The 5 best things to watch on TV this Christmas Day

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 23rd December 2021

Christmas Day is a hectic time.

For a lot of us, if the run-up to Christmas wasn’t already busy enough as it is, there’s often not a moment to breathe on the big day itself between presents being opened, travelling to see people, entertaining guests, slaving over a hot stove for hours, and eating plenty of food.

Sometimes though, you may find yourself twiddling your thumbs with some time to spare, and that’s why the distraction of festive TV is so brilliant.

For others, sitting around to watch the TV is an important part of Christmas Day itself.

No matter what your situation is, there’s some cracking things to watch on Christmas Day this year – with classic seasonal films, to festive specials of our favourite shows, and a few family-friendly additions all on the agenda – so we’ve rounded-up the best of the bunch to create our TV guide.


Here’s five of our picks.



The Snowman & The Snowman and the Snowdog

Channel 4 – 3:55pm

The Snowman and the Snowdog / Credit: Channel 4 & Robin Shaw Illustrator

You can’t have one without the other.

Starting off this list with some classics that so many of us grew up with, and are perfect for all the family to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Christmas Day and sit down and watch.


The Snowman (1982) tells the charming tale of how James – a young boy who wakes up one Christmas Eve morning to the heaviest snows he’s ever seen – rushes out to make a snowman, and then the magic begins. While the sequel, The Snowman and the Snowdog (2012) see a boy’s snowman and snowdog come to life at the stroke of midnight to take him on an adventure to the North Pole, before returning home – where a surprise awaits.

You can catch both The Snowman at 3:55pm, followed by The Snowman and the Snowdog at 4:30pm on Channel 4.

Strictly Come Dancing

BBC One – 5:10pm

Strictly Come Dancing / Credit: BBC & Guy Levy

We’ve all come to expect Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special at this point, haven’t we?

After the iconic ballroom dance competition programme has been bringing us smaller, festive editions of the show we all know and love since 2004, it’s back again this Christmas Day, with celebrity contestants Jay Blades, Fred Sirieix, Mel Giedroyc, Moira Stuart, Anne-Marie, and Adrian Chiles taking to the floor to impress judges the judges and battle it out for the Christmas glitter ball trophy.


The contestants will also be performing a group routine alongside the professional dancers, and there will be musical performances from guests Jamie Cullum and Gary Barlow.

You can catch Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One at 5:10pm.

Call The Midwife

BBC One – 8pm

Call The Midwife / Credit: BBC iPlayer

Beloved BBC drama Call The Midwife is another show that’s become very well-known for its Christmas specials over the years – and 2021 is absolutely no different.

In this episode, the Christmas of 1966 promises to be a memorable one at Nonnatus House, as Lucille and Cyril prepare for their upcoming winter wedding, but the midwives are faced with their busiest Christmas Day ever, with the Maternity Home is filled with expectant mums to be, each with their own challenging case.


You can catch Call The Midwife on BBC One at 8pm.

The Great British Bake Off

Channel 4 – 8pm

The Great British Bake Off / Credit: GBBO & Channel 4

The Great British Bake Off is once again back with a Christmas special for the big day.

Bringing all the drama and baking-related puns we’ve come to know and love from the original series over the years, but just with a little festive cheer, judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, and hosts Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding invite the stars from the award-winning hit drama It’s a Sin to join them in the famous tent to celebrate Christmas.

Olly Alexander, Nathaniel Curtis, Lydia West, and Shaun Dooley will all be competing for the coveted ‘Christmas Star Baker’ title.


You can catch The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4 and 8pm.

Love Actually

ITV – 10:40pm

Love Actually / Credit: Studio Canal

We couldn’t write this list up without including at least one Christmas film.

Although watching Christmas films throughout December in the lead-up to the big day to get into the spirit is often a big part of the festive season for many of us, there’s always room to watch a film one last time on Christmas Day – and this one couldn’t be on at a more perfect time for the grown-ups and hopeless romantics.

Love Actually (2003) is a Christmas-themed romantic comedy film featuring a star-studded cast that delves into different aspects of love as shown through ten separate stories involving people, who all end up being linked to each other as the tales progress.


You can catch Love Actually on ITV at 10:40pm.


Featured Image – BBC | Studio Canal