Christmas TV 2017: What's on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day and beyond

Looking forward to bingeing on Christmas drama, soap and showbiz specials? Take a look at what the TV schedules have to offer over the holidays.

Whatever you’re hoping Santa will bring you this Christmas, we can all agree that TV treats are near the top of our lists.

Most of our Christmases will involve settling down around the telly at some point and getting stuck into our favourite festive shows.

[Read more: Christmas on Netflix - the best shows and films]

So whether you’re into soaps, drama or one-off Christmas shows, take a look at the highlights coming up this festive period.

BBC - All the BBC Christmas highlights

Strictly Come Dancing

The sparkle of Strictly is back for Christmas and will welcome six former contestants back to the dancefloor.

[Read more: Strictly Christmas special heads to Buckingham Palace]

Kimberley Walsh, Colin Jackson, Katie Derham, Jeremy Vine, Judy Murray and Robbie Savage will all by competing to win the Silver Star trophy in the special episode that we’ll see on Christmas Day as usual.

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special - Christmas Day, 6.30pm, BBC One

Doctor Who

One of the most hotly anticipated shows each Christmas is the Doctor Who special, which this year will include Peter Capaldi’s Doctor regenerating, David Bradley appearing as the first Doctor, and companion Bill (Pearl Mackie) will be back.

[Read more: Everything we know about Doctor Who Christmas special]

Doctor Who - Christmas Day, 5.30pm, BBC One


The festive visit to Albert Square usually involves a fair amount of doom and gloom, but it wouldn’t be Christmas without a few rows and heartbreaks in Walford.

We traditionally tune in to the BBC One soap on Christmas Day, so we’re expecting a big festive storyline for everyone to enjoy that evening.

EastEnders - Christmas Eve 8pm, Christmas Day 9pm, Boxing Day 7.30pm, BBC One

Call the Midwife

Viewer favourite Call the Midwife had an unseasonably hot episode last year when the gang jetted off to a clinic in South Africa to lend a hand.

[Read more: Everything we know about Call the Midwife Christmas special]

This year’s instalment will be much more Christmassy as it’s set during the big freeze of 1963, which means plenty of snowy London scenes.

Call the Midwife - Christmas Day, 7.40pm, BBC One

The Highway Rat

Even the smallest viewers are catered for at Christmas with an adaptation of the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler story.

David Tennant, Rob Brydon and Frances de la Tour are among the actors voicing parts in the tale about a bullying rat and the duck who stands up to him.

The Highway Rat - Christmas Day, 4.45pm, BBC One

Grandpa’s Great Escape

Kids can’t get enough of David Walliams’ stories and the TV adaptations of them have become a much-loved Christmas tradition.

[Read more: All-star cast for David Walliams Christmas adaptation]

This year, we’ll see the comedian’s tale about a boy helping his grandpa, who has Alzheimer’s disease, break out of his terrible nursing home brought to life.

Grandpa's Great Escape - New Year's Day, 6.55pm, BBC One

Nile Rodgers Rocks Big Ben

New Year’s Eve will include BBC One’s now traditional live music before and after the River Thames fireworks show, making staying in a much more tempting option than going out to ring in 2018.

This year, Nile Rodgers and his band Chic will be following in the footsteps of Gary Barlow, Queen with Adam Lambert, Bryan Adams and Robbie Williams in providing the soundtrack to our evening.

Nile Rodgers Rocks Big Ben - New Year's Eve, BBC One

ITV - All the Christmas highlights on ITV


The hit period drama is perfect for a Christmas episode – after all, many of our current festive traditions were popularised by Victoria and Albert themselves.

[Read more: Will Victoria's Christmas end in tragedy?]

A sneak preview showed snowy scenes and sledging for the Royals, but there’s a hint it may also include tragedy as we saw Victoria cradling Albert in the snow and crying.

Victoria - Christmas Day, 9pm, ITV

All Star Musicals

In an all-new twist on the celebrity talent contest genre, stage star Michael Crawford will guide seven celebrities through performing a number from a hit West End show to a packed house at the London Palladium.

Sir Tony Robinson, Denise Lewis, Nicky Campbell, Sally Phillips, Lucy Fallon, Michael Parr and Rebecca Front will all be taking on the challenge of becoming a musical star for an evening.

All Star Musicals - Christmas Eve, 6.40pm, ITV

Birds of a Feather

Since its resurrection in 2014, the antics of the Birds of a Feather cast have been a popular choice with fans for a Christmas special.

Sharon, Tracey and Dorien will all be back for a hilarious new adventure this Christmas season that’s sure to bring some good cheer to your evening.

Birds of a Feather - December 18, 9pm, ITV

Coronation Street

One of the highlights of the year for Corrie’s cast and fans is the Christmas special, when all of the biggest storylines of the previous months come together for an unmissable instalment from Weatherfield.

Will it be tears or laughter on the cobbles this year? As ever, storyline details are being kept tightly under wraps, but we’re willing to guess it’s a bit of both.

Coronation Street - Christmas Day 8pm, Boxing Day 9pm, ITV


Completing the round-up of the big three soaps is the Christmas episode of drama-filled Emmerdale.

[Read more: Emmerdale's RobRon Christmas special]

This year we'll be treated to a special Christmas Day episode featuring Robert Sugden and Aaron Dingle - could the pair find their happy ever after in the New Year?

Emmerdale - Christmas Day 5.50pm, Boxing Day 6.10pm, ITV

Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs

There’s nothing that warms your heart quite like a visit to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home with canine enthusiast Paul O’Grady.

We’re pleased to say he’ll be back again with more tales from the kennels, festive treats for its residents, and emotional stories about animals looking for new homes.

Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs - Christmas Day, 7pm, ITV

Channel 4 - All the Channel 4 Christmas highlights

The Great Christmas Bake Off

Settling into its new home at Channel 4, the next step for the new-look Bake Off is a Christmas celebration.

We have two special episodes to look forward to, with each one welcoming back four former contestants to the tent to compete in a series of seasonal challenges and be crowned Star Baker.

The Great Christmas Bake Off - Christmas Day, 7.45pm, Channel 4

[Read more: Paul Hollywood hits out at Mary Berry and Mel and Sue]

Alan Carr specials

Our favourite funnyman will be back on the box with his annual special episodes – first up is the Chatty Man Christmas special, where he’ll welcome a host of exciting guests to share in the Christmas cheer.

Then, he’ll ramp up the excitement for New Year with his NYE Spectacular, a mix of hilarious sketches, high-profile guests, music performances and audience games.

Alan Carr: Christmas Chatty Man - Christmas Day, 10pm, Channel 4

Jamie’s Italian Christmas

If the thought of cooking the Christmas dinner is filling you with dread, you need to watch Jamie’s Italian Christmas for some pointers from chefs Jamie Oliver and Gennaro Contaldo.

Fancy an Italian twist on the turkey and trimmings, a spectacular porchetta, or a chocolate orange tiramisu? Tune in to brush up your culinary skills.

Jamie's Italian Christmas - December 19, 8pm, Channel 4

Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas 2017

Now Jamie has sorted the menu, you can look to Kirstie Allsopp for help in decking the halls at home.

The home crafts guru will guide us through everything from present-making to fashioning a Christmas tree topper, and mixing up gin infusions to wrapping the perfect gift.

Kirstie's Handmade Christmas 2017 - December 11 - 20 weekdays, 5pm, Channel 4

Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2017

Test your knowledge of the year’s goings on with the annual New Year quiz led by comedian Jimmy Carr and his band of question-setters.

You can play along at home as the teams of celebrities do battle to see who is the most clued up on events from the previous 12 months.

Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2017 - Boxing Day, 9pm, Channel 4

BT TV - All the highlights on the extra channels

Christmas Gold

Christmas Gold

Re-runs of Christmas TV classics are as much a part of the festive season as sprouts, turkey and mine pies. Because let's be honest, they don't make them like this anymore...

Gold transforms into Christmas Gold for the month of December and the very finest British sitcoms and comedy specials are all getting an outing for the holidays.

December kicks off with festive specials from Mrs Brown’s Boys and Boomers, before the channels digs into the archives for a run of the biggest and best Christmas TV from decades gone by.

Gavin & Stacey, The Royle Family, Men Behaving Badly, The Two Ronnies, The Vicar of Dibley and the biggest of them all - Only Fools and Horses – will all be showing across the holidays.

Watch Gold on BT TV channel 310 >

A Very Kardashian Holiday on E!


Glam up your festive season with the world’s most famous reality TV family. Turn Christmas into a Kristmas with A Very Kardashian Holiday on E!

The family are preparing for a holiday season bigger and better than ever before. Kim is adamant that none of her family members copy her Christmas decorations this year, so she goes to great lengths to ensure her décor is original.

Meanwhile, Kris and Jonathan go toy shopping in disguise, Khloe and Kris have a bake-off, and the family help feed the homeless.

Watch A Very Kardashian Holiday on E! on Sunday, December 3 - BT Channel 321/386.

Catch up on the BT Player >

Ditch the turkey for Christmas Food

Christmas Food

Good Food gets a winter-makeover again for the month of December, transforming into Christmas Food to offer 31 days of seasonally-themed delicious recipes, tips and hints.

With festive specials from Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, James Martin, Rick Stein and Delia Smith, there's no reason for you to be stuck with grey old turkey sandwiches or stumped for dinner party ideas this December

Watch Good Food on BT TV channel 313.

Christmas every day on Christmas 24

Christmas 24

The only channel you’ll need this December, Christmas 24 is showing Christmas movies all day, every day on BT TV channel 513.

Check out our list of the best films to watch on Christmas 24 here >

Smashie's Xmastastic Playlist


The UK's most fantabulous DJ and one half of everyone's favourite fab radio duo, Mike Smash (Paul Whitehouse), takes time out from his charity work and returns to TV screens this Christmas with his ding-dong-merrily-on-high-iest festive favourite tunes.

Simulcast between Gold and Smash's new broadcasting home Radio Hush, this two-part special features the nation's best-loved Christmas classics, alongside some lesser-known oddities from Smashie's sonic stocking - and all will be introduced by the former Radio Fab FM DJ in his own unique style.

Christmas specials for the kids

Tangled on Disney Channel

BT TV Kids customers are going to have lots to look forward to this December with Stars of Christmas Past, Present and Future offering hours of entertainment for your little ones.

From blockbuster new Disney specials like Big Hero 6 and Tangles to classics like Rugrats and Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse, there is something for all ages.

Along with festive specials of smash hits such as Peppa Pig, Teen Titans Go! and The Amazing World of Gumball, there won’t be any problems keeping the littles one entertained over the holidays.

Got BT TV? Add BT TV Kids >

Lifetime's Sunday night Christmas movies

Lifetime Christmas Movies

Take a break from shopping, wrapping presents, building snow men, Christmas parties and eating your weight in mince pies.

Head inside and recharge your Christmas spirit with a festive movie. You'll be ready to take on Christmas again in no time!

Four Christmasses and a Wedding, Wrapped Up in Christmas, Christmas in Mississippi and A Very Merry Toy Store are all perfect Sunday night films for a cosy night on the sofa.

Watch Lifetime on BT TV channel 329.

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