It’s 3.00pm on Christmas Day. Fearne and Reggie have just forcibly reminded you of the latest X Factor one-hit-wonder on the Top of the Pops special, and there is an empty promise that Christmas dinner will be ready soon. In the meantime, you stick around to see what ol’ Liz has to say about the big issues of the day in the Queen’s Speech, the cornerstone of any Christmas Day.
It is around Christmas time, when too much time is spent on the sofa with the Quality Street, that we are particularly grateful for the BBC to fill hours of ‘family time’ in the run up to Christmas and continuing into the New Year. With details of the festive programming now gradually being released, it seems there is much to look forward to this year.
After Top of the Pops and the Queen on Christmas Day, viewers can catch the Strictly special at 5:15pm with dancers from Christmas past in a medly of our favourite celebrity appearances. Steven Moffat’s very own Never Ending Story, Doctor Who, follows at 6.15pm. The long-awaited Sherlock special on New Year’s Day also features – if only Moffat could direct more of his efforts to 221B Baker Street. However, this Sherlock special pays tribute to Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Victorian vision of his detective hero, complete with deer stalker hat, carriages on cobbles, and questionable moustaches.
Irish national treasure Brendan O’Carroll offers a Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Day treat at 9.30pm, often bagging the best viewing figures of the night despite his character Agnes Brown’s acquired appreciation. Michael McIntyre fans will be pleased to see the return of his Big Christmas Show (Christmas Day, 10.00pm) complete with comic and musical guests, filmed at London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. A Call the Midwife special at 7.15pm will tease us before the show’s fifth season commences in 2016.
With the highly-anticipated swan song of ITV’s Downton Abbey appearing on Christmas Day, remotes may abandon BBC One to catch a final glimpse of Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley. Nevertheless, BBC One continues to offer a something-for-all selection to provide the background to fireside brandy-fuelled games of monopoly throughout the festive period.
Image: Keith Favre