From Doctor Who to Michael Bublé to chilli chocolate truffles, the tube turns festive with laughs, romance, family fun and treats for all.
Festive season’s top TV picks: Doctor Who, Michael Bublé’s Day Off and One Direction: This Is Us
Visit the other Who-ville
Doctor Who: The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe (7pm on December 25 on BBC Entertainment) transports us to Christmas Eve, 1938, when Madge Arwell comes to the aid of an injured “Spaceman Angel” as she cycles home. He promises to repay her kindness – all she has to do is make a wish. Three years later, a devastated Madge escapes war-torn London with her two children for a dilapidated house in Dorset. Crippled with grief at the news her husband has been lost over the Channel, she’s determined to give Lily and Cyril the best Christmas ever. The Arwells are surprised to be greeted by a madcap caretaker whose mysterious Christmas gift leads them into a magical wintry world. Here, Madge will learn how to be braver than she ever thought possible. And that wishes can come true.
In search of … Father Christmas
Lapland (9pm on December 20 on BBC Entertainment) introduces the Lewis family from Birkenhead, who live for Christmas. But this year, with the death of the family patriarch Ted, they can’t bear to be at home — so they head off to Lapland on a package tour to seek out Father Christmas.
Hum along with Mikey
His favourite movie is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, so it only follows that Michael Bublé’s Day Off (5.30pm & 9.30pm on December 18 on ITV Choice HD) sees the superstar crooner blow off a day in his hometown of Vancouver to pass time with his family and friends before he finally heads off unannounced to his 20th high school reunion. Look forward to exclusive performances of classics such as World on a String, Come Dance with Me and Young at Heart, plus what may be his greatest hit, Home.
Play it again, Lloyd
Andrew Lloyd Webber: 40 Musical Years (5.30pm & 9.30pm on December 25 on ITV Choice HD) sees the composer – joined by his pals Michael Caine and Simon Cowell as well as the artists Nicole Scherzinger, Samantha Barks and Michael Ball – perform hits from his incredible catalogue (Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Phantom of the Opera and more). With unprecedented access to his working life, this special promises an intimate insight into a unique career and an extraordinary talent.
Boy band mania
One Direction: This Is Us (8pm on December 20 on OSN Movies Box Office 3) is a documentary from the acclaimed director Morgan Spurlock that lets us see the world through the eyes of Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis as they embark on a world tour that includes a performance at London’s O2 Arena.
For the whole family
Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman and Colin Firth intone the voices that breathe life into this animated, over-the-top 2009 Hollywood retelling of A Christmas Carol (11.30pm on December 25 on Fox Movies). The animated comedy Arthur Christmas (7pm on December 25 on OSN Movies Kids) stars James McAvoy and Hugh Laurie as it introduces viewers to Santa’s mischievous son Arthur, who races to complete an important mission to save the holiday. Christmas at Castlebury Hall (10pm on December 25 on OSN Movies HD) stars Roger Moore, Katie McGrath and Sam Heughan in a poignant tale about a woman who has recently become the guardian of her niece and nephew; an unexpected invitation changes their lives forever.
The Hairy Bakers’ Christmas Special (9.45pm on December 22 on BBC Lifestyle) will see The Hairy Bikers (Dave Myers and Simon King) imbue you with the culinary savoir-faire to whip up a classic Christmas pudding and mince pies, chestnut soup and a chocolate Yule log. Spicy Christmas with Thomasina Miers (5.20pm on December 25 on Food Network HD) can have you cooking a holiday feast including spicy devils on horseback, chilli chocolate truffles and a hazelnut-crusted soufflé. Put 100-gigawatt smiles on your children’s faces with Winning Holiday Cookies (7pm on December 17 on Food Network HD) as you bake sweet ’n’ crumbly treats of pure Yuletide pleasure.
Delightfully awkward comedy
Banish the post-Christmas blues with a gut-busting line-up, voted on by BBC viewers, of your most-beloved British comic characters – drawn from the likes of Edina and Patsy of Absolutely Fabulous to Baldrick and Blackadder of Blackadder and Basil Fawlty and Manuel of Fawlty Towers – to feature in a daily triple-dose during the Comedy Countdown (7.30pm, 8pm, 8.30pm on December 29, 30, 31 and January 1 on BBC Entertainment) with the winners announced on New Year’s Day.
The 2011 romantic comedy New Year’s Eve (7pm on December 31 on OSN Movies Comedy HD) brings an all-star cast – Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel, Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hilary Swank, Ashton Kutcher and more – in a tale that intertwines the lives of several New York couples and singles over the course of a New Year’s Eve.