Gavin & Stacey, Doctor Who, Dracula: your ultimate guide to Christmas TV

Ellen E Jones, Jack Seale, Graeme Virtue and Phil Harrison . Film by Paul Howlett


I’ll Get This Christmas Special
The stilted but fun-ish show where celebs play games over dinner, and the loser pays the bill, ups the ante with a boozy special. Gregg Wallace and Les Dennis are among the combatants.
Thursday 19 December, 10pm, BBC Two

In the Long Run Christmas Special
The seasonal episode of Idris Elba’s hearty 80s-set sitcom is suitably chaotic, with extended family arriving for a party and everyone trying to make a few extra notes for Christmas.
Friday 20 December, 10pm, Sky One

The Christmas Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan
A festive travelogue shot in the Sahara may seem strange, until you recall how much Romesh hates the cold. He really hates it. But will the heat make him grumpier still?
Sunday 22 December, 9pm, BBC Two

John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch
The droll US comedian promises to hark back to a previous era of variety shows in this “surprisingly profound” special. He also happily risks being outshone by his talented kid co-stars.
From Christmas Eve, Netflix

Cinderella: After Ever After
A family-friendly Christmas special for those who don’t like fairytale endings. Cinderella (Sian Gibson) thought Prince Charming (David Walliams) was her “happily ever after”. Now she’s not so sure.
Christmas Eve, 8pm, Sky One

Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special
There is plenty occurring in Wales and Essex this Christmas, including elaborate karaoke by Smithy (James Corden), a kitchen disaster for Bryn (Rob Brydon) and a screaming match for the Sutcliffes (Julia Davis and Robert Wilfort).
Christmas Day, 8.30pm, BBC One

The Two Ronnies: The Unseen Sketches
In 1986, Ronnies Corbett and Barker, who were huge in Australia, made a series there. With some scenes shot specially for that country’s Channel Nine network, this has never been shown here – until now.
Christmas Day, 9.30pm, Channel 5

Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special
Mrs Brown’s Boys pays tribute to the classic It’s a Wonderful Life, as Agnes gets fed up with her Finglas family Christmas. Would it be better if she had never been born?
Christmas Day, 10.30pm, BBC One

Frankie Boyle’s 2019 New World Order
Consistently one of the BBC’s most thoughtful political programmes, never mind comedies, Boyle’s mix of woke debate and acid zingers won’t be short of fuel in the aftermath of the election.
Monday 30 December, 10pm, BBC Two

Dame Edna Rules the Waves
She lives! Emily Atack, Sharon Osbourne and Rob Rinder act as willing stooges as Barry Humphries wheels out the original and best “being rude while dressed as an old lady” comedy character, one more time.
New Year’s Eve, 9.05pm, BBC One

Miranda: My Such Fun Celebration
It has been a decade since this Fleabag-for-boomers first stumbled on to our screens. To mark the occasion, Miranda and pals are hosting a fun-filled reunion party at the London Palladium.
New Year’s Day, 5.45pm, BBC One

A Year in the Life of a Year 2019
Rhys Thomas’s stupidly edited roundup is reliably a hidden comedy gem of the holiday season: his spew of mash-ups and re-dubs always has at least five creasingly funny moments.
New Year’s Day, 11pm, BBC Two


A Christmas Carol
Peaky Blinders writer Steven Knight gives Dickens’s parable a pitch-dark psychological backstory and lashings of starkly unfestive language, in a confrontational three-part rendering. Guy Pearce is Ebenezer Scrooge, a chillingly recognisable picture of a soul ingrained with meanness and cruelty. Andy Serkis is one of the admonishing spirits, with Stephen Graham as the avenging ghost of Marley. Viewers expecting a cosy Yuletide story could be in for a shock.
Sunday 22 December, 9pm, BBC One

Susan Hill’s Ghost Story
Shetland star Douglas Henshall leads this feature-length contemporary chiller adapted from Hill’s unnerving bestseller The Small Hand. He might wish he’d stayed up north: his antique-books dealer Adam Snow experiences a pint-sized haunting that unlocks vexing memories.
Boxing Day, 9pm, Channel 5

The Witcher
Henry Cavill is granite of face and surprisingly dry of wit in a decent fantasy romp full of bloody fights and big fur capes. Cavill’s mercenary monster-hunter is destined to protect an exiled princess.
From Friday 20 December, Netflix

