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
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
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
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 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.
ITV – 10:40pm
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
Drivers could be fined for using common ‘thank you gestures’ on UK roads
Motorists are being warned that some common unspoken rules of the road could actually see them hit with a hefty fine.
Given that us Brits are known for our manners and being polite, it has become common practice for drivers across the country to use a number of popular gestures to say thank you to our fellow road users when they give way to us, let us into a junction or lane, or just generally do something to help us out on the road.
A quick wave, thumbs up, or a flash of the headlights takes just a second to do, but the kindness goes a long way and helps to keep the peace.
In fact, when another driver doesn’t say thank you, we tend to think it’s pretty rude.
To prove this point, a new study of UK drivers was conducted by National Tyres and Autocare, and it found that one in five drivers choose to flash their headlights to say thanks, while one in three like to give a classic wave, and then one in six opt for a simple thumbs up.
But did you know that some of these gestures are actually in breach of the Highway Code and could end up landing us in a bit of trouble and see us have to fork out money if we’re caught in the act?
In some cases, fines can rack up as high as £1,000.
When it comes to flashing our headlights to say thank you, rule 110 of the Highway Code actually states that we should “only flash headlights to let other road users know that you are there”, and we should not do not flash them to “convey any other message or intimidate other road users”.
Using hazard lights is another common way to say thank you, but again, according to rule 116 of the Highway code: “You must not use hazard warning lights while driving or being towed unless you are on a motorway or unrestricted dual carriageway and you need to warn drivers behind you of a hazard or obstruction ahead.”
It’s stated that we should only use hazard lights “for long enough to ensure that your warning has been observed”, and nothing more.
By far the most common way to say thank you on the road during the daytime is to give a classic wave or thumbs up, but according to rule 160 of the Highway Code, once moving a vehicle you should “drive or ride with both hands on the wheel or handlebars where possible as this will help you to remain in full control of the vehicle at all times”.
It adds: “You may use driver assistance systems while you are driving but make sure you use any system according to the manufacturer’s instructions.”
The latter of these common thank you gestures is the one that could land drivers in the most trouble if caught, as not only can fines rack up to £1,000, but being in breach of having proper control of your vehicle could also mean discretionary disqualification, and three penalty points on your licence as well.
A Manc photographer is taking beautiful on-the-spot portraits around the city
There are about a hundred and one brilliant photographers taking pictures around the city centre every day, but most of them tend to focus on the macro scale of things — snapping our lovely architecture, long shots of our rain-soaked streets, parades of morning commuters and so on.
So, when we stumbled across this lovely little TikTok account showcasing some of the most simple but beautiful portraits you’ll see anywhere online, all taken around the streets of our beloved city, it understandably caught our attention.
Manc photographer Scott James, or ‘certigrammer‘ as he goes by online, makes his living doing everything from weddings and commercials shoots to music videos, taking photos for Sheffield United and more, but we happened to come across a more recent pastime of his: taking pictures of strangers.
People are clearly chiming with his casual, understated and fundamentally wholesome style. So are we, and it’s not hard to see why.
Perhaps most impressively, it seems like he’s only been at this particular kind of photography for a little over a week and is already pulling in thousands of well-earned views across his social media.
As you can see, there is a very candid nature to his approach; he snaps people just going about their business and even when he stops people on the spot and asks if they’d be willing to pose, he still manages to capture that impromptu and organic vibe.
From happy couples and randomers on the street, to complimenting an old boy on his style, he photographs people from all walks of life.