My pick of the TV highlights this Christmas!

by Lynn Connolly

Most of the major UK channels have now released news of what they have up their yuletide sleeves for us this year, and having taken a gander over the line-up of shows, I’ve picked out a few that I’m most definitely going to watching…

And – saddo that I am – I can’t wait for the festive edition of the TV Times to come out so I can sit there and put big red felt pen circles around all the shows I’m going to watch or Sky+.

I’m definitely going to be watching River Cottage Christmas on Channel 4, because Hugh Fearnleywozizface always manages to put me in a festive mood with his general Christmas bonhomie!

Ditto Jamie’s Xmas with Bells On – which is also on Channel 4 – because Jamie Oliver always seems to show me how to actually do stuff that’s within my culinary capabilities!

And on the big day itself, I’m looking to Gordon Ramsay for live guidance as he walks us through the Christmas dinner prep live from his home…


Also not to be missed is Sir David Jason in a new comedy role in the BBC’s The Royal Bodyguard, and Royle Family star Sue Johnston will be in another Christmas comedy entitled, Lapland.

High on my mark-it-with-red-pen list is the Downton Abbey Christmas special on ITV, when we’ll see smoother-than-a-cashmere-codpiece actor Nigel Havers in the role of Lord Hepworth, with Sharon Small as Lady Rosamund’s maid.

And of course, always a must see is the Doctor Who festive episode, and then we have Channel 4’s Big Fat Gypsy Christmas, which will feature – among other travelers this yuletide – footage of former Celebrity Big Brother winner Paddy Doherty and his wife Roseanne celebrating last Christmas.

I’ll also be glued to BBC’s Great Expectations, which stars former X Files actress Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham, Ray Winstone as Magwitch, and Douglas Booth as Pip, and Sky1’s Little Crackers, which will star former EastEnder, Barbara Windsor as well as comedians Jack Whitehall and Harry Hill.

Apropos of Sky1, I’m also looking forward to seeing Eddie Izzard in a new adaptation of Treasure Island, which also stars Elijah Wood, Rupert Penry-Jones, Philip Glenister, Shirley Henderson and David Harewood.

The Gruffalo’s Child on BBC1 is a keeper, so I’ll Sky+ that one. Starring the voices of
James Corden, Rob Brydon and Robbie Coltrane, it’s sure to be heartwarming tale.

And back to BBC, The Borrowers is a must see, starring Victoria Wood and Stephen Fry. Stephen also stars in another must watch, The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff on BBC2, which also stars Robert Webb, David Mitchell and Johnny Vegas.

As to the big three soaps, EastEnders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale, I’ll be watching them all!

In EastEnders, a huge blaze causes devastation on the Square, and several of Walford’s residents won’t live to see the New Year.

Over on Corrie, it’s a more light hearted Christmas this year, with Ches and Katy’s baby making his debut on Christmas Eve.

And finally, in Emmerdale, the big whodunit will reach an astonishing climax after Cain Dingle is attacked and left for dead.

I cannot wait!

And by the way, if you also sit for a couple of hours with a felt tip pen, marking off shows you intend to watch at Christmas, let me know…

That way, I won’t feel like a yuletide freak 🙁

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.