TV picks: What to watch this festive week

Monday 19 December

EastEnders, BBC1, 8pm

The Carters get into the Christmas spirit

Ronnie continues to worry about Roxy when Donna reveals she’s failed to turn up to work again. Meanwhile, the Carter’s learn that Ollie’s assessment will be in the new year. Whitney decides to invite the family over for Christmas dinner, but Lee panics at the cost.

Last Tango in Halifax, 9pm, BBC1

Celia and Alan are back for a festive special

It’s the first of a two-part special of Sally Wainwright’s sweet but punchy drama. Caroline (Sarah Lancashire) has taken a post at a tough school in Huddersfield, but Celia (Anne Reid) and Alan (Derek Jacobi) aren’t happy about her moving away. Meanwhile, Gillian (Nicola Walker) is convinced she’s being haunted by Eddie’s ghost. Concludes tomorrow.

First Dates At Christmas, 10pm, C4

It's Christmas in the First Dates restaurant

Yay! It’s a sparkly festive edition of everyone’s favourite dating show and Fred and the gang are hoping to get some new singles loved-up in time for Christmas. Will Yasmin & Ryan, Mandi & Robert, Sophie & Mehmet and Scott & Jim find love with each other?

Tuesday 20 December

Holby City, 8pm, BBC1

Will it be a merry Christmas at Holby City?

It’s Christmas at Holby General and a terrifying blast from the past upsets Dom’s plans for his perfect day with Isaac. Elsewhere, Jac awaits life-changing news and Fletch is weirded out when his estranged dad gets in touch.

Paul O’Grady’s Favourite Fairy Tales, 9pm, ITV

It's not all happily ever after in Fairy Tale and

What’s more festive than a fairy tale? Well, quite a bit actually as Paul O’Grady discovers when he travels to Germany to find out about the origins of our panto faves. Let’s just say, they’re a lot more gruesome than Disney ever made out.

The Trafford Centre: Countdown to Christmas, 10pm, 5Star

Spare a thought for retail workers this Christmas

Manchester’s Trafford Centre used to be the biggest shopping mall in Europe – and it’s still one of the busiest. This two-part behind the scenes documentary looks at how retailers cope with the frantic run-up to Christmas.

Wednesday 21 December

This Time Next Year, 8pm, ITV

Will this man's dream come true?

It’s the last in the series of Davina McCall’s sob-fest show. This week sees Davina meet three truck drivers who hope to lose weight and a man in a wheelchair who wants to walk again. Keep some tissues handy.

Allan Carr’s 12 Stars of Christmas, 10pm, C4

Allan welcomes more celebrities to his quiz show

Don’t miss tonight’s edition of the festive quiz show as Little Mix are one of the Christmas stars hiding behind the doors of Allan’s advent calendar. Gabby Logan, Stephen Mangan and Johnny Vegas are the contestants.

8 Out of 10 Cats, 10pm, More4

Jon Richardson in his Xmas jumper

Don’t miss the Christmas special of the comedy show as it features Brad Simpson and James McVey from the Vamps. Oh, and Star Wars legend Carrie Fisher. It’s usually pretty funny too, so win-win.

Thursday 22 December

EastEnders, 7.30, BBC1

The EastEnders perform A Christmas Carol

The curtain goes up on the first night of The Walford Players’ version of A Christmas Carol. But will everything go to plan? We’re gonna go with, no.

Educating Joey Essex: What Are You Sleighing? 9pm, ITV2

Joey Essex gets festive

Former TOWIE star, Joey Essex, is put through his paces as he tries to find the true meaning of Christmas. He goes to Santa school, heads to Lapland to meet the big man in red and watches a nativity play at his old primary school. All in typical Joey-style, of course.

Celebrity Juice: Xmas Gogglyboxers, 10pm, ITV2

The Celebrity Juice Christmas special

Keith Lemon, Holly Willoughby, Fearne Cotton and Gino D’Acampo look back at the best bits of the 16th series of the outrageous game show, Gogglebox-style. Stars Danny Dyer, Piers Morgan, Susannah Reid and more!

Friday 23 December

Strictly Len Goodman, 7pm, BBC1

Len Goodman says goodbye to SCD

Len Goodman has been as much a part of Strictly Come Dancing as sequins and the Glitterball trophy. He said goodbye to the show on Saturday and now he takes a look back at his time on the show. We’ll miss you, Len,

Coronation Street, 7.30pm, ITV

After defending her honour when Adam badmouths her in the pub, Aidan tells Maria he's fallen for her and plans to dump Eva.

Aidan finally confesses to Maria that he’s fallen in love with her and plans to dump Eva. But with a court date and potential prison sentence hanging over her head, will Maria get her fairy tale ending?

Christmas Eve

The Snowman, 4.45pm, C4

The Snowman -ahhhh

Is there anything more Christmas-Eve-y than this Raymond Briggs classic? James builds a snowman, who magically comes to life and befriends him. Get ready for a sing-a-long to Walking in the Air.

EastEnders, 8.20pm, BBC One

Dot says a fond farewell to the launderette

It’s the end of an era as Dot prepares to close the Launderette for good in EastEnders. To be honest, we’ve been wondering how it hasn’t gone bust years ago. Abi helps her to give the place a festive send off.

Gogglesprogs Christmas Special, 8pm, C4

The GoggleSprogs

The kids give their views on some important TV including Strictly Come Dancing, First Dates and Planet Earth II. And yes, they’re as hilarious as usual.

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