The Best Christmas TV

Posted 19/12/2013 by BrightHouse Team

One of our favourite things about Christmas is all the great telly, from classic films to Christmas specials there’s always something to watch. There is an awful lot to choose from, so to help you decide when to take a break from Christmas preparations, or when to flop onto the sofa after dinner, we've made a list of our favourite picks from this year’s Christmas TV listings.

Christmas Eve

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There are plenty of fantastic films showing all through the day of Christmas Eve, but the best ones are on in the afternoon. For a classic family favourite, and one of Pixar’s best films, Toy Story 2 is showing at 3:40pm on BBC One. Or if you fancy something a bit more festive (if surreal), Jim Carrey’s brilliant portrayal of The Grinch is over on Channel 4 at 3:50pm.

If you’ve spent the last couple of weeks in a mad dash and you’re still not feeling Christmassy, then take a little time out to enjoy Carols from King’s at 6:15pm on BBC Two, a live broadcast from King’s College Chapel that has been a Christmas television tradition since 1928.

Just after at 8pm, BBC Three is showing Raiders of the Lost Ark, a perfect fast-paced adventure with the iconic Indiana Jones searching for the fabled Ark of the Covenant. There are snake-filled chambers, Nazi spies, evil demons, and a damsel in distress. What more could you want?

Christmas Day

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There’s nothing better than flopping down in front of the telly after Christmas dinner to enjoy a well-deserved rest, but it can also be useful for keeping the kids entertained while you’re actually cooking it. BBC One has a great run of films, starting with Chicken Run at 11am, followed by Disney’s The Princess and the Frog at 12:30pm, both fantastic films that will keep the kids laughing and enthralled.

At 3pm you can catch the Queen giving her annual Christmas message, that’s if you can spare 10 minutes from draining the sprouts and trying to figure out which bits of the turkey are cooked.

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Essential Christmas viewing is on Channel 4 at 4:35pm with The Muppet Christmas Carol, one of the best adaptations of Charles Dickens’ famous story, with a vein of Muppet fun and madness running through it. Several of the big Christmas specials and series finales take place later on in the evening, including the final outing of Matt Smith as Doctor Who at 7:30pm, and the entrance of Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor.

On ITV at 8:30pm we’ll be treated to a feature length episode, the final of the series, of Downton Abbey, where we’ll see the Crawleys heading to their London home to enjoy the delights of the Season, and Lady Rose being presented to the King and Queen at the annual débutante ball.

Boxing Day

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Boxing Day also provides a feast of movies, as well as leftovers, including the excellent Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, the first feature length film featuring the iconic duo, showing at 1:05pm on BBC One. This animated adventure sees the inventor Wallace and his faithful hound Gromit take on a giant of a pest problem, and includes the voice talents of Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter.

An absolute classic, The Wizard of Oz is a must-watch at this time of year, with fun and magic for the whole family. You can join Dorothy and Toto in Kansas at 5:15pm on Channel 5.

To round off your Christmas viewing at 9pm on Channel 4 it’s the Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2013, with Jimmy Carr putting a panel of celebrities to the test about the year’s event, including Dara O Briain, Jack Whitehall, Richard Ayoade, and Jonathan Ross.

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