whats on

Christmas Day TV Guide 2016 - what's on when

Plan your viewing over the festive period with our helpful guide

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without your old favourites on the TV, a couple of good films and a one-off special of your favourite series.

In order for you to make the most of your time off and catch up with what you love on the box, we have put together some of the highlights of the small screen over the festive period.

If the family are round and getting in the way of the box, make sure to set the planner so that you don't miss anything.

What's On

Staples like Strictly Come Dancing and Mrs Brown's Boys will be returning and people's favourite dramas such as Call the Midwife and Maigret will also be showing.

So, while you settle down with a post-prandial tumbler of Baileys, here is what you can find on the TV:

Christmas Eve

We're Going on a Bear Hunt, Channel 4 7:30pm

We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. Channel 4

Wiggle into your wellies, wrap up warm and step into the snow for a wonderful animated adventure. Based on the bestselling children's book, written by Michael Rosen, We're Going on a Bear Hunt follows the adventures of siblings Stan, Katie, Rosie, Max, the baby and Rufus the dog, who decide one day to set off on an expedition in search of bears. Coming up against a host of obstacles, the family ventures through a whirling snowstorm, thick oozy mud and a big dark forest on their journey.

Granchester, ITV 9pm

Grantchester(Image: ITV)

It's the week before Christmas 1954, and the forecast is snow in the beautiful Cambridge village of Grantchester. For vicar Sidney Chambers (James Norton), this is the busiest time of the year and he is rushed off his feet with festive duties. Which is useful, as it means he doesn't have time to think about Amanda (Morven Christie) - estranged from her husband and heavily pregnant - who is living nearby with her Aunt CeCe (Anna Chancellor). Sidney loves her but there is no way he can be with her.

Michael McIntyre's Big Christmas Show, BBC One 7.25pm

There is a merry performance from Michael Ball and Alfie Boe and Aled Jones is joined by a very special guest as he plays Celebrity Send To All. Unexpected Star reaches epic proportions when Michael surprises an entire choir. There are lots of yuletide games and celebrity guest appearances from Catherine Tate, Harry Enfield and more.

Christmas Day

Frozen, BBC One, 3.10pm

Snow Queen Elsa

Disney's phenomenon will be on after the Queen's Speechin the afternoon. The movie loved by children and adults follows the adventures of Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf the snowman. If you can't get enough of the songs you can push the red button on your remote control and watch the sing-along version for a family sing-song.

The Great British Bake Off, BBC One 4:45pm

The first episode of the two part Christmas special will air at 4:45pm and the second will be on Boxing Day at 7pm.

See judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood on screen together for one last time before Britain's favourite cooking competition moves over to Channel 4 in the new year.

This is part one of two with the second part of the one-off showing on Boxing Day at 7pm.

Doctor Who, BBC One 5.45pm

This Christmas sees The Doctor join forces with a masked Superhero for an epic New York adventure.

With brain-swapping aliens poised to attack, the Doctor and Nardole link up with an investigative reporter and a mysterious figure known only as The Ghost. Can the Doctor save Manhattan? And what will be revealed when we see behind the mask?

Funny man Matt Lucas will be reprising his role as Nardole to save New York from a deadly alien threat.

Maigret's Dead Man, ITV 9pm

Rowan Atkinson will return as the French detective in a two-hour special from 9pm. It will replace the usual slot Downton Abbey used to have on Christmas Day. The character is based on books written by author George Simpson and the detective went on to feature in a whopping 27 novels and 28 short stories.

Gogglebox 2016, Channel 4 9pm

A festive special revisiting some of the funniest moments from the most recent series of Gogglebox, including shows like Planet Earth II, Strictly Come Dancing, Poldark, Victoria and the US election news. The nation's favourite households - including loveable Leon and June, hairdressers Christopher and Stephen, and the Michaels family - offer sharp, insightful, passionate and sometimes emotional critiques of the week's popular and topical TV shows.

Boxing Day

Big Fat Quiz of the Year, Channel 4 9pm

2016 might have been one of the craziest news years in memory, but don't panic - The Big Fat Quiz of the Year is back to help you make sense of it! Quizmaster Jimmy Carr tests a panel of A-list comics in weird and wonderful ways to see how closely they were paying attention for the last 12 months. Answering the questions are Richard Ayoade, Rob Delaney, Mel Giedroyc, Sarah Millican, David Mitchell and Romesh Ranganathan. Plus Jon Snow, Charles Dance.

The Witness For The Prosecution, BBC One 9pm

1920s London, a murder has stained the plush carpets of a townhouse and the victim is the beautiful widow Emily French.

All evidence points to Leonard, a dashing young man who seduced the older woman into leaving him her vast fortune before killing her. At least this is the story that Emily’s housekeeper stands by in court.

Mayhew, a penniless solicitor, is put in charge of Leonard’s case. Initially treating the suspect with indifference, Mayhew is gradually moved by the young man’s case. Leonard is certain that his innocence can be proved by his wife, Romaine. The case rests on her alibi.

Sex And The City actress Kim Cattrall plays Emily French the rich and glamours heiress who is discovered murdered.

Captain Phillips, ITV 9pm

Hollywood blockbuster starring Tom Hanks. In 2009 a US container ship is travelling from Oman to Mombasa in Africa when it comes under the attack of Somali pirates. Richard Phillips is unable to shield his ship from the attackers but he is determined to protect his crew members. The film was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars in 2013.

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