UK Christmas TV Highlights Guide 2019

Joseph FurnessJoseph Furness in Entertainment, Film, TV, UK
Published 14.11.19
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All of the best TV shows coming to the UK this Christmas.

2019 has been a pantomime, and the most important lesson we’ve learnt coming out the other side is the importance of self-care. Thanks to the prominence of positive role models in the media, such as Lizzo and Prince Harry and Meghan, we’re more clued-up about the essentiality of looking after one’s mental health. Like MJ once sang: If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change. 

And what better way to prepare yourself for the new decade than by taking time out this Christmas to hibernate in your family home watching some heart-warming festive television? As luck would have it, UK Christmas TV is about to be the best it’s been in years.

Check out our Christmas TV highlights from the major British broadcasters:

BBC One Christmas TV 2019 Highlights

Worzel Gummidge

Worzel Gummidge 2019

I’d like to personally thank the BBC for rebooting their classic Worzel Gummidge, chiefly because it’s an ancient show that my mum regularly references (and quotes). I can’t wait to finally understand what she’s going on about.

When? 21st-22nd December

A Christmas Carol

Andy Serkis Christmas Carol 2019

From Steven Knight – the creator of Peaky Blinders – comes a dark retelling of Dickens’ classic novel ‘A Christmas Carol‘. It stars Guy Pearce, Andy Serkis and Tom Hardy, and if the trailer is anything to go by (which you can check out here) it’s going to be epic.

When? 22nd-24th December

Moana

Moana

This Christmas, the sea will be calling us to watch Disney‘s Moana on BBC 1: 15. Sounds like a dose of much-needed winter sun to me.

When? 25th December 

Take Off with Bradley and Holly

Bradley and Holly Take Off BBC

Bradley Walsh and Holly Willoughby unite to present a brand-new family entertainment show: Take Off With Bradley and Holly on BBC One.

 “Take Off With Bradley And Holly will see the hosts giving lucky studio audience members the chance to win the trip of a lifetime to Lapland. This festive special will be jam packed with incredible surprises, a gaggle of games and much more leading up to a spectacular end of show finale” – BBC

*Googles how to get studio audience tickets*

When? 21st December 

Miranda: My Such Fun Celebration

Miranda Christmas Special

Miranda is back for a 10th anniversary show, and we can’t wait to hear what she’s done in the last five years to make us feel proud.

​When? TBC (Bear with)

Mimi and the Mountain Dragon Michael Morpurgo

Mimi and the Mountain Dragon

If you’re still not sick of blonde girls and dragons then tune into BBC One this Christmas to watch children’s book Mimi and the Dragon brought to life. Written by Michael Morpurgo, this Snowman-esque animation will be a lot more PG than GOT (and is likely to give us a much better ending).

Yes, I’m still bitter.

When? TBC.

The Snail and the Whale

The Snail and the Wale

Ok, I admit it. Every Christmas I tune in to BBC One (around midday) to watch their Julia Donaldson animated adaptation of the year. Yes, I’m aware it’s aimed at children; but the animation is always beautiful, OK?

When? 25th December

Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special

After ten years away, Gavin and Stacey returns with a brand-new Christmas special. We can’t wait to see what’s occurring.

Read all about it right here.

When? 25th December 

Dracula

Dracula 2020

As a man who wishes it could be Halloween everyday, I, for one, can’t wait to sink my teeth into BBC’s new Dracula series. With Steven Moffatt in-charge (the Sherlock showrunner), it’s guaranteed to be bloody good.

When? New Year’s Day

Also returning to BBC this Christmas

  • Agatha Christie’s The Pale Horse 
  • Finding Dory 
  • Would I lie to you at Christmas?
  • Not Going Out Christmas Special
  • Top of the Pops Christmas
  • Call the Midwife Christmas Special
  • Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
  • Mrs Browns Boys Christmas Special
  • Eastenders (of course)
  • Doctor Who (TBC)

Channel 4 Christmas TV 2019 Highlights

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

The Tiger Who Came to Tea David Walliams

David Walliams, Benedict Cumberbatch and David Oyelowo all star in this animation based on OBE Judith Kerr’s classic children’s book The Tiger Who Came to Tea. What a beautiful way to honour the author who sadly passed away earlier this year.

