New Year’s Eve TV: Olly Alexander gets the party started

<span>Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock</span>
Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

The Years & Years singer, plus Kylie, Clara Amfo and others host a bonanza of specials. Plus, Olivia Colman in The Lost Daughter. Here’s what to watch this evening

The Big New Years & Years Eve Party

11.25pm, BBC One

It’s time to say “so long” (or “good riddance”) to 2021. Years & Years singer Olly Alexander, who helped a lot of us ease into this year with It’s a Sin, takes the hosting reins for an hour. Kylie Minogue and Pet Shop Boys help out with the music, and there is a pause for the countdown to midnight. Maybe – just maybe – we’re all about to step into a better year. Hollie Richardson

Top of the Pops New Year Special

4.15pm, BBC One

Clara Amfo and Jordan North co-host a special TOTP, with the sounds of Sam Fender, Lola Young and Mabel, plus clips from the past 12 months from artists including Billie Eilish and Arlo Parks. Ali Catterall

The Last Leg of the Year

9pm, Channel 4

Adam Hills, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe host a two-hour bonanza of their usual end-of-week show to take a look back at the highs and lows of what has been a year to forget, with guests including Joe Wilkinson, Ivo Graham, Nish Kumar and Vick Hope. House band Alex Horne and the Horne Section provide the live tunes. HR

Have I Got 2021 News for You

9.30pm, BBC One

A New Year’s Eve special in which Ian Hislop, Paul Merton and assorted guests see off the laugh riot that was 2021 in style. But where to begin? With revolting Trumpists? Vaccine sceptics? Racist football fans? Racist politicians? With the proviso that moaning about 2021 will be like shooting fish in a barrel, this should be entertaining. Phil Harrison

The Graham Norton New Year’s Eve Show

10.20pm, BBC One

Chatshow host Norton never fails to impress with his guestlist on NYE. Claire Foy, Peter Dinklage, Michael Sheen, Cush Jumbo, Joe Lycett and Jessica Chastain (phew!) provide the anecdotes. The Divine Comedy provide some live music, while the Big Red Chair goes global. HR

Jools’ Annual Hootenanny

11.25pm, BBC Two

It’s Jools and his annual shindig, which might be the closest many of us get to a party this year. Ed Sheeran performs, while Lulu indulges in a few of her greatest hits. One of 2021’s breakout stars, Joy Crookes, also stops by. Henry Wong

Film choices

The Lost Daughter (Maggie Gyllenhaal, 2021), Netflix

Maggie Gyllenhaal’s adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novel is a stark exploration of motherhood – its pleasures and burdens, plus the general expectation that every woman should have parental feelings. All this comes out through the story of Leda (the peerless Olivia Colman) who is on holiday alone at a Greek seaside village. The appearance of Dakota Johnson’s unhappy young mum forces memories of Leda’s choices into the present (Jessie Buckley plays Leda in flashbacks) and reawakens her pain. Simon Wardell

Coco (Lee Unkrich, 2017) 2.40pm, BBC One
Mexico’s annual Day of the Dead celebrations provide fruitful subject matter for Pixar’s blend of joy and nous in this entertaining 2017 animated fantasy. Aspiring young musician Miguel is trying to find out more about his supposed great-great-grandfather (father to his beloved relative Coco) but after a magical trick he finds himself in the world of the dead. It’s a race against time to find his ancestor before he is trapped there for ever. For a story about living with death, Lee Unkrich’s film is a remarkably cheery experience, with a soundtrack of fantastic Latin tunes. SW

When Harry Met Sally (Rob Reiner, 1989), 10.40pm, BBC Four
Tonight’s scheduling of Rob Reiner’s 1989 romcom is no accident – its climactic scene (no spoilers) should occur around the time real-world folk are singing in the new year. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan do full justice to Nora Ephron’s scintillating script, as two New Yorkers in their 20s who fall in and out of friendship over several years, despite being clearly meant for each other. Bruno Kirby and Carrie Fisher as their respective best mates offer their views on love, as do a series of fictional talking-head couples recalling how they met. SW