His Dark Materials
The TV version of Philip Pullman’s books has struck a decent balance between chilly dread and childish heroics. In the finale, Lyra (the excellent Dafne Keen) has to face the theocratic Magisterium.
Sunday 22 December, 8pm, BBC One

The Tiger Who Came to Tea
These animated adaptations of children’s classics are a welcome addition to C4’s telly traditions. Next up, it’s Judith Kerr’s beloved 1968 book, featuring the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch and David Oyelowo.
Christmas Eve, 7.30pm, Channel 4

Martin’s Close
Mark Gatiss dramatises the MR James ghost story, casting Peter Capaldi as the defendant in a murder trial in 1684. An old creep stands accused of killing an innocent girl, but she’s not completely gone …
Christmas Eve, 10pm, BBC Four

The Snail and the Whale
Kids’ author Julia Donaldson has a back catalogue as bountiful as Santa’s sack. The latest animated adaptation is a travellers’ tale featuring the voices of Rob Brydon and Diana Rigg.
Christmas Day, 2.30pm, BBC One

Call the Midwife
Mother Mildred (Miriam Margolyes) feels God is calling her to the Outer Hebrides, so the midwives set up an antenatal clinic in a converted church and receive a suitably frosty reception from the locals.
Christmas Day, 7pm, BBC One

Worzel Gummidge
A new generation gets to be given lifelong nightmares by the kindly scarecrow, as revived by Mackenzie Crook. He’s upped the eco-messages and the scary face tendrils.
Boxing Day, 6.20pm, BBC One

The Beeb’s winter Scandi import is an international sleuther, with Carrie-Anne Moss as an FBI agent chasing a US killer to Norway. Sven Nordin (Valkyrien) is Wisting, the local maverick detective.
Saturday 28 December, 9pm, BBC Four

The Trial of Christine Keeler
Sophie Cookson leads a dramatisation of the Profumo scandal, as the woman the 1960s establishment wrongly thought they could control. Ben Miles is John Profumo, Emilia Fox plays his wife Valerie, and James Norton is sociable osteopath Stephen Ward in a still highly relevant story about a certain class of people who believe society’s rules do not apply to them. Amanda Coe, who wrote the Bafta-winning Room at the Top, scripts it across six instalments.
Sunday 29 December, 9pm, BBC One

Doctor Who
There is no Christmas Day special in 2019, but the first day of 2020 brings back Jodie Whittaker and the gang. Stephen Fry and Lenny Henry are the impressive guest stars in the opening adventure.
New Year’s Day, 6.55pm, BBC One

Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the co-creators of Sherlock, are sinking their teeth into another Victorian classic. Danish actor Claes Bang might just be a perfectly cast Count.
New Year’s Day, 9pm, BBC One

Sarah Parish returns for a second three-part run as a beloved but compromised top cop, whose current professional success is predicated on a pact with a cunning gang lord (Ryan McKen). Might a local double-murder bring the whole thing crashing down?
New Year’s Day, 9pm, ITV

The trailer for this nominally twisty thriller posed a juicy question: might a charismatic leader popping up in global hotspots be the Second Coming? Within hours, IMDb detectives had figured out the answer before an episode had even aired. Probably not what Netflix had in mind.
New Year’s Day, Netflix

The Deuce
The third and final season of David “The Wire” Simon’s sex-trade epic picks up at the tail end of 1984, with straight-to-video booming and the Aids epidemic looming.
Thursday 2 January, 10pm, Sky Atlantic

Dolly Parton: Here I Am. Photograph: Dolly Parton


Christmas Quizzes
At the year’s end, there are brainteasers aplenty. Only Connect (from 30 Dec, 8pm, BBC Two) has four specials in which old champions triumphantly return, while Quizmaster (29 Dec, 6pm, ITV) pits winners of rival quizshows against each other. There are celeb versions of Mastermind (from 21 Dec, 6.05pm, BBC One) and University Challenge (from 23 Dec, 7.30pm, BBC Two), while Big Fat Quiz of the Year/Decade (Boxing Day & 2 Jan, 9pm, Channel 4) doesn’t mind what its famous people know, so long as they make Jimmy Carr whinny like a climaxing reindeer.

