Christmas Day Preview: Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, Call the Midwife, Room on the Broom and The Royle Family

by Matt D

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In the second of our previews we journey to Christmas Day and see what the major TV channels are broadcasting on the 25th December.

Room on the Broom (BBC1, 4.35pm)
After the two adaptations of The Gruffalo stories this year sees the BBC adapt more of Julia Donaldson’s work with an adaptation of a kindly witch who lets various creatures climb aboard her broom. While the kids will enjoy the story the adults can enjoy spotting the celebrities lending their voices they include Simon Pegg, Rob Brydon and Timothy Spall.

Doctor Who (BBC1, 5.25pm)
The Doctor Who Christmas special has now become an annual tradition however this episode is more important than others due to the actual debut of Jenna-Louise Coleman’s character Clara. The setting for the episode is the late 19th century when a bunch of The Doctor’s old allies try to get him to help them take on Richard E Grant’s villain.

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The only problem is that The Doctor is feeling glum after Rory and Amy’s departures and is unwilling to help so it’s up to Clara to change his mind. Expect the usual lashings of fantasy fun and killer snowman with this episode being a must-see for any fans as it links between the two blocks of episodes of the current series.

Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs (ITV1, 6pm)
ITV1’s surprise ratings hit returns for a Christmas special as the Liverpudlian funnyman heads back to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home to spread the message that a dog is for life not just for Christmas. Along the way he is touched by the stories of some of the animals including a terrier with a dodgy hip and a litter of lurcher puppies.

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Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1, 6.15pm)
As always the Christmas special sees six celebrities compete in a one-off contest and this year the famous names include footballer Fabrice Muamba, legendary actress Sheila Hancock and comedian Bobby Ball. There is also a chance to welcome back some former contestants including Chris Hollins, Colin Jackson, Rachel Stevens and Kelly Brook.

call the midwife christmas special 2012

Call the Midwife (BBC1, 7.30pm)
It was only right that the BBC’s biggest drama hit in years get its own festive special so here we follow Jenny Lee experiencing her first Christmas as a midwife in Poplar. Jenny’s story centres around delving into the life of the unfortunate elderly woman Mrs Jenkins who has led an unfortunate life while at Nonnatus House a baby is left on the steps of the convent. It’s not all doom and gloom however as Miranda Hart’s Chummy is newly married and keen to impress her husband by staging the community Nativity play.

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Downton Abbey (ITV1, 8.45pm)
Fans of period drama will be in luck as straight after Call the Midwife they can switch over to see another two hour Downton special however unlike its BBC rival this one won’t be set during Christmas. Instead we follow the Crawley family’s summer trip up to Scotland to stay with the rowdy Rose and her family while back at Downton we see Carson intent on keeping the servants in line even though there is nobody around to serve.

The Choir A Year With the Military Wives (BBC2, 8.45pm)
After hitting the top spot in last year’s Christmas charts The Military Wives have grown over the past year as they have released their debut album and been part of the Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations. In this documentary Gareth Malone and the members of the choir reflect on their experiences as the choirmaster returns to Chiverner to meet up with some of the most famous members of the group.

Alan Carr: Chatty Man (Channel 4, 9pm)
If you’re after a bit of anarchic humour this Christmas then Alan Carr’s Christmas special is probably the place for you as the comedian welcomes JLS, Hilary Devey and David Walliams onto his sofa in what will surely be another memorable festive edition of the talk show.

The-Royle-Family

The Royle Family (BBC1, 9.45pm)
After there was no Christmas special last year fans of The Royle Family have been waiting longer than normal to see their favourite comedy family. Fear not though as Jim, Denise, Barbara and Dave are back for another Christmas special with Jim believing he’ll win money on a scratchcard and Dave ready to flog his new invention on Dragon’s Den. There’s also trauma for Joe who is looking for love and hopes to find it with busty new neighbour Carol.

What are you looking forward to watching this Christmas? Leave Your Comments Below.