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The ultimate Christmas Day TV guide: top picks from BBC, ITV and more

Don't know what to watch on Christmas Day? We've got you covered

xmas picks
Nicky Morris
Nicky MorrisTV and film writer
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Merry Christmas! After another strange year of uncertainty, the one thing we can count on is the usual abundance of festive telly on Christmas Day. 

HELLO! DIGITAL COVER STORY: Martine McCutcheon's secret to feeling better than ever and the other Christmas film she was almost cast in

We have put together some of the best offerings from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, so take a look at our top picks and get the mulled wine at the ready.

WATCH: Michael McIntyre's The Wheel returns for a Christmas special


Strictly Come Dancing - 5:10pm

It's not Christmas without a spin on the Strictly dance floor, and for this special episode, six famous faces will do their best to be crowned 2021's Christmas Champion. 

Hosted by our favourite pair, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, the show will be full of festive fun. As well as dancing, there will be special musical performances from Jamie Cullum and Gary Barlow.

strictly come dancing xmas© Photo: BBC

Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel - 6:25pm

Michael McIntyre hosts this edition of the fun, celebrity game show which will see Danny Dyer, Zoe Ball and David Walliams take on The Wheel in a bid to win big money for their chosen charities.

Helping the celebrity contestants are Gareth Malone, Martine McCutcheon, Alex Scott, Jason Manford, Tameka Empson, Julian Clary and Gregg Wallace. Each of them will attempt to help answer questions about all things festive. 

the wheel xmas© Photo: BBC

Blankety Blank - 7:25pm

The Chase's very own Bradley Walsh will host this fun-filled special, which will see six famous faces fill in the missing blanks and help win fabulous prizes for the contestants. 

Angela Rippon, Richard E Grant, Tom Allen, Sarah Millican, Mel B and Danny Jones will be joining Bradley on the show. 

blankety blank xmas© Photo: BBC

Call the Midwife - 8pm 

Towards the end of Christmas Day, the BBC will take us on a festive trip to Nonnatus House to kick off the 11th series of this much-loved period drama. 

Set in December 1966, the episode will see Lucille (Leonie Elliott) and Cyril (Zephryn Taitte) prepare for their upcoming winter wedding. Our favourite midwives will be faced with a challenging Christmas Day caring for expectant mothers, but thankfully, Mother Mildred (Miriam Margolyes) will be there to lend a helping hand. 

MORE: The ultimate guide of cheesy films to enjoy this holiday season

MORE: Stephen Merchant talks frozen turkey, Samuel L. Jackson's love for The Office and A Boy Called Christmas

call the midwife xmas© Photo: BBC

Mrs Brown's Boys - 10:20pm

Mrs Brown's Boys is back! We return to Finglas for this yuletide instalment which will see Agnes join the church choir, but with no singing or dancing to be had, Dermot and Buster organise a Murder Mystery night in aid of alcoholic greyhounds. 

mrs browns boys xmas© Photo: BBC


Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs at Christmas - 5.30pm

If you're a dog lover then you're in for a treat as Paul O'Grady returns to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home to meet the adorable residents in need of treatment, training and a new home. 

paul pgrady xmas© Photo: ITV

The Masked Singalong - 6pm

Joel Dommett will host this edition of ITV's epic guessing game which will showcase some of the best performances from across the two series. 

Rita Ora, Ken Jeong, Davina McCall, Jonathan Ross and Mo Gilligan and other famous guests will appear on the judging panel in snippets of the show's best moments. 

masked singer xmas© Photo: ITV

The Larkins Christmas Special - 9pm

We return to the idyllic Kent countryside for some seasonal fun with the Larkin family towards the end of Christmas Day. When Charley's parents arrive in the village and a power cut strikes, all chaos descends on the Larkin farm. 

the larkins xmas© Photo: ITV

Channel 4 

Terry Pratchett’s The Abominable Snow Baby - 7:30pm

This magical adaptation of one of Terry Pratchett's best-selling short stories stars Julie Walters, Hugh Dancy, and David Harewood. When a town in England is thrown into mayhem by huge snowfall and the appearance of a 14-foot tall Abominable Snow Baby, Granny (Julie Walters) and grandson Albert (Hugh Dancy) must take him in when he is shunned by the local townsfolk. 

MORE: What the child stars of Love Actually look like now

snowbaby channel4© Photo: Channel 4

The Great Christmas Bake Off 2021 - 8pm

The cast of the highly-acclaimed drama series It's A Sin will enter the Bake Off tent for this year's seasonal special. 

Olly Alexander, Lydia West, Nathaniel Curtis and Shaun Dooley will be trading their 80s leg warmers and acid wash jeans for baking aprons in an attempt to impress judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood. As always, our favourite duo Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas will host the competition. 

bake off its a sin© Photo: Instagram

Gogglebox: Best of 2021 - 9:15pm

The nation's favourite TV watchers give their insightful, hilarious and at times emotional opinions of 2021's best shows in this festive special. Take a look back through some of the best TV moments of the year with the Gogglebox cast. 

MORE: Martine McCutcheon's top 10 festive film and TV recommendations

gogglebox siddiquis 9© Photo: Channel 4

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