Sports Personality of the Year
To Aberdeen for the Beeb’s annual gongs, where five nominees battle to see who comes second to Ben Stokes in the main public vote. Before that: tears, back-claps and bants.
Sunday 15 December, 7pm, BBC One

The Apprentice
The finalists summon back old teammates for a last business pitch, and they will need all the help they can get. White beard aside, there’s nothing jolly about Lord Sugar. Wednesday 18 December, 9pm, BBC One

Robbie Williams: Radio 2 in Concert
To celebrate Robbie’s new stocking-targeted release – his first ever Christmas album, somehow – the cocksure national treasure takes to the BBC Radio Theatre stage to perform a selection box of festive hits, pop bangers, and to generally entertain, er, yule.
Saturday 21 December, 10.25pm, BBC Two

Celebrity Crystal Maze: Christmas Special
A seasonal tour of presenter Richard Ayoade’s jumbo escape room, where a grotto has sprouted in the Aztec Zone. Will a rather familiar-looking Santa assist Corrie’s Catherine Tyldesley and her starry squad of Gareth Malone, Shirley Ballas, Nish Kumar and Scarlett Moffatt?
Monday 23 December, 10pm, Channel 4

Gareth Malone’s Christmas Concert
If the traditional Carols From King’s on BBC2 at 5pm has got you in the mood, recent Crystal Maze escapee Malone has even more trillings of comfort and joy as he rocks up at Watford General Hospital to stage a concert inspired by staff, patients and their families.
Christmas Eve, 9pm, BBC Two

Cruising at Christmas With Jane McDonald
A previous seasonal special saw Jane haring down the Rhine, taking in some of the world’s grandest Christmas markets along the way. Where will she go carolling this year?
Christmas Eve, 9pm, Channel 5

Top of the Pops Christmas Special
Clara Amfo and Fearne Cotton team up to host a festive pop party for a live Elstree Studios audience. Artists rocking around the big Beeb Christmas tree this year include breakthrough 2019 singer-songwriters such as Freya Ridings, Dermot Kennedy and … erm … James Blunt. They will be joined by the likes of AJ Tracey, Lewis Capaldi and Mabel, who’s appearing for the third year running. But will any of them have bagged the coveted Christmas No 1?
Christmas Day, 11.35am, BBC One

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
Debbie McGee, Chizzy Akudolu, Gemma Atkinson, Joe Sugg, Mark Wright and Richard Arnold re-sequin themselves for a one-off return. Expect a fine dusting of generous 10s from the judges.
Christmas Day, 4.40pm, BBC One

The Great Christmas Bake Off/Festive Bake Off
The judges reconvene for two specials: one with contestants from 2017 and 2018, which should be good; the other with the cast of Derry Girls, which should be unmissable.
Christmas Day, 7.10pm; New Year’s Day, 7.40pm, Channel 4

Dolly Parton: Here I Am
The queen of country has a podcast and a Netflix series, but this documentary gets us close to the real Dolly. Turns out she was there in her lyrics all along.
Christmas Day, 8.30pm, BBC Two

Jamie and Jimmy’s Festive Feast
Is Taron Egerton a rocket man, or does he prefer baby spinach? All will be revealed as the actor joins food-mile-focused banter bros Oliver and Doherty at the end of Southend Pier to prepare apparently the first Christmas dinner he has ever cooked. Christmas Day, 8.30pm, Channel 4

First Dates at Christmas
The cheerful waiters and courting couples are decamping to a cosy country pub for this year’s Christmas special. May the mulled wine flow and the mistletoe work its magic!
Christmas Day, 9.30pm, Channel 4

Kylie’s Secret Night
Superfans arrive at a TV studio for what they believe will be an Alan Carr-hosted evening of entertainment. The secret? Kylie herself is also in attendance.
Christmas Day, 10.30pm, Channel 4

Paddington: The Man Behind the Bear
Straight after a screening of Paddington 2 (7.20pm, BBC One) comes this documentary that celebrates the duffle-coated icon of decency by telling the story of his creator, Michael Bond.
Boxing Day, 9pm, BBC Two

Richard Osman’s World Cup of the Decade
Osman’s odd sideline – refereeing votes on cultural ephemera – reaches a peak as he asks you, the tweeting public, to help choose the best film, TV, music, celebrity and innovation of the 2010s.
Friday 27 December, 9pm, Channel 4

The Decade the Music Died
We lost a heartbreaking number of singular artists in the 2010s, and while you could argue the likes of Chuck Berry, Leonard Cohen and Aretha Franklin had a good innings, it felt as if Bowie, Prince and Amy Winehouse were all gone too soon. This film salutes their lives and careers.
Friday 27 December, 9pm, Sky Arts

