Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas TV Picks: 24-30 December 2012 (Call the Midwife, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, The Girl, Restless, Room on the Broom, Ripper Street, The Snowman & the Snowdog, Superstars, etc.)

Monday, 24 December 2012

It's the second Christmas TV week, with the UK schedules bursting with specials and festive treats. Other countries don't have this tradition of putting so many new shows on, to entertain a captive home audience in late-December, so enjoy it! My picks of the most notable Christmas TV is below...

Rolf's Animal Christmas (Channel 5, 6pm) Festive edition of the series set in Liverpool's School of Veterinary Science.
PICK OF THE DAY The Snowman & The Snowdog (Channel 4, 8pm) A brand new version of the 1982 animated classic, based on the classic book by Raymond Briggs, produced to celebrate the original's 30th anniversary.
The Spice Girls Story: Viva Forever (ITV1, 8.30pm) Documentary on the '90s girl group, who are now the subjects of a brand new jukebox musical written by Jennifer Saunders.
Trollied (Sky1, 9pm) Christmas special of the supermarket sitcom.
Outnumbered (BBC1, 9.35pm) Christmas special of the family sitcom. Starring Hugh Dennis, Claire Skinner, Tyger Drew-Honey, Danie Roche, Ramona Marquez & Rosalind Ayres.
The Many Faces Of Ronnie Barker (BBC2, 9.40pm) Documentary on the popular comic actor, whose work in sitcom and light entertainment made him a national treasure. Featuring Ben Elton, Michael Grade, David Renwick & Josephine Tewson.
Uncle Wormsley's Christmas (Sky Atlantic, 10pm) Festive animation about a decaying old man who cares for a monstrous crab living in a dungeon beneath his home. Narrated by Steve Coogan, with voices from Julian Barratt, John Thomson, Julia Davis & Ben Baker.
Mrs Brown's Boys (BBC1, 10.15pm) Series 3 of the family sitcom, opening with two festive specials. Continues Boxing Day. (1/8)
Friday Night Dinner (Channel 4, 10.30pm) Christmas special of the family sitcom about two young adults who return home to their parent's house for dinner. Starring Paul Ritter, Tamsin Greig, Simon Bird, Tom Rosenthal & Mark Heap.

Top Of The Pops Christmas Special (BBC1, 2pm) Annual special of the classic pop show, hosted by Fearne Cotton & Reggie Yates. Performances from Robbie Williams, Emeli Sande, Jay-Z, Rita Ora, Carly Rae Jepsen, Paloma Faith, Florence And The Machine, Conor Maynard, Wiley, Girls Aloud, Coldplay & James Arthur.
Room On The Broom (BBC1, 4.35pm) Animated adaptation of author Julia Donaldson's book, about a witch who invites a variety of animals onto her broomstick. Narrated by Simon Pegg, with voices from Rob Brydon, Gillian Anderson, Timothy Spall, Martin Clunes, Sally Hawkins & David Walliams.
PICK OF THE DAY Doctor Who (BBC1, 5.15pm) Christmas special of the sci-fi drama, with The Doctor battling vicious snowmen in Victorian England. Starring Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Richard E Grant, Dan Starkey, Catrin Stewart, Tom Ward & Liz White.
Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs (ITV1, 6pm) Festive edition of the show telling the stories of mistreated dogs.
Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special (BBC1, 6.15pm) Festive edition with six brand new dancers: Helen Skelton, Katy Brand, Sheila Hancock, Fabrice Muamba, JB Gill, Bobby Ball. Featuring Natasha Kaplinsky, Kelly Brook, Rachel Stevens, Colin Jackson, Chelsee Healey, Tom Chambers, Ann Widdecombe & Russell Grant.
Call The Midwife (BBC1, 7.30pm) Christmas special of the drama about midwives in the 1950s. Starring Jenny Agutter, Pam Ferris, Jessica Raine & Miranda Hart.
The Choir: A Year With The Military Wives (BBC2, 8.45pm) Catch-up episode with choirmaster Gareth Malone, looking at the incredible success of the Military Wives choir.
Downton Abbey (ITV1, 8.45pm) Christmas special of the period drama, where the Crawley family visit their Scottish relatives. Starring Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Laura Carmichael, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Brendan Coyle & Elizabeth McGovern.
Alan Carr: Chatty Man (Channel 4, 9pm) Christmas edition of the chat show, featuring McFly, JLS, Hilary Devey & David Walliams.
The Royle Family (BBC1) Christmas special of the family sitcom. Starring Ricky Tomlinson, Sue Johnston, Caroline Aherne & Craig Cash.

