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 television is so brilliant.
For others, sitting around to watch the TV is an important part of Christmas itself.
No matter what your situation is, there’s some cracking things to watch on Christmas Day and Boxing 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, just like we did last year, we have once again rounded-up the best of the bunch to create our TV guide.
Here’s five of our picks.
Call The Midwife
Christmas Day – 7:55pm
Beloved BBC drama Call The Midwife is a show that’s become very well-known for its Christmas specials over the years – and 2022 is absolutely no different.
In this upcoming festive special, as the midwives of Nonnatus House return to our screens to deliver another round of December babies, we’ll get to see the return of Rhoda Mullucks, whose baby was born with birth defects after Dr Turner prescribed her medication – a season 6 plot that tackled the Thalidomide scandal.
You can catch Call The Midwife on BBC One at 7:55pm on Christmas Day.
Strictly Come Dancing
Christmas Day – 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 Larry Lamb, Rosie Ramsey, Nicola Roberts, Rickie Haywood-Williams, Alexandra Mardell, and George Webster 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’ll be some merry musical performances from special guests too.
You can catch Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One at 5:10pm on Christmas Day.
Ant and Dec’s Christmas Limitless Win
Christmas Day – 9:05pm
Everyone’s favourite TV duo Ant and Dec are back on our screens once again this Christmas Day
This time, with another festive special of their nail-biting game show Limitless Win – with a handful of famous faces all trying their best to climb up the endless money ladder in the hopes of raising funds for some really worthy causes.
Comics Katherine Ryan and Jimmy Carr will be on one team, and will be competing against TV regulars Rylan Clark and David Walliams as they take on the bigger-than-ever money ladder in this tense and nerve-wracking episode.
You can see Ant and Dec’s Christmas Limitless Win on ITV1 at 9:05pm on Christmas Day.
The Greatest Snowman
Boxing Day – 7:30pm
The Greatest Snowman is back.
After what was a successful first run last year, Sue Perkins is back hosting another festive special of Channel 4’s snowman-building competition, and fresh from his victory as a contestant in 2021, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen is also returning to judge other celebrity competitors’ creations, and offer them some artistic tips and advice.
Joined on the judging panel by Swedish sculpting sisters Sara and Emilie Steele, and renowned British sculptor Taslim Martin, this year’s contestants are reality star Gemma “The GC” Collins, choirmaster Gareth Malone, Inbetweeners star Joe Thomas, and DJ Yinka Bokinni.
You can watch The Greatest Snowman on Channel 4 at 7:30pm on Boxing Day.
The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2022
Boxing Day – 9pm
What’s the festive season without The Big Fat Quiz of the Year?
It’s fair to say that 2022 has been quite the year, with the country seeing three prime ministers, two monarchs, a Platinum Jubilee, a State Funeral, and a nation divided over whether Harry Styles actually did spit on Chris Pine or not – but now, Jimmy Carr is back to test how much we actually remember from it all.
The comedian will be joined by Stephen Merchant, Katherine Ryan, Richard Ayoade, Maisie Adam, Jonathan Ross and Rose Matafeo as they take on the ultimate pub quiz that’s always a firm-favourite in households nationwide.
You can watch The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2022 on Channel 4 at 9pm on Boxing Day.
Fancy something extra?
Prince Andrew: The Musical
29 December – 9pm
Okay, so while this isn’t airing on either Christmas Day or Boxing Day, some things are just too good to exclude off the list because, as bizarre as it sounds, a musical about the life and times of Prince Andrew is hitting our screens.
We may not have asked for it, and we definitely didn’t see it coming, but the simply-named, Prince Andrew: The Musical, has actually become a reality.
Written by and starring Kieran Hodgson as Prince Andrew himself, with original music co-written by Freddie Tapner, the one-hour comedy special sees a cast of upcoming comics perform a “satirical send-up of the life and times of Prince Andrew” set to a musical score – with a story centring on the key events, relationships, and controversies of his life.
You can watch Prince Andrew: The Musical on Channel 4 at 9pm on Wednesday 29 December.
Featured Image – Channel 4 & BBC
TV & Showbiz
StreamGM’s Spill The Sound live music and interview series is back and it’s super nostalgic
Ever miss the old days of proper music telly? We’re talking Freshly Squeezed, Popworld and the T4 days; Kerrang TV and, of course, Top of the Pops. Well, StreamGM’s exclusive online series, Spill The Sound is keeping that throwback format alive and the new season has just arrived.