Gogglebox Festive Special
If you find yourself beginning 2020 with the nagging feeling that you somehow missed the most noteworthy Christmas TV, Gogglebox has got you covered. This regurgitative special will see the sofa-bound arbiters pass snappy and snippy judgments on all the stuffed yuletide schedules.
Friday 3 January, 9pm, Channel 4


New Year’s Eve TV
People stay home on NYE for many reasons (sobriety, young kids, JOMO); can TV cater to this disparate mob? It certainly tries. Musos can opt for either Jools’s Annual Hootenanny (11.15pm, BBC Two), which this year features Stormzy, La Roux and – still not giving us up – Rick Astley; or Craig David Rocks Big Ben Live (11.25pm, BBC One). Chat-hounds may prefer The Graham Norton Show (10.20pm, BBC One), which has Tom Hanks on the sofa, while those after a laugh can turn to The Last Leg of the Year (9pm, Channel 4).

A Berry Royal Christmas
Mary Berry joins the Duke Wills and Duchess Kate on a tour of their charities, culminating in a Berry-catered party to honour festive volunteers. Nadiya Hussain is invited, obviously.
Monday 16 December, 8.30pm, BBC One

A Merry Tudor Christmas With Lucy Worsley
Christmas Tudor-style meant a month of fasting and prayer before the serious revelry kicked off on 25 December. Hands-on historian Lucy Worsley is up for trying it all.
Friday 20 December, 9pm, BBC Two

Hugh Grant: A Life on Screen. Photograph: Debra Hurford Brown/BBC/Bafta

Hugh Grant: A Life on Screen
Perhaps you hadn’t noticed but Hugh Grant has staged a subtle comeback, now universally adored for his dazzling turns in Paddington 2 and A Very English Scandal. This celebration revisits his varied career with the likes of Richard Curtis, Sandra Bullock and the man himself.
Monday 23 December, 10pm, BBC Two

The Last Igloo
Experience a day in the life of a Greenland Inuit hunter in this “slow TV” documentary. It makes for poignant viewing, since climate change has condemned this ancient way of life to extinction.
Christmas Eve, 7pm, BBC Four

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures
A festive perennial as hardy as the conifer, the lecture series turns to the world of numbers, with mathematician Hannah Fry considering the sums that dictate life, helped by, among others, the maths guru behind Liverpool FC’s winning run. From
Boxing Day, 8pm, BBC Four

World’s Strongest Man
Now in several episodes stretched between Christmas and New Year, a grand tradition: lie belly-down on the sofa and see swollen fellas heave heavy objects around.
From Boxing Day, 8pm, Channel 5

Mystify: Michael Hutchence
While unlikely to achieve the viral fame of last Christmas’s daft Bros doc, this intimate portrait of the late INXS frontman features revealing interviews with friends, family and lovers (and Bono). It is followed by the concert film Live Baby Live, recorded at Wembley stadium in 1991.
Saturday 28 December, 9.20pm, BBC Two

The Repair Shop at Christmas
Goodness, this show is lovely enough without it being Christmas as well. Craftspeople restore broken items that have huge sentimental value for their owners.
Sunday 29 December, 7pm, BBC One

EEJ, JS and GV


Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
The enormous success of the original 2008 Abba-singalong came out of the Aegean blue, and now here we go again: this sequel is a five-star triumph. Cannily blending the young Donna’s 1970s Greek island adventures with the present-day wedding problems of daughter Sophie, it’s a sun-soaked delight.
Saturday 21 December, 10am, Sky Cinema Musicals

Scrooge: A Christmas Carol
This 1951 adaptation is the warmest and also chilliest version of the Dickens tale, with Alastair Sim a Scrooge incarnate; his miserly humbuggery is a gloomy delight. CM Pennington-Richards’s snowy, atmospheric photography is superb – and beware the ghostly visitation of Michael Hordern’s chain-clanking, shrieking Jacob Marley. A real gothic horror.
Saturday 21 December, 3.10pm, Channel 5

Mary Queen of Scots
A gorgeous-looking slice of historical drama from director Josie Rourke. Saoirse Ronan is young Mary Stuart, returning to Scotland in 1561 and posing a threat to her cousin, Margot Robbie’s Queen Elizabeth. The two are rivals, but also united as powerful women in a world of unscrupulous men.
Sunday 22 December, 11.15am, 8pm, Sky Cinema Premiere