Blackpool: Big Night Out (BBC2, 8pm) Documentary on the Lancashire seaside resort. Featuring Ken Dodd, Roy "Chubby" Brown, Syd Little, Tommy Cannon & Bobby Ball.
That Dog Can Dance! (ITV1, 8pm) Entertainment special focusing on talented dog acts. Hosted by Christine Bleakley. Featuring Bill Bailey, Sharon Osbourne and Ashleigh & Pudsey.
Miranda (BBC1, 9pm) Series 3 of the sitcom about a thirtysomething single woman. Starirng Miranda Hart, Patricia Hodge, Sarah Hadland, Tom Ellis & Sally Phillips.
PICK OF THE DAY The Girl (BBC2, 9pm) Biopic about Alfred Hitchcock, focusing on his obsession with actress Tipi Hedren. Starring Toby Jones, Sienna Miller, Imelda Staunton & Penelope Wilton.
Doors Open (ITV1, 9pm) Drama about a curator of a bank's repository of paintings, who decides to get his friends involved in plot involving robbery and fraud. Starring Douglas Henshall, Stephen Fry, Lenora Crichlow, Kenneth Collard & Brian McCardie.

Celebrity Mastermind (BBC1, 7pm) Series 10 of the celebrity version of the tough quiz show, with Val McDermid, Hannah Cockroft & Lizo Mzimba. (1/10)
Racing Legends (BBC2, 8pm) Series paying tribute to British driving greats. Presented by Patrick Stewart. (1/3)
PICK OF THE DAY Restless (BBC1, 9pm) Drama about a young graduate whose mother reveals she was a Russian recruited by British intelligence during WWII. Starring Hayley Atwell, Rufus Sewell, Michelle Dockery & Michael Gambon. Concludes tomorrow. (1/2)
World's Most Dangerous Roads (BBC2, 9pm) Series 3 of the show where a pair of celebs travel along some of the planet's scariest roadways. Continues tomorrow. (1/3)
Panto! (ITV1, 9pm) Drama about a DJ making his debut in a pantomime. Starring John Bishop, Sheridan Smith, Samantha Spiro, Mark Benton, Kaye Wragg & Michael Cochrane.
The Restoration Man (Channel 4, 9pm) Series 3 of the architectural show. Hosted by George Clarke. (1/5)

PICK OF THE DAY It'll Be Alright On The Night (ITV1, 9pm) Brand new selection of gaffes, bloopers and cockups from the world of TV. Hosted by Griff Rhys Jones.
The 50 Funniest Moments Of 2012 (Channel 4, 9pm) Countdown of 2012's most hilarious moments.
Andy Parsons: Disgruntled Live (BBC2, 10.30pm) Stand-up comedy recorded live in 2011 from London's Shepherd's Bush Empire.
2012: Mashed (Channel 4, 11.40pm) Retrospective on the year in the form of "media mash-ups" from people like Dan Bull, David Schneider, Cassetteboy & Rob Manuel.

30 Years Of CITV (ITV1, 6.30pm) Documentary celebrating three decades of kid's TV on ITV. Narrated by Vernon Kaye. Featuring Ant n' Dec, Fearne Cotton, Stephen Mulhern, Michael Underwood, Christopher Biggins & Matthew Kelly.
PICK OF THE DAY Superstars 2012 (BBC1, 6.45pm) Special edition of the classic gameshow, where sporting greats compete in disciplines outside of their comfort zone. Featuring Mo Farah, Jonathan Brownlee, Robbie Grabarz, Michael Jamieson, Anthony Joshua, Peter Wilson, Nicola Adams, Lizzie Armitstead, Gemma Gibbons, etc.
Climbed Every Mountain – The Story Behind The Sound Of Music (BBC2, 8.15pm) Documentary telling the true story of the von Trapp family from The Sound Of Music. Hosted by Sue Perkins.
Dale's Great Getaway (ITV1, 8.30m) One-off gameshow where three families compete to win holidays. Hosted by Dale Winton.
Stephen King's Bag Of Bones (Channel 5, 9.15pm) Adaptation of the Stephen King novel about a novelist haunted in his lakeside house. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Melissa George, Annabeth Gish & Matt Frewe.

Super Famous Animals (ITV1, 7pm) Profile of some of the world's most famous animals; from The Artist's Uggie the Jack Russell to Britain's Got Talent's Pudsey the dog.
The Hotel (Channel 4, 8pm) Series 3 of the documentary looking at life at Torquay's Grosvenor Hotel. (1/8)
PICK OF THE DAY Ripper Street (BBC1, 9pm) Brand new thriller about a police division in Victorian times, set during the aftermath of the Jack the Ripper murders. Starring Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn, Adam Rothenberg & Jonathan Barnwell. (1/8)
Big Fat Quiz Of The Year 2012 (Channel 4, 9pm) Annual comedy quiz show, hosted by Jimmy Carr. Contestants are Jonathan Ross, Russell Howard, Jack Whitehall & James Corden.