up

Hayley Tamaddon doing The Full Monty on Ice ITV

It’s back! The shows with the most front on British television are returning this festive season and promise to be bolder and ballsier than ever before. For the very first time, the new line-up of brave celebrities will perform their routines by doing the full monty on ICE, in a winter wonderland spectacular - without a thermal in sight.

The petrified class of 2020 will be led by Ashley Banjo and Coleen Nolan, joining forces once again to put them through their paces for the biggest and most daring show yet, all to raise awareness of cancers in intimate areas of the body and the crucial importance of early self-checks to help save lives.

Michael Palin's Himalaya : Journey of a Lifetime

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

Michael Palin?s Himalaya: Journey of a Lifetime BBC

In this brand new special, Michael will be turning his attention to Himalaya, an astonishing journey of discovery that Michael made at the age of 60 in 2004.

For years, the Himalayas represented one of the ultimate tests of exploration. In this series, Michael tests himself against the mountain range, venturing through India, Pakistan, passing through the shadow of Mount Everest, the Tibetan Plateau and Bhutan.

"For me, the word 'Himalaya' evoked the spectacular, the beautiful and the downright dangerous," Palin says 16 years later.

"It’s a name everyone had heard of, but most people, myself included, didn’t really know. Since I was a boy reading about the adventures of Hillary and Tensing, the Himalaya had been one of those epic destinations that seemed more mythical than real.”

The Chase Christmas specials


Th Chasers dressed up for Christmas ITV

The Chase gets in the festive spirit not once but three times across the holidays. On Christmas Day the Chasers don their best party wear for a celebrity special with Colin Jackson, Anne Diamond, Josie Long and Nicky Campbell. On Boxing Day it’s Tim Lovejoy, Kay Burley, Eni Aluko and Richard Herring taking on the quizzing pros. And to round out the festive specials, there’s this year’s hilarious bloopers episode, too.

Dancing on Thin Ice with Torvill & Dean

ITV, New Year's Day, 9pm

Torvill and Dean pose in the snow ITV

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean have spent a remarkable 45 years on the ice together, but astonishingly have never skated in the great outdoors. Now, in this unique, magical, 90-minute special, the pair will travel to Alaska on an extraordinary quest to fulfil a life-long dream. On their way, they discover first-hand the dramatic effects of climate change.

From train to husky sled, from frozen lakes to glaciers, it will be a spectacular journey.

Gordon, Gino and Fred: Desperately Seeking Santa

ITV Hub catch-up

Gordon Ramsay at the North Pole ITV

Gordon, Gino and Fred are back for another extraordinary culinary Christmas adventure. After Gino led them to the deserts of Morocco on last year’s misadventure, Gordon is determined that they celebrate the season properly this time, so he has arranged a trip to the ultimate winter wonderland destination and the official home of Santa.

This year the boys and their trusty RV will be in Lapland to experience a treasure trove of festive fare and meet Father Christmas in person. Standby for a unique Christmas cracker!

The Story of SM:TV Live


Ant and Dec reunited with Cat Deeley ITV

Chums, Challenge Ant, Wonky Donkey! If these words mean anything to you, it probably means you grew up watching SM:TV Live on Saturday morning telly,

Ant and Dec reunite with their old pal Cat Deeley for this nostalgic look back at one of the greatest kids' shows of all time.

The series catapulted Ant and Dec into the mainstream and this documentary will pull back the curtain on what really happened behind the scenes in the studio.

Blankety Blank

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

Bradley Walsh with a new look Blankety Blank BBC

Stepping into the shows of TV entertainment legends Terry Wogan and Les Dawson is Bradley Walsh, who is the face of the latest revamp of the classic gameshow format Blankety Blank.

The cheque book and pen are back - even if kids today don't know what a cheque book is - and it's the same classic formula of matching your answers with the celebrity lineup.

McFly's Danny Jones, Anita Rani, Emilia Fox and Jimmy Carr are among the celebs on the panel.

Britain’s Got Talent Christmas Spectacular


Ant and Dec dressed as Elves for the BGT Christmas special ITV

Britain’s Got Talent is back for a spectacular Christmas special as ITV welcome to the stage the most memorable and talented acts from the past 14 years.

Keeping the festivities in order will be the nation’s favourite presenting duo, Ant and Dec. Joining them will be our judging panel Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon, David Walliams and Ashley Banjo, who will be ready to be impressed by a whole host of talent.

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Best Christmas films on Netflix

Operation Christmas Drop on Netflix Netflix

If you love an old-fashioned, warm-hearted Christmas movie, Netflix is the place to be. Alongside festive favourites such as Nativity and Arthur Christmas, they’ve got piles of tinsel-covered Netflix Original films.

New for 2020 are The Holidate with Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey, Dolly Parton's festive love story Operation Christmas Drop and dazzling new family movies Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey and The Christmas Chronicle 2, starring Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn.

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Best Christmas films on Amazon Prime Video

The Holiday Columbia Pictures

Prime Video are all geared up for Christmas with a bumper collection of movies and specials to enjoy over the holidays.

From Stick Man, The Holiday and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation to Deck the Halls and Christmas With The Kranks, there are loads of reasons to have a night in front of Prime Video this December.

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Get Prime Video on BT TV

Don't miss The Green Knight, Nine Perfect Strangers, Clarkson's Farm, Cinderella and more.

New Year's Day football on BT Sport

Bruno Fernandes playing for Manchester United Getty

BT Sport is bringing in 2020 in style by showing every single Premier League game on New Year’s Day.

Manchester United’s trip to Arsenal (8pm kick off) will round off an exceptional day of wall-to-wall live top flight coverage on Wednesday 1 January.

Other standout fixtures are Chelsea’s trip to the south coast to face Brighton & Hove Albion (12.30pm kick off) and champions Manchester City’s home clash with Everton (5.30pm kick off).

In an added bonus, BT Sport customers will be able to watch all the goals as they go in during the 3pm and 5.30pm kick-offs in a special edition of BT Sport Score (2.45pm-7.45pm).

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AMC's Anti-Christmas - Exclusive to BT

NOS4A2 cast - Zachary Quinto and Ashleigh Jennings AMC

AMC are inviting BT TV viewers to Christmasland, but this isn't a place to visit if you're looking for festive cheer.

The chilling and thrilling NOS4A2, starring Zachary Quinto, is reshowing the first two seasons over the Christmas holidays.

The supernatural horror series tells the story of Charlie Manx, a seductive immortal who feeds off the souls of children and then deposits what remains of them into Christmasland. We told you it wasn't very Christmassy.

And in true AMC fashion, the channel has once again flipped everything on its head with its movie collection in December. The least festive films they could find to top off a very abnormal year include The One, Sin City, From Dusk Til Dawn and Bone To Tomahawk.