Christmas TV guide: top 10 shows to watch

Settle down in front of the TV for a bumper selection of small-screen crackers this Christmas. From gripping soaps, festive films and one-off specials to the Queen's speech, there's something for everyone in this year's guide.

Arguably one of the most anticipated shows to hit the box is Downton Abbey's Christmas special. It's grouse-shooting season and Lady Rose's father-in-law Lord Sinderby has rented out Brancaster Castle in Northumberland and invited the Crawley family to a shooting party.

Surprises are in store as the families become better acquainted with each other, while back at Downton, the servants hold the fort. John takes drastic measures to clear his wife Anna's name, while Carson and Mrs Hughes plan a joint business venture.


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Also playing on Christmas Day will be the festive edition of Doctor Who, which sees the new Time Lord Peter Capaldi reunite with Clara at a polar base under attack. "Santa appears on Clara's roof, but only the Doctor knows why this is a nightmarish development," said Peter.

And it wouldn't be Christmas without a trip to Nonnatus House, with Call the Midwife fans in for a treat as the one-off special starring Miranda Hart returns, also on Christmas Day.

In soap land, EastEnders, Emmerdale and Coronation Street will be fighting for viewers' attention as the shows will be airing on 24 and 25 December, while the Strictly Come Dancing special will provide real-life drama as Louis Smith, Russell Grant, Chris Hollins, Rachel Stevens, Lisa Riley and Sophie Ellis-Bextor battle it out on the dancefloor to win the Christmas Silver Star trophy.

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