From movies on Netflix to Call the Midwife’s Christmas Special, we’ve got your festive viewing all lined up.

As a nation, we love to watch TV at Christmas. Last year, on December 25, a staggering 11.5 million of us took time away from presents and board games to tune into Gavin & Stacey. Almost eight million of us watched the Queen’s Speech. And that was in a normal year.

Given the limitations of Christmas 2020, the festive TV schedules are more important than ever this year. The good news is that we’ve been through them with fine toothcomb so you don’t have to. Whatever your age, there is something here for you.

Happy viewing!

The Vicar Of Dibley Christmas Specials

BBC One, December 21

Don’t miss Dawn French’s latest turn as the Vicar of Dibley in three short episodes created by the BBC for a shot of extra joy this year. More than a decade after the last Christmas Special, expect lockdown sermons delivered via Zoom, Owen (the loveable fool of a farmer) let loose with a pair of hairdressing scissors and references to the dearly departed Alice. French said this month of the beloved show: ‘Dibley has always been able to wrap its arms around the truth as well as being silly and funny.’ Just the ticket.

The Christmas Chronicles 2

Netflix Now

If your kids haven’t seen the first Christmas Chronicles, we urge them to. If they have, plunge headfirst into its sequel. A couple of teenagers get to spend the day in the utterly blissful Santa’s Village, with its ‘toy factories, storybooks and swarm of beatific elves’. They never want to leave – and who would, with Kurt Russell as Santa and Goldie Hawn as Mrs Claus? In the course of their adventure, they learn crucial lessons about love and courage. We are all just a little bit better off for having watched this movie.

Call The Midwife Christmas Special

BBC One, Christmas Day

This mega popular annual television promises ninety minutes of laughter, tears, births and snowfall as Christmas Day draws to a close. Even with social distancing measures in place, the cast and crew have managed to pull off a belter, set in December 1965 when a glorious circus has come to town.

Quentin Blake’s Clown

Channel Four, Christmas Day

Narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, this animated tale tells the story a little toy clown who is thrust aside in favour of other, newer playthings and goes off in search of a loving new home. It’s impossible not to love Quentin Blake’s familiar illustrations. If this show is as good as Channel Four’s previous Christmas specials – which include The Snowman, The Tiger Who Came to Tea and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – it is not to be missed.

Strictly: The Christmas Countdown

BBC One, Christmas Day

This pandemic-friendly Christmas Special is a look back at 16 years of the hit show and its most iconic performances. With commentary from Claudia and Tess, the judges, the professionals and plenty of former contestants, look forward to sparkle, glitter and seriously festive fun.

Zog And The Flying Doctors

BBC One, Christmas Day

Based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and voiced by Lenny Henry, Hugh Skinner and Rob Brydon, this Christmas Day extravaganza is perfect for little ones who need a little quiet time. Lenny Henry says: ‘It’s a joy to be able to lend my voice to such fun and beautiful animations at Christmas. Zog’s continued story is one of teamwork and empowerment, things we all need more of these days.’

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Netflix Now

This charming new musical is sure to become a family favourite. A once successful toy-maker has lost his glorious shop, the adoration of his loved ones and all of his magic. Watch as he is reunited with his family and rediscovers his joy. Get ready for happy tunes, gorgeous sets and some great acting. The New York Times says Jingle Jangle’s ‘messages about nurturing curiosity and fostering community are well worth hearing right about now’.

Worzel Gummidge: Saucy Nancy

BBC One, Christmas Eve

This is the third feature-length episode of the BBC’s Worzel Gummidge animation (the first two aired last Christmas). The nation’s favourite scarecrow is back for a story of friendship and belonging to warm the cockles of our fragile hearts. Mackenzie Crook, who plays Gummidge, said: ‘I’m excited and grateful to be making a new episode of Worzel Gummidge after a difficult year for everyone. We’re heading out of Scatterbrook for this story, on a day trip to the seaside, some fresh air and some wide open space.’

By Becky Ladenburg
December 2020

Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.