Preview: The Best of Christmas TV 2017

More than ever, television is absolutely central to the idea of Christmas. Gone are the days when the Queens speech and Eastenders were all that was going on around Christmas time. Now we have a plethora of TV choices to illuminate those dark nights. I’ve helpfully organised the best of Christmas telly 2017 by genre. You’re welcome…

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Comedy

The League of Gentlemen

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What is it?

One of the most beloved comedies of my generation makes its long awaited return this Christmas. More than any other show, this is the one to get excited about.

When is it on?

18th, 19th and 20th December – BBC Two

Alan Partridge: Why, When, Where, How and Whom?

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What is it?

A retrospective, career spanning documentary that celebrates 25 years of North Norfolk’s best known radio DJ. Kiss my face!

When is it on?

27th December – BBC One

Travel Man with Richard Ayoade

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What is it?

A reluctant travel show in the vein of An Idiot Abroad but with lovable rogue Richard Ayoade at the helm. This Christmas special sees Jon Hamm join Ayoade on a trip to China.

When is it on?

Boxing Day – C4

Frankie Boyle’s New World Order

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What is it?

Well it isn’t Charlie Brooker’s Yearly Wipe which is a massive loss to the Christmas schedule but it is the next best thing. Frankie Boyle attempts to round up 2017 in one comedy package.

When is it on?

29th December – BBC Two

The Big Fat Quiz of the Year

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What is it?

A lighthearted round up of the last twelve months. This year featuring Richard Ayoade, Roisin Conaty, Noel Fielding, David Mitchell, Katherine Ryan and erm… Big Narstie. Whoever the hell that is.

When is it on?

Boxing Day – C4

Classics

Little Women

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What is it?

A modern adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s seminal novel that despite being written explicitly for girls in the Victoria era, I absolutely love. Read my review of the book here.

When is it on?

26th, 27th and 28th of December – BBC One

The Miniaturist

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What is it?

The first adaptation of the 2014 Waterstones book of the year The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. I haven’t read the book though so… that’s all I have to say about that.

When is it on?

26th and 27th of December – BBC One

Ghost Story Night

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What is it?

A bumper ghost story extravaganza beginning at 9pm and taking in a documentary about famous ghost story writer MR James (narrated by Mark Gatiss), three adaptations of MR James stories (The Tractate Middoth, No.13 and A View From the Hill), an adaptation of Dickens’ The Signalman and two editions of Christopher Lee’s Ghost Stories for Christmas. Marvellous.

When is it on?

Christmas Eve – BBC Four

Nature

Snow Bears

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What is it?

A documentary following the epic 400 mile journey of bear cub and its mother.

When is it on?

Boxing Day – BBC One

Attenborough and the Empire of Ants

What is it?

Well the title is quite self explanatory… David Attenborough and ants. A winning combination.

When is it on?

28th December – BBC Two

Drama

Black Mirror

Black Mirror

What is it?

A dystopian, bleak take on technology and the modern world from the pen of Charlie Brooker.

When is it on?

29th December onwards – Netflix

Inside No. 9

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What is it?

An anthology of dark fables from the twisted minds of two of the League of Gentlemen.

When is it on?

2nd of January – BBC Two

McMafia

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What is it?

After some stinkers this is the BBC’s attempt to debut a new drama that isn’t terrible. James Norton stars as the son of a mafia boss trying to escape his family’s legacy.

When is it on?

1st and 2nd of January – BBC One

Music

Liam Gallagher: Live in New York

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What is it?

Liam Gallagher. Live. In New York.

When is it on?

30th December – Sky Arts

Prince: Last Year of a Legend

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What is it?

A documentary taking in the final moments of a life well lived.

When is it on?

2nd January – C4

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

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