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Christmas 2022 TV guide: The must-see shows day by day

Christmas TV highlights for 2022 (BBC/ITV/Channel 4)
Christmas TV highlights for 2022 (BBC/ITV/Channel 4)

You'll never be stuck for something to watch this Christmas, with broadcasters pulling out all the stops to bring you unmissable telly across the festive season.

From big name Christmas specials to comedy, entertainment, soaps and kids TV, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Read more: The best TV to stream this Christmas

The best Christmas TV, 23 December 2022 - 2 January 2023

Friday, 23 December

Motherland: Last Christmas (BBC)
Motherland: Last Christmas (BBC)

All Creatures Great and Small Christmas Special - Channel 5, 9pm

Channel 5 takes a festive rural visit for this TV favourite adaptation of James Herriot's stories.

Motherland: Last Christmas - BBC One, 9.30pm

The hit sitcom is back for a Christmas special where Julia is playing host to just about everyone, while Amanda puts a brave face on celebrating with the ex and his new partner.

A Ghost Story for Christmas: Count Magnus - BBC Two, 10pm

If you like your Christmas creepy, you'll love this M.R. James short story from Mark Gatiss, starring Jason Watkins and MyAnna Buring in a tale about a long-dead Swedish nobleman who cannot rest.

The Last Leg Christmas Bash - Channel 4, 10pm

Catch up with Adam Hills and co for the funniest Christmas party on TV, full of celebrity special guests.

Christmas Eve

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse comes to BBC One this Christmas. (BBC)
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse (BBC)

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse - BBC One, 4.55pm

Charlie Mackesy's beloved illustrated book gets a TV adaptation of the story about a boy's unlikely friendship with a group of animals who help him in his quest to get home.

Carols from King's - BBC Two, 6.15pm

The traditional Christmas Eve broadcast returns, including festive favourites to bring the soundtrack to your last-minute prep.

Royal Carols: Together at Christmas - ITV, 7pm

If you can't get enough of carols, join Kate and Prince William for a royal sing-a-long of classic Christmas music.

Read more: The best movies on TV over Christmas

Britain Get Singing - ITV, 8.05pm

Choirs made up of stars from Love Island, The Chase, Loose Women, Emmerdale and Coronation Street take part in a festive contest judged by will.i.am, Alesha Dixon, Adam Lambert and Jason Manford.

The Great Christmas Bake Off - Channel 4, 8.25pm

A celebrity special of the hit baking contest features former Channel 4 stars Gaby Roslin, Sir Tony Robison, Miquita Oliver, Terry Christian and Claire Sweeney battling it out to become star baker.

Christmas Day

Doc Martin (ITV)
Doc Martin (ITV)

The Smeds and The Smoos - BBC One, 2.30pm

It wouldn't be Christmas without a Julia Donaldson adaptation, and this one about a love story between two rival families features the voices of Bill Bailey, Adjoa Andoh, Rob Brydon and Sally Hawkins.

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special - BBC One, 5.10pm

Celebrities take to the dancefloor for a one-off Christmas episode that has become a staple of Christmas Day - but who will be crowned the champion?

Soaps - BBC, ITV

All soap fans know that some of the best drama and laughs of the year come from the Christmas Day soaps - make sure you don't miss EastEnders, Emmerdale and Coronation Street.

Call The Midwife - BBC One, 7.55pm

Call The Midwife is always a festive favourite. (BBC)
Call The Midwife (BBC)

There's something especially festive about Call The Midwife's Christmas special, and this year's snow-covered episode will feature a talent show and a fresh start for the midwives.

Read more: The best Christmas TV specials to stream in 2022

Doc Martin Christmas Special - ITV, 9.05pm

Earlier in the year Doc Martin reached the end of its final season - but this time, it really is the actual end as the festive special gives us one last appointment with the Doctor.

Mrs Brown's Boys - BBC One, 10.25pm

Although Mrs Brown's Boys hasn't aired a full series since 2013, it never misses a double special for Christmas and New Year. In the first episode, Cathy introduces a creepy new boyfriend and Agnes gets stuck looking after his terrifying twins.

Boxing Day

The Greatest Snowman (Channel 4)
The Greatest Snowman (Channel 4)

The Greatest Snowman - Channel 4, 7.30pm

Sue Perkins is back to host another episode of this celebrity snowman building competition, with former contestant Laurence Llewellyn Bowen on hand to offer styling tips.

Death In Paradise Christmas Special - BBC One, 8pm

Get some winter sun on Boxing Day as Ralf Little returns to the Caribbean for a festive episode of his detective drama.

