Top 10 TV Shows to Watch Over Christmas

Christmas is a joyful occasion where we can catch up with family and friends and generally all delight in our merriment... for about a good hour or so. And then we just want to kick back on the couch with our selection boxes and see what the TV Gods have chosen to entertain us with the festive season.

We have trailed through the TV listings and picked out the cream of the crop of what's on the telly box this yuletide.

Oh and sure while we have you, happy Christmas!

1. Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Special
Christmas Eve: RTE1: 9.00pm

It's a bit of a Mrs Brown Boys' Christmas on RTE this year, with two Christmas specials and D'Movie, all of which will no doubt get an insane amount of viewers. The first of the Christmas Specials sees Mrs Brown determined to have a safe and peaceful Christmas at home this year. However, with Mark and Betty arguing about the reappearance of his first love Bubbles, carol singers haunting her every waking hour and Buster installing a new Christmas tree with a very unusual safety feature, how will she manage to survive? There will also be a guest appearance by Slade frontman Noddy Holder! "So here it is Merry Christmas..."

(Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie is on Christmas Day at 9.40pm, while the second Christmas Special is on New Year's Eve at 10.15pm.)

2. Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
Christmas Day - BBC1 - 6.15pm
St Stephens Day - TV3: 6.20pm

Hardly a minute to have withdrawal symptoms from this year's Strictly Come Dancing as it already returns for its Christmas Special. Unfortunately Bruce Forsyth was ill at the time of recording so could not return to present as planned, so instead it will be the usual but brilliant Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly. The show will see six memorable contestants return to compete for the Christmas trophy, including three previous winners in model Abbey Clancy, McFly drummer Harry Judd and actor Tom Chambers, as well as TV presenters Lisa Snowdon and Alison Hammond and former Royal Marine medic Cassidy Little - who won this year's People's Strictly for Comic Relief. Judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell are on hand to give their verdicts on routines based on a host of family favourites including Alice in Wonderland, Jack Frost and Scrooge, before deciding who will lift the coveted Silver Star trophy.

3. Call the Midwife Christmas Special
Christmas Day - BBC1: 7.30pm

It's Christmas 1960 for the midwives as they take a festive bus trip to see the Regent Street lights, while a visit from a BBC film crew promises to make it a Christmas to remember. However, it's a difficult time for grieving mother Iris, bringing back memories of her long-departed baby daughter. At Nonnatus, things are tense as Sister Monica Joan determines to bring the Christmas spirit early - despite Sister Evangelina's disgust. As the community prepares for a televised carol concert, it becomes apparent that Sister Monica Joan has gone missing....

4. Doctor Who Christmas Special
Christmas Day - BBC1: 5.15pm

Fans of the Time Lord will be waiting on just one thing on Christmas Day, this much anticipated Doctor Who Christmas Special, which even has guest stars Matt Lucas, Alex Kingston and Greg Davies. When a crashed spaceship calls upon his help, the Time Lord finds himself recruited into River Song's squad and hurled into a fast and frantic chase across the galaxy towards a destination he has been avoiding for a very long time. King Hydroflax is furious, and his giant robot bodyguard is out of control and coming for them all. Will Nardole survive? And when will River Song work out who the Doctor is?

5. Gogglesprogs
Christmas Day - Channel 4: 8.00pm


In what's set to be one of the cutest shows on TV this Christmas, Channel 4's popular series Gogglebox gets a kids spin-off called Gogglesprogs. It sees kids of all ages sharing their honest, inimitable and sometimes hilarious opinions on the best and worst of 2015's TV from the comfort of their own living rooms. They give their views on everything from the general election, to some of the most popular TV hits such as The Great British Bake Off, and powerful documentaries like the BBC's nature documentary Growing Up Wild. And guess what? The Gogglesprogs will be back for their very own six-part series in the New Year.

6. Downton Abbey Christmas Special (And Last Ever Episode!)
St Stephens Day - TV3: 9.00pm

We have just two more hours left with the Crawleys as we must finally prepare to say farewell to Downton Abbey. The series finished up its sixth season in November with the typical amount of twists and turns, but fans are now left waiting to see what this Christmas special and final ever episode has in store. We join the house as they are preparing for New Year’s Eve 1926, with familiar faces returning including Lily James, whose character Lady Rose left Downton following her marriage to New Yorker Atticus Aldridge (Matt Barber). Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Henry also seem to be settling into the role of married life together, although we mostly have our fingers crossed that Julian Fellowes is planning on giving Edith the happy ending we have been waiting for.

7 . Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2015
St Stephens Day -Channel 4: 9.00pm

This show has become a bit of a staple of our Christmas viewing as Jimmy Carr hosts the annual comedy quiz. He's joined by Rob Brydon, Richard Ayoade, David Mitchell, Claudia Winkleman, Greg Davies and Jo Brand who all battle it out to prove that they have their finger firmly on the pulse of modern life. While Carr will receive help in asking his questions from the likes of Simon Pegg, Heston Blumenthal, Olly Murs, Rita Ora, Charles Dance and Jon Snow. Expect questions about everything from The Dress, to Jeremy Paxman, to what it really means to be invited to 'Netflix and chill'.

8. Panti Does 2015
St Stephen's Day - RTE2: 10.55pm

Panti Bliss could well be described as the face of 2015, as one of the biggest advocates of the yes vote in the Marriage Equality Referendum, as well as having her very own movie, The Queen of Ireland. Tonight, Panti enlists the aid of celebrity helpers as she revisits some of the highs and lows of 2015, via a top 20 list identifying music, sport and entertainment stories that captured the public imagination.

9. Well Holy God It's Glenroe
December 27th - RTE1: 9.30pm

The sound of the Glenroe credits still strikes fear in the heart of adults of a certain age across Ireland as they find themselves instantly worrying if all their homework is done or how they are going to get out of bed time. A simpler time, 'ey? In this unmissable RTE special, the cast and crew of Glenroe look back at how Wesley Burrowes’ rural Irish series, dramatising lives, loves and disputes in a fictional Wicklow village, became our favourite Sunday night ritual and the country’s most cherished TV soap.

10. Charlie Brooker's End of Year Wipe
Decemeber 39th - BBC2: 10.00pm

Another staple of the Christmas schedule is of course Charlie Brooker's End of Year Wipe as the writer and broadcaster gives his unique and satirical look back on the past 12 months. Topics will include the beginning of Corbyn-mania and a Tory majority, the end of Page Three, and Cecil the Lion. He also tackles the terrifying truth of 2015, as well as examining bizarre news stories, TV shows and general phenomena. There will also be a few special guests including Doug Stanhope and the ever insightful Philomena Cunk (Diane Morgan).


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