“I knew Judith well and I really adored her. She was an incredible inspiration – her work is so brilliant. The book is a thing of beauty – there isn’t a word out of place, the illustrations are just gorgeous. I really wanted to be a part of it and I was chuffed that she wanted me to narrate. I’m so proud to be associated with it because it’s a stone cold classic. Just like the book has been around for over 50 years, hopefully the animation will have this incredible longevity too.” – David Williams in conversation with Channel 4

When? TBC

The Great Festive Bake-Off

Derry Girls

Coming to the bake-off tent this holidays is Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Nicola Coughlan, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, Dylan Llewellyn and Siobhan McSweeney – better known as the cast of Derry Girls.

It’s fair to say that fans of the two shows are extremely excited for this cross-over.

When? New Year’s Day

First Dates at Christmas

First Dates at Christmas

First Dates at Christmas, an exactly-what-it-says-on-the-tin special which gives us the perfect excuse to watch peppy matchmaker Fred Sirieix on Christmas day.

When? I just told you. Christmas Day.

Also coming to Channel 4 this Christmas

  • The Great Christmas Bake-Off
  • The Crystal Maze Christmas Special
  • Nadia’s Family Feasts

ITV Christmas TV 2019 Highlights

Dancing on Ice Christmas TV Special

GC Dancing on Ice

Tune into ITV at Christmas for Dancing on Ice Christmas Special for festive twists, twisted ankles and Gemma Collins. What’s more to know?

When? TBC

In for a Penny Christmas Special

In for a Penny Christmas Special

Stephen Mulhern’s ludicrous Saturday Night Takeaway spin-off In for a Penny reminds us all of the ridiculousness of British culture. This right here is what British Christmas TV is all about.

When? TBC

Coronation Street Christmas Special

Coronation Street Christmas 2019

If I was a resident of Coronation Street, I’d be sure to travel abroad for my Christmas holiday to avoid the guaranteed drama. I wonder what will happen this year. Murder, probs.

When? Christmas Day (and the days surrounding).

Also coming to ITV this Christmas

  • The Price is Right Christmas Special
  • Celebrity Catchphrase Christmas Special
  • Emmerdale
  • It’s Not The Robbie Williams Christmas Show

Sky Christmas TV 2019 Highlights

Cinderella: After Ever After

David Walliams After Ever After

The embodiment of Christmas, better known as David Walliams, is taking over multiple networks this year. On Sky One, he will be starring in Cinderella: After Ever After which,  as the name suggests, will explore what happened to Cinderella and her Prince after the fairytale end . Joined by Car Share’s Sian Gibson and Celia Imrie, this Sky One original one-off is sure to be priceless.

“The anarchic 60-minute Christmas special begins where the fairy tale ends; Cinderella (Sian Gibson) has just married her Prince Charming (David Walliams), but soon has a rude awakening when she realises married life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when you have an image-obsessed, floss-dancing, hip-hop rapping husband. Perhaps a glass slipper fitting your foot is not sufficient grounds for a lifelong commitment after all?” Sky

When? TBC on Sky One

The Grinch

The Grinch 2018

Created by Illumination Entertainment (the Universal animation studio behind Despicable Me), The Grinch (2018) is an undeniably fun Christmas flick; one redolent of a childhood spent engaging with the world of Dr Seuss. Plus, Benedict Cumberbatch voices the the titular character, and if that doesn’t convince you to give it a go, I’m not sure what will.

When? From 6th December on Sky Cinema

Bumblebee

Bumblebee 2018

If you haven’t watched Travis Knight’s soft-reboot of the Transformers universe, make sure to check it out this Christmas. IMO, it’s the best Transformers film ever created.

I said it, I meant it and I stick by it.

When? From 20th December on Sky Cinema

Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame team-up

The biggest film of the year – and the most profitable film ever created – is coming to Sky Cinema this Christmas. We love it 3000.

When? From Boxing Day on Sky Cinema

Marry Poppins Returns

Mary Poppins Returns 2018

Don’t listen to the haters, Mary Poppins Returns is a scrumptious, sugary-sweet sequel that is extremely underrated.

Watch this clip of Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins singing in a cockney accent and tell me it’s not worth a watch. I dare you.

Also coming to Sky this Christmas

  • Glass
  • Greta
  • Mary Queen of Scotts
  • Lego Movie 2
  • Happy Death Day 2 U
  • The Kid Who would be King
  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Find out what’s streaming on Netflix this Christmas right here.

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