Spearheaded by the pioneers over at StreamGM and live streaming music platform, Spill The Sound is back for series three of the brilliant live music and talk show series.
Featuring a mix of exclusive sets and laid-back conversations with up-and-coming artists from around Greater Manchester and the North West around new releases, gigs and festival dates as well as local names who just fancy sitting in a bath filled with plastic balls (because why not?), it’s great fun.
Filmed over at StreamGM’s central hub over at The Yard in Cheetham Hill and hosted by TV presenter Louise Schofield, the latest edition of the digital series drops at 7pm on Friday, 29 February.
On a mission to recapture the magic of that oh-so-nostalgic Gen X and Gen Z music programming, StreamGM’s Spill The Sound blends new and unsigned acts alongside established headliners, with the likes of The Lottery Winners, Abbie Ozard, The Covasettes and more having already featured.
The latest season is already shaping up to be a belter, with rising Oldham singer-songwriter Seb Lowe, Macclesfield‘s genre-bending indie band Cassia, fast-growing Liverpool stars Red Rum Club and plenty of others to come, there are some serious names on this year’s roster.
We’re even lucky enough to be getting a few quick behind-the-scenes interviews with some of the artists ourselves in and around their live performances and sit-downs with Louise, so keep your eyes peeled for them too.
It might be a smaller scale approach with live performances strictly down the lens and in front of those lucky few that get to have a sneak peek behind the camera — a.k.a. us lucky lot over at The Manc Audio — but you only have to see the space over at The Yard to see how cool the whole set-up is.
Taking place on a bi-weekly basis (that’s once every two weeks, not twice a week), the quirky bathtub-based interview series isn’t like anything on TV and you can watch it completely free over on the Spill The Sound YouTube channel and StreamGM’s website.
Speaking of which, if you’re yet to tune into one of their live streams or stumble across this groundbreaking and grassroots music for all platform, you can learn more about it HERE.
We’re all about spotlighting new artists trying to make it on our wonderful music scene so it goes without saying that we love what these guys are doing and we’ll keep doing our very best to do the same on our end too.
Jason Manford is joining the cast of Waterloo Road as the new headteacher
The BBC has announced that Jason Manford will be joining the cast of Waterloo Road, and he’s got himself a starring role in it too.
The famous Manc may be more known for his stand-up comedy, screen presenting work, and on-stage musicaltheatre gigs – but now, he’s giving TV acting a go, and will be stepping into the role of the fictional school’s new headteacher in the next series of the show that’s set to air later this year.
Manford will play Steve Savage – or Mr Savage, to the kids – who goes on to have a big impact on the staff and pupils at Waterloo Road, but not before he ruffles a few feathers along the way.
While the BBC has teased that Manford’s new role as headteacher will leave people questioning how the future looks for current headteacher Kim Campbell, viewers will apparently just have to “wait and see” how the storyline plays out.
Manford has admitted it’s an “absolute treat” to have joined the cast of the popular show.
Speaking on his new role as the casting was announced on the official BBC social media platforms yesterday, Manford said: “What an absolute treat it is to join the cast and crew of Waterloo Road, right here in my home city of Manchester.
“My kids and I binged the show during lockdown.
“It’s such a brilliant and iconic show, so I’m dead proud to now be part of its history. Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher, and now becoming a headteacher, I know I would have been terrible.”
Alongside Manford in his new role, the BBC has also announced that a whole host of other new characters are being thrown into the mix for the next series too – including Saira Choudhry as Nisha Chandra, the school’s newest maths teacher, and a gaggle of new students played by Olly Rhodes, Nathan Wood, Sonya Nisa, Miya Ocego, Danny Murphy, and Matthew Khan.
Jason Manford is joining the cast of Waterloo Road as the new headteacher / Credit: BBC
Fellow famous Mancs Adam Thomas and Kym Marsh are also set to return, alongside the rest of the current teaching staff and plenty of the same students.
Waterloo Road has continued to remain as popular as ever since its long-awaited return to TV screens last year, with the latest reboot series having been watched weekly on BBC One by audiences in their millions.
It’s also cemented its position as one of the top shows on BBC iPlayer for viewers under 35 too.