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
Iceland is giving pensioners £30 food vouchers to help with cost of living crisis
Iceland is giving pensioners in Greater Manchester vouchers worth £30 to help with food and essentials amid the rising cost of living crisis.
With inflation now at a 40-year UK high and the rising cost of living crisis continuing to make it its impact felt nationwide, Iceland has partnered with The Rothesay Foundation to launch a new voucher scheme aimed at supporting pension-aged people following the release of findings from a shocking new study.
According to The Rothesay Foundation, research by Age UK showed that 1.7 million pensioners were living in poverty in 2020/2021 – which is 15% of all pensioners.
On top of that, it’s thought that more than 770,000 pensioner households- either single people, or couples – are also missing out on Pension Credit payments too, which are worth around £1.5 billion every year.
So to help lessen the financial burden, the discount supermarket retailer has now launched the Summer Cheer campaign with over £1 million of funding from the Rothesay Foundation to provide pensioners with a voucher worth £30 that can be used to buy food and essentials.
It’s expected to help around 40,000 pensioners across the UK save on their shopping.
The voucher scheme is running up until 16 September, and additionally, it can be used in conjunction with the 10% discount for people over 60 that’s already available every Tuesday with valid ID.
Iceland’s Summer Cheer £30 voucher scheme will be available at 269 shops in 17 areas across the UK where there are said to be the “highest numbers of pensioners living in material deprivation in the country,” according to The Rothesay Foundation – and Greater Manchester has been highlighted as one of those areas.
“Since the launch of the partnership last Christmas, the cost-of-living crisis has taken hold of the UK, and now more than ever, people are struggling to access the food they need,” explained Richard Walker – Managing Director of Iceland.
“No one should ever have to worry about how they are going to eat or drink, and we hope that the support we can offer across the UK will help pensioners access and enjoy a worry-free meal during this difficult time.”
Who is eligible? And how do I apply?
Those who are eligible to take advantage of the £30 discount voucher scheme up until 16 September are people of pension age who live independently or with a carer, and who rely solely on state pensions and benefits in the UK.
To claim the £30 voucher, those eligible should call the Summer Cheer hotline on 0800 098 7877 from 9am to 5pm between Monday and Friday.
UK told to brace for ‘worst’ wasp invasion in years as heatwave arrives
Brits are being told to brace for an invasion of wasps that could be the “worst for years” ahead of another expected heatwave.
With summer officially here, the sun shining, and temperatures set to get progressively hotter as the days go on, the Met Office is forecasting that another heatwave is set to arrive in the UK this week, and although we’re not likely to see record highs of 40°C again like we saw a couple of weeks ago, it is expected that this period of warm weather will stick around for longer.
Unfortunately though, with that warm weather is set to come an influx of wasps that pest controllers have already warned will likely be “sugar-crazed”.
The wasp population is known to fluctuate year on year dependent on the season and weather changes, and due what has been an increased numbers of the insects throughout the year already thanks to the warm weather, 2022 has been dubbed the ‘Year of the Wasp’.
Wasps build their nests during the spring in trees, attics, and sometimes underground, and this means that if there is bad weather, their homes stand higher risk of being destroyed which decimates their survival rates, however this year, the record-breaking high temperatures combined with less rainfall have instead given wasps the ideal environment to multiply.
Sebastien Pommereul – Manager of Stop Wasps – spoke to BFMTV and explained that: “This year, we are doing between 10 to 12 interventions a day.
“But last year, we were at five.”
Pest controllers say that later months of summer are when wasps can become “sugar-crazed”, as their larva grow into full sized wasps and they need to find a new source of energy – but this is unfortunately when many of us will be spending more time outside.
As well as warnings by pest controllers, medics have also issued fresh advice to those of us who end up unlucky enough to be stung by a wasp this summer, with the NHS stating: “Insect bites and stings will usually cause a red, swollen lump to develop on the skin. This may be painful and in some cases can be very itchy.
“The symptoms will normally improve within a few hours or days, although sometimes they can last a little longer.”
They say it’s vital to pluck out the stinger left in the flesh immediately as it’s packed with venom.
After removing the sting – which can be scraped away from the skin, but never with tweezers – it’s advised that you should wash the affected area with soap and water, reduce swelling by applying ice or a cold compress for up to 10 minutes, and avoid scratching the area to reduce the risk of infection.
The NHS website states: “Dial 999 for an ambulance immediately if you or someone else has symptoms of a severe reaction, as emergency treatment in hospital is needed in these cases.”