Toy Story 2
This sequel surpasses even the great original: astronaut Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen) takes on the heroic rescue of Woody the cowboy (Tom Hanks) from an unscrupulous collector in an inspired blend of high excitement, matchless animation and touching relationships, with a screenplay making fun of Star Wars and Jurassic Park.
Monday 23 December, 1.25pm, BBC One

The fiery Princess Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) is a female Braveheart in Pixar’s medieval mock fairytale. In the Highlands, she is outraged to learn that her parents (Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson) want to marry her off; so away she stomps, in search of an alternative to the traditional fate of fairytale princesses.
Monday 23 December, 2.55pm, BBC One

Tamara Drewe
A touching adaptation of Posy Simmonds’s cartoon strip that spatchcocks middle-class country life. Gemma Arterton is Tamara, who returns to her native West Country village with an ambition to write a chicklit epic. There, she stirs the passions of ex Andy (Luke Evans), pop star Ben (Dominic Cooper) and slimy philanderer Nicholas (Roger Allam).
Christmas Eve, 1.15am, BBC Two

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Eek! The Lego town of Bricksburg, ominously renamed Apocalypseburg, has been invaded by smiley-but-menacing Duplo figures from outer space. Ever-so-nice hero Emmet (voiced by Chris Pratt) has to get macho to lead the resistance, in a sequel that’s full of self-referential jokes, soulful monologues and earwormy songs.
Christmas Eve, 11.45am, 8pm, Sky Cinema Premiere

Will Ferrell is full of festive cheer as the elf who learns he’s not really one of Santa’s little helpers – he’s 6ft tall and human, and has a very Scroogey dad (James Caan) in New York. There’s computer-animated trickery and warm support from the likes of Bob Newhart, Edward Asner and Zooey Deschanel – but it’s Ferrell who parcels out the fun.
Christmas Eve, 5.15pm, ITV

Mary Poppins Returns
The Banks children – Ben Whishaw’s Michael; Emily Mortimer’s Jane – are all grown up, but with Michael now a widowed father of three and in danger of losing the family home. Who should blow in one windy day but magic nanny Mary, now prettily played by Emily Blunt in Rob Marshall’s deft, enchanting sequel. It’s a big spoonful of pure joy.
Christmas Day, 7.30am, 8pm, 4.20am, Sky Cinema Premiere

Finding Dory
Another animated undersea search for a lost fish? This sequel is pretty much a rerun of Finding Nemo, but it is done with such vibrant beauty and soppy charm that it can easily be forgiven. Here, the amnesiac Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) sets out on a quest to find her family, while chums Nemo and Marlin in turn go looking for her.
Christmas Day, 3.10pm, BBC One

The Others
A distinctly chilly and unsettling horror story, this. Much of the credit goes to Nicole Kidman for her controlled performance as Grace, who lives a prison-like existence in a gothic Jersey mansion with her two children as they await the return of the father (Christopher Eccleston) from war.
Christmas Day, 7pm, AMC from BT

Jurassic World
Boasting an all-new cast of massive dinosaurs, this oversized upgrade rescued the franchise from extinction. The tourist crowds are flocking to the Jurassic World theme park – like lambs to the slaughter – when the genetically modified mega-raptor Indominus Rex starts running amok. Bryce Dallas Howard’s park manager and Chris Pratt’s dino-wrangler attempt to restore order in a fast, fun and thrilling carnivore caper.
Christmas Day, 8pm, ITV2

Avengers: Endgame. Photograph: Everett Collection Inc/Alamy Stock Photo

Avengers: Endgame
Five years on from the events of Infinity War, the grieving Avengers reassemble for another tilt at Josh Brolin’s all-powerful Thanos. Directors the Russo brothers juggle the whole pantheon of Marvel heroes, and stage a staggering final battle in an epic conclusion to the 22-film saga. Thrilling, poignant and fun – especially when Chris Hemsworth’s Thor is on.
Boxing Day, 10.45am, 8pm, Sky Cinema Premiere

Florence Foster Jenkins
In 1940s New York, Florence Foster Jenkins won a certain affectionate notoriety as “the worst goddamn singer in the world” – a socialite turned talentless diva who nevertheless attracted a faithful following. Meryl Streep is marvellous as Jenkins, and Hugh Grant matches her as devoted partner-cum-manager St Clair Bayfield, in Stephen Frears’s note-perfect, poignantly funny biopic.
Boxing Day, 11pm, BBC Two

