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Christmas TV guide 2023: HELLO!'s top picks for the festive season

From Christmas specials to completely new shows, here's what we'll be watching 

Christmas baubles with images of December TV shows
Megan Bull
Megan BullTV Writer
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With the countdown to Christmas in full swing, the TV schedule is full to the brim with one-off festive specials courtesy of Call The Midwife and Doctor Who, not to mention returning favourites like The Crown and Slow Horses. Ready to get into the holiday spirit? It's never too early, and here at HELLO!, we've created the ultimate Christmas TV guide, so you can mark your calendars. Once you've got your tree up, grab a steaming cuppa, your comfiest PJ's, and press play. These TV treats are too good to miss…

Slow Horses, Apple TV+

Available from November 29 

Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb© Jack English
Season three of Slow Horses is based on Mick Herron's novel Real Tigers

Good news for fans of Slow Horses! The season three release date has just been brought forward from December to November. Jackson Lamb and his loveable band of misfits are back. Returning for a third outing, the hapless MI5 agents are taking on a new case. Based on the book Real Tigers, Mick Herron's novel kicks off with "a romantic liaison in Istanbul" that "threatens to expose a buried MI5 secret in London". If the book's anything to go by, fans will also see Catherine Standish abducted by a mystery figure with connections to her past – sounds intriguing.  

Doctor Who, BBC iPlayer and Disney+

Episodes available from November 25, December 2 and December 9

WATCH: Doctor Who Christmas special – trailer

Ncuti Gatwa is expected to transform into the Time Lord this Christmas. After endless anticipation, fan favourite David Tennant, who surprised fans as the 14th doctor, will be handing the reins over to the Sex Education star. While the synopsis for the upcoming episodes remains under wraps, it has been confirmed that three special episodes are coming our way, on November 25, December 2 and December 9, respectively. 

Call The Midwife, BBC One and BBC iPlayer

Release date TBC

Nurse Trixie in Call the Midwife© BBC
Call The Midwife's Christmas special will introduce two new characters

A Call The Midwife Christmas special is like gold dust. In keeping with tradition, the series will return with a feel-good, festive episode in Poplar. Currently, the plot remains a mystery, however, we do know that two new characters will be introduced. Joyce, who hails from Trinidad, is described as "hardworking, fiercely bright and deeply kind," but hides a traumatic past that she can't conceal forever. Meanwhile, Rosalind is "young, warm, passionate and funny" and is "naive at times, but with an inner steeliness."

MORE: I'm a Celebrity rumoured line-up: 17 stars tipped to take part in 2024 series

READ: What are the upcoming Hallmark Christmas movies for 2023? All we know

The Repair Shop, BBC One and BBC iPlayer

Release date TBC

The Repair Shop barn's Christmas makeover© Instagram
The Repair Shop's Christmas special will see the team take on festive fixes

The Repair Shop team will be taking on festive fixes ahead of Christmas. Back in September, Will Kirk revealed that the experts had already wrapped filming on the special, and he even gave us a glimpse of the iconic barn all dolled up for Christmas. Historically, The Repair Shop special has premiered on either Christmas Eve or Boxing Day, so we imagine it'll follow the same rule of thumb this year. In the meantime, watch this space! 

The Crown, Netflix

Series six part two available on December 14 

Imelda Staunton as The Queen in The Crown© Netflix
The Crown's final six episodes will land on Netflix in December

Fans will bid adieu to The Crown in December. While the first half of season six will debut on November 16, Netflix will gift fans with the final episodes on December 14. Picking up in 1997, prior to the tragic passing of Princess Diana, the series will ultimately conclude in 2005. The show's creator, Peter Morgan, has already teased that the finale will be particularly emotional and it's also expected to honour the late Queen Elizabeth II, who sadly passed away in September 2022. 

The Winter King, ITVX

Available from December 21

Ken Nwosu as Sagramor, Iain De Caestecker as Arthur and Matt Mella as Lanval© ITV
The Winter King is based on Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles

Based on the Arthurian legend, The Winter King is based on Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles. Depicting Arthur Pendragon's journey from outcast to notorious warrior and leader, Iain De Caestecker will be taking on the role. And with Eddie Marsan, Nathaniel Martello-White, Stuart Campbell and Jordan Alexandra rounding out the cast, it's set to be epic.