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Best Christmas TV 2021: What to watch from BBC and ITV to Channel 4 and Netflix

Christmas TV is the gift that keeps on giving over the festive season, but with so much to choose from it can become a bit of a minefield.

So just what are the best television shows to get stuck into as Christmas knocks on the door and 2021 gets ready to exist stage left?

Well, the likes of BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Netflix have all given us a glimpse of their soon-to-air Christmas offerings.

And from BBC’s Doctor Who to ITV’s The Larkins at Christmas and Netflix’s Emily in Paris – this Christmas season for UK TV will certainly not fall short.

But we’ve narrowed it down. Here’s your festive guide on to what to watch…

Call the Midwife Christmas special







Nurse Shelagh Turner, Nurse Trixie and Nurse Lucille Anderson all get festive for the Call The Midwife Christmas special
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Image:

BBC / Nealstreet Productions / Sally Mais)







Call The Midwife Christmas Special also sees Sister Monica Joan played by Judy Parfitt return in good spirits
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BBC / Nealstreat Productions / Ray Burmiston)

The beloved BBC drama series returns for a feature-length trip to Nonnatus house.

The first-look images show the nurses are getting all festive this season, as Helen George, who plays nurse Trixie Franklin and Leonie Elliott’s Lucille Anderson return for “their busiest Christmas Day ever”.

Judy Parfitt as well as Miriam Margolyes’s, Mother Mildred, who was absent from the 10th season, has delighted fans by reprising her role for the special.

Alongside a picture of Reggie, played by Daniel Laurie, and Lucille, played by Leonie Elliott, the show’s team teased on Instagram : “We have questions… Reggie… are those pyjamas you’re wearing… in snow??

“Does that snowman have pointy ears? How adorable is Lucille in green!! Of course, we’re not going to tell you what happens in this episode, except to say that our own lovely Lucille has a LOT to prepare for…

“We are all very proud of this year’s Christmas episode, and just can’t WAIT for you to see it!”

The special comes ahead of the eleventh season of the series and airs on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 8pm on Christmas Day.

The Larkins Christmas special







The Larkins family is back for a feature-length special, which will see the Mariette return with Charley and his parents for a formal introduction to hers for the the holidays
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ITV)

The ITV comedy is bringing the Christmas cheer again.

Following on from the series finale last month, the Larkins family is back for a feature-length special, which will see the Mariette return with Charley and his parents for a formal introduction to hers for the the holidays.

It all quickly goes pear-shaped when a power outage leaves the entire village, which has faced a recent spate of burglaries, without lighting or heating. The show teases that “chaos descends on the Larkins’ farm”.

But this all doesn’t hamper Mariette and Charley who prepare to “take their love to the next level”.

The Larkins at Christmas airs on ITV at 9pm on Christmas Day and is available from 7am on the same day on ITV Hub.

Emily in Paris







Emily in Paris, starring Lily Collins in the titular role (pictured), returned to Netflix on Wednesday, December 22, to bring some early festive fun to our screens
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NETFLIX)

The series became one of Netflix’s most popular comedy series in 2020, and series two of Emily In Paris has even more over the top picturesque treats, from Emily’s wardrobe to the scenery of the famously romantic city.

The show, starring Lily Collins in the titular role, returned to Netflix on Wednesday, December 22, to bring some early festive fun onto our screens.

The new episodes see Emily venturing off to new places in France, while deciding what to do about Gabriel and his girlfriend/her friend Camille.

Darren Starr, the show’s creator (and of Sex and the City), told TVLine: “What happens in the next chapter, I think, can be a real exploration of how does the relationship, between these three characters, evolve….

“To me, a big part of the show is looking at everything through a different lens. Season 2 will open up some interesting and surprising relationship avenues.”

Mrs Brown’s Boys







Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas 2021 special is back with two episodes to celebrate Christmas and New Year
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BBC / Alan Peebles)

The Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas 2021 special is back as a big part of the BBC’s Christmas TV line-up, with news that there will be two episodes to celebrate Christmas and New Year.

“Agnes has been recruited to the church choir, but she’s under strict instructions from Father McBride that there’s to be no singing and certainly no dancing,” says the plot from the Christmas Day special.

“Meanwhile, Dermot and Buster have organised this year’s festivities at Foley’s and are holding a murder mystery night in aid of alcoholic greyhounds. What could possibly go wrong?”

Thee New Year’s Day plot reads: “Winnie, inspired by Cathy’s book, is on a daredevil mission to change the trajectory of her life, while Mrs Brown’s boys are forced to have a heart to heart.”

The first special will air on Christmas Day at 10:20pm and the other on New Year’s Day at 10pm on BBC1.

Doctor Who: Eve of the Daleks







The Doctor Who special will see the return of Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor (pictured) and special guests including Aisling Bea, Adjani Salmon and, Father Ted star, Pauline McLynn
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BBC / Ben Blackall)

The BBC One sci-fi series is back with a special following on from the conclusion of Doctor Who: Flux.

The highly-anticipated episode will see the return of Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and special guests including Aisling Bea, Adjani Salmon and, Father Ted star, Pauline McLynn.

In the special, The Doctor and her friends appear to be stuck in a time loop that the Time Lord will have to work very hard to get out of.

The episode, is the first of Jodie Whittaker’s final three instalments as the Thirteenth Doctor. Her farewell will air next Autumn.

Doctor Who: Eve of the Daleks will air on New Year’s Day at 7pm BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

The Great Christmas Bake Off







Great British Bake off, Christmas Special 2021 will star the cast of It’s a Sin (pictured) alongside judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood
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Channel 4)

The nation’s favourite cooking show returns for a Christmas special.

Four cast-members from hit drama It’s a Sin step into the heat of the kitchen to compete for the title of Great British Christmas Baker on Channel 4.

Judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith are back to do the tasting, while Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding appear just at the moment when a baker’s creation looks like it is about to collapse.

Airs on Channel 4, December 25, 8pm

Tom Daley’s Alternative Christmas Message







Olympic diver Tom Daley will deliver the 2021 Channel 4 alternative Christmas message in which he’ll discuss mental health and address homophobia in sport
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Image:

PA)

Olympic champ Tom Daley is broadcasting this year’s Alternative Christmas Message. The sports star follows in the footsteps of the likes of Danny Dyer, Sacha Baron Cohen as alter ego Ali G, and Marge Simpson by delivering Channel 4′s message.

On Tuesday, the diver was announced as the star of the annual broadcast, which started in 1993 as an alternative to the Queen’s traditional Christmas address.

In a photo taken during the taping of his pre-recorded festive message, Tom, who showcased his love of knitting at the Tokyo Games earlier this year, is pictured with his wool and needles. Another image appeared to show how he has knitted a festive jumper.

He says in the address: “While I’m not the Queen, I’ve got some words I’d like to share on Christmas Day.”

The 27-year-old will discuss the pride he has felt representing his country, applaud athletes who have spoken openly about their mental health this year and address homophobia in sport, particularly football.

Tom Daley’s Alternative Christmas Message airs on Channel 4 at 5pm on Christmas Day.x



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