The Voice Kids - ITV, 8.30pm

Little kids with big voices battle it out to be the singing series champion over three nights, with episodes continuing on Tuesday and in the final on Wednesday.

The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2022 - Channel 4, 9pm

Jimmy Carr hosts the annual quiz with teams of celebrity contestants including Stephen Merchant, Katherine Ryan, Richard Ayoade, Maisie Adam, Jonathan Ross and Rose Matafeo.

Detectorists - BBC Two, 9pm

The sitcom returns for a feature length special. The Danebury Metal Detecting Club is under threat from developers, but could an unearthed relic be the answer to their problems, or will it make things worse?

Tuesday, 27 December

Frankie Boyle's New World Order (BBC)
Frankie Boyle's New World Order (BBC)

Frankie Boyle's 2022 New World Order - BBC Two, 10pm

The controversial comedian takes a sometimes offensive but always hilarious look back over the year with some famous guests.

Wednesday, 28 December

Mayflies (BBC)
Mayflies (BBC)

Mayflies - BBC One, 9pm

Martin Compston, Tony Curran and Ashley Jensen star in this adaptation of Andrew O'Hagan's novel. It's a tearjerking tale of old friends who get back in touch when one of them is diagnosed with terminal cancer, and continues on Thursday.

Thursday, 29 December

Prince Andrew: The Musical (Channel 4)
Prince Andrew: The Musical (Channel 4)

Farewell Doc Martin - ITV, 8.30pm

The beloved drama finally came to a close with its Christmas Day special, and now the cast and crew share some of their favourite memories with behind-the-scenes secrets.

Prince Andrew: The Musical - Channel 4, 9pm

It's a typically Channel 4 take on a thorny issue - a tongue-in-cheek musical about one of the most controversial members of the Royal Family.

Read more: The most searched for actors of 2022

Friday, 30 December

MasterChef (BBC)
MasterChef (BBC)

MasterChef Christmas Special - BBC One, 9pm

Famous faces who've previously graced the Celebrity MasterChef kitchen - with mixed results - return for another crack at the trophy.

New Year's Eve

The Last Leg (Channel 4)
The Last Leg (Channel 4)

The Last Leg of the Year - Channel 4, 9pm

Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker are joined by celebrity guests Rylan, Sue Perkins, Ellie Simmonds, Tom Davis, Desiree Burch, Baroness Warsi and Mike Wozniak in this two-hour New Year extravaganza.

The Graham Norton New Year's Eve Show - BBC One, 10.25pm

The chat show host rings in the New Year with guests including Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Hugh Laurie, Romesh Ranganthan, Leah Williamson, Callum Scott-Howells and Madeline Brewer.

Jonathan Ross' New Year Comedy Special - ITV, 10.35pm

Covering all the king of chat bases, Jonathan Ross will also be leading New Year broadcasting - this time, with a comedy special.

Jools' Annual Hootenanny - BBC Two, 11.30pm

Jools Holland returns with his annual New Year's Eve party, this year featuring George Ezra, Self Esteem and Cat Burns amongst many other performers.

New Year's Day

Mrs Brown's Boys will return at Christmas and New Year. (BBC)
Mrs Brown's Boys (BBC)

The Masked Singer - ITV, 6.30pm

Everyone's favourite singing contest returns with a new line-up of crazy costumes disguising mystery celebrity contestants.

The Great New Year Bake Off - Channel 4, 7.40pm

Pay another festive visit to the Bake Off tent, which this time welcomes back former contestants Chigs, Lottie, Manon and Antony.

Read more: The best celebrity feuds of 2022

Happy Valley - BBC One, 9pm

Happy Valley S3: Catherine Cawood (SARAH LANCASHIRE). (BBC/Lookout Point/AMC/Matt Squire)
Happy Valley (BBC)

Finally making a return after six years off air, Sally Wainwright's gritty police thriller starring Sarah Lancashire and James Norton returns for a third and final season.

Mrs Brown's Boys - BBC One, 10pm

The second of the sitcom's festive specials returns, where fans will get some answers about what is really going on with Cathy's creepy new boyfriend.

Monday, 2 January

Stonehouse (ITV)
Stonehouse (ITV)

Frozen Planet II: Worlds of Wonder - BBC One, 8pm

Sir David Attenborough's stunning nature documentary returns for a special episode that brings together highlights from the icy series.

Stonehouse - ITV, 9pm

Real-life husband and wife Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes star in this drama about the life of the famously disgraced minister.

Gogglebox Festive Special - Channel 4, 9pm

Rounding off the festive schedules are the Gogglebox team, who cast their eyes over the best and most memorable of 2022's Christmas TV.

Watch: First look at The Smeds and The Smoos