Whilst it might be a slightly topsy turvy Christmas this year, there’s one thing that’s absolutely stand-out bloody brilliant, and that’s the TV line-up. From Christmas Day must-views on BBC One and new thrillers (there’s one starring Jamie Dornan just FYI) to returning Netflix shows we’ve been counting down the months to, there’s a whole lot to add to your festive schedule. Blanket, hot chocolate and tin of Celebrations optional…
Here’s what we’ll be watching…
The Great Christmas Bake Off
The celebrity special of everyone’s favourite baking show just got a whole lot more exciting because the cast of Channel 4’s incredible It’s A Sin will be starring as the show’s bakers. Olly Alexander (Ritchie), Lydia West (Jill), Nathaniel Curtis (Ash) and Shaun Dooley (Ritchie’s dad Clive) will all be whipping up a storm in the kitchen and hoping to impress the judges for the glittering Christmas star baker crown. There’s also The Great Festive Bake Off which will feature contestants from previous years.
Watch it on Channel 4 on Christmas Day at 8pm (with the second special coming in the new year)
Emily In Paris
The second season of everyone’s fave chick flick series is headed back to Netflix next week. Lily Collin’s Emily In Paris follows the story of your average cool twenty-something who relocates to Paris as part of her PR job. She meets boys, new mates, hideous – and not so hideous – colleagues and wears some bloody brilliant outfits that’ll remind you of early SATC. Easy viewing when you just want to completely zone out.
Catch it on Netflix on 22nd December.
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return To Hogwarts
After the success of the Friends reunion, it only made sense to celebrate the anniversary of the biggest film franchise ever. The whole Harry Potter team (minus J.K.Rowling) will be getting together to discuss the Harry Potter series in celebration of it being an entire 20 years (WTAF?) since the first film came out. There’s also Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses which will air on the 29th December.
Tune in on 1st January 2022 on Sky.
Disney’s latest family release is headed to Disney+ just in time for Christmas. Encanto is the first Disney film to focus on a Latino family and is created by the some people behind Moana. The colours are gorgeous and the storyline as enchanting (and outrageously sad) as you’d expect. One to watch with the kids or, y’know… just on your own.
Available on DIsney+ from 24th December.
Last Train to Christmas
Michael Sheen and Game of Throne’s Nathalie Emmanuel star in Sky Cinema’s 80’s-tastic Christmas film. Set on a train bound for Nottingham, the story follows nightclub owner nightclub owner Tony Towers (Sheen) as he heads back home for the festive season with his girlfriend (Emmanuel) in tow. Moving up and down the carriages sends Tony forwards and backwards in time to various stages of his life, with his actions in one carriage directly affecting his life in the next. Basically the kind of bonkers escapism we could all do with right now.
Watch it on Sky Cinema or Now TV from 18th December.
The Girl Before
Who doesn’t love a psychological thriller at Christmas time? Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, The Girl Before tells the story of Jane, who gets the chance to move into a beautiful, ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect (David Oyelowo). There’s just one catch: the occupants must abide by his list of exacting rules. Will it be worth it?
Tune in to BBC One on 19th December to find out.
The Lost Daughter
An adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novel of the same name, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut, stars Normal People’s Paul Mescal (we were sold on that fact alone), Olivia Coleman and Dakota Johnson. For those not familiar with the book, here’s Netflix’s synopsis: A woman’s quiet seaside vacation takes an unsettling turn when her fixation on a young mother staying at a nearby villa awakens memories from her past. Staying in on New Years Eve just got a lot more exciting.
Watch it on Netflix from 31st December.
Jamie Dornan makes a very welcome return to our screens in this six-part thriller from the writers of Baptiste and The Missing. Set in the Australian Outback, according to the BBC it “is a story of self-discovery with a ticking timebomb underneath: as The Man starts to uncover the mystery of who he was, he’s also forced to ask who he is now – and fast. Will he unlock the secrets of his identify before those who are trying to kill him catch up with him?”
Watch it on BBC One on New Year’s Day.
And all the other bits…
Queer Eye returns for season six to Netflix on December 31st.
Call The Midwife will return for a 90-minute Christmas Special on Christmas Day at 8pm on BBC One.
Doctor Who will air on New Year’s Day on BBC One.
A Boy Called Christmas is available to watch on Sky Cinema from now onwards.