This tip-top Bond pits Daniel Craig’s 007 against rogue agent Silva, played entertainingly by Javier Bardem. There are spectacular stunts in Macau and Shanghai, but this is a staunchly British affair, set largely in London before an unusually sombre showdown at Skyfall – the Highlands pile of Bond’s youth.
Boxing Day, 8.30pm, ITV

The Limehouse Golem
Peter Ackroyd’s Victorian novel gets a grisly, gripping screen treatment from director Juan Carlos Medina and screenwriter Jane Goldman. Bill Nighy plays detective John Kildare, who hunts a Ripper-like killer known as The Limehouse Golem, while trying to save murder suspect Lizzie (Olivia Cooke) from the gallows; a pleasingly grim, clever melodrama.
Friday 27 December, 9.30pm, BBC Two

Saving Mr Banks
The origins of the film legend that is Mary Poppins, served with a big spoonful of sugar by director John Lee Hancock. Emma Thompson is the wonderfully crotchety PL Travers, protective author of the book that Tom Hanks’s Walt Disney is desperate to bring to semi-animated cinematic life: it’s a supercali… (etc) double act.
Sunday 29 December, 3pm, BBC Two

Paul Feig’s raucous, sometimes tender, comedy stars co-writer Kristen Wiig as the put-upon Annie, who is losing best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) to marriage and to her horrible rich new bestie Helen (Rose Byrne). Can she win her back as maid of honour at the wedding? There is pathos and charm here, but mainly laughs (particularly from Rebel Wilson’s outrageous Brynn).
New Year’s Eve, 9pm, ITV2

Mission: Impossible – Fallout
It’s the sixth time around for Tom Cruise’s IMF agent Ethan Hunt, so heart-stopping motorbike and helicopter chases, crazy jumps from a tower block window/out of an airplane, and a brutal hand-to-hand battle in the gents could all seem a bit Mission: Everyday. Under the kinetic direction of Christopher McQuarrie, however, this is yet another breathlessly thrilling ride.
New Year’s Day, 9pm, Channel 4



No Country for Young Women
A festive edition of Sadia Azmat and Monty Onanuga’s podcast, which continues to explore – in cheerful and playful style – the issues facing young BAME women in a white man’s world.
Women Available now, BBC Sounds

Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review
The Irishman, Midsommar, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood or Bait? Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo bring their easy-going middlebrow chemistry to their analysis of the year in cinema.
Friday 20 December, 3pm, Radio 5 Live

The Official Chart Show with Scott Mills
Lewis Capaldi and Robbie Williams are slugging it out to be Christmas No 1. But could Sky Sports’ Chris Kamara’s yuletide single make a late run? Almost certainly not. Mills is the man with the answers.
Friday 20 December, 4pm, Radio 1

The Adam Buxton Podcast
From Chris Morris to Philip Pullman, Adam Buxton’s pod has snared some high-calibre guests this year. For this festive edition, he goes back to his roots for an annual chat with his old mate Joe Cornish.
Christmas Day

Count Arthur Strong’s Radio Show!
Back on the radio after his TV transfer, Steve Delaney’s variety show star brings the oddball cheer. More comedy comes later in the day from the surreal A Very John Kearns Christmas at 4.30pm.
Christmas Day, 11.30am, Radio 4

Neil Gaiman’s Chivalry
Glenda Jackson and Kit Harington star in this typically playful festive story from the fantasy writer. Mrs Whitaker discovers The Holy Grail in a charity shop. But will it bring her salvation or misfortune?
Christmas Day, 4pm, Radio 4

The Today Programme’s guest editors
The guest editors of this year’s festive editions of Today are a varied bunch, ranging from teenage environmentalist Greta Thunberg to Telegraph Brexit bruiser Charles Moore.
From Boxing Day, 6am, Radio 4

Ghost Stories from Ambridge
The Archers follows its Slow Radio experiment with the traditional yuletide special, featuring an in-show festive drama performance. This year: a trio of ghost stories. Monday 30 December, 6.15pm, Radio 4

Asian Network’s New Year’s Eve DJ Takeover
Asian Network’s former resident DJ Manara kicks off this New Year’s Eve party-starter. She is followed by DJ Frenzy and AJD, who’ll take us into 2020 with a set of bhangra-influenced bangers.
New Year’s Eve, 7pm

Sound of Gaming
Jessica Curry looks back on a year of digital exploration, showcasing gaming music that is much more than just background bleeps. And, for New Year’s Day, she’s found sounds to soothe aching heads too.
New Year’s Day, 1pm, Radio 3


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