Christmas time is the gift that keeps on giving … bringing us the very best of parties, food, things to do and with the best TV of the year - we simply can’t wait to sit back with a glass of wine and a mince pie (or two!) to watch some festive TV. It may be true that nowadays we can stream everything on Netflix, Now TV, Amazon etc, but there is something comfortingly traditional about snuggling up in front of the TV at Christmas with the family. So, with so many Christmas specials and spin-offs to choose from, we've come up with our essential guide of TV show and specials that you cannot miss over the Christmas period...
A hot-topic at RSG is always the latest gripping TV series that we're into and this Christmas we are all hotly anticipating the super gritty thriller, McMafia. With the first episode dropping on New Years Day, the eight-part series will feature James Norton, who plays the son of a Russian exile who's sordid past comes back to haunt his son.
BBC1| January 1st 2018| 9pm
No.2. Elf: The Musical Live
We're calling it ... Elf is the best Christmas film out there! We just cannot get enough of the Will Farrell classic that is hilariously funny and a great family film. So you can only imagine our delight when we heard that Channel 5 would be bringing the stage musical of Elf to our TV screens this Christmas! A guilty pleasure that we just can't resist, indulge in a little musical fun - the perfect family viewing!
Channel 5 | December 23rd 2017 | 5pm
No.3. Little Women
Bringing the classic novel to the screen, Little Women is set to be a festive favourite this Christmas. The three-part series will follow four sisters during the American Civil War, expect romances, self-discovery, marriage and loss. A brilliant pick for the family to enjoy the series has been adapted by Call The Midwife creator, Heidi Thomas. The three-part series will follow four sisters during the American Civil War, expect romances, self-discovery, marriage and loss.
BBC1 | December 26th 2017 | 8pm
No.4. The Highway Rat
There's nothing quite like a cheeky animation on Christmas day. Another one for the kids this half-hour special will keep the whole family entertained. Documenting the story of a little highway rat (David Tennant) with a rather insatiable sweet tooth the highway rat is on a mission to steal sweets with a bit of a sticky ending!
BBC1| December 25th 2017 | 4:45pm
No.5. 300 Years of French & Saunders
French & Saunders fans rejoice, the iconic duo are back! A Christmas special that we can hardly wait for, expect celebrity guests, spoofs of the years best TV including The Handmaids Tale and Love Island. Expect to laugh... a lot!
BBC1 | 25th December 2017 | 10:35pm
No.6 Maigret in Montmartre
If you love a 'whodunnit' then Maigret in Montmartre will be serving up a thrilling drama on Christmas Eve. Bringing George Simenon’s books to life; the two-hour story is set in Paris after the murder of two girls whose deaths appear to be unconnected, Montmartre (played by Rowan Atkinson) is set to work to find the killer.
ITV | December 24th 2017 | 8:30pm
No.7 Black Mirror
If the festivities have got you feeling more like the Grinch than a festive elf, then Black Mirror will be the perfect series to get hooked on this Christmas. Releasing its fourth series on Netflix, Black Mirror is a dystopic, thrilling, techno-phobic drama that will have you questioning your reliance on modern technology.
Netflix | 28th December 2017 | Stream It Anytime of the Day!
No.8 The Miniaturist
A two-part series based on the critically acclaimed book by Jesse Burton, the story follows eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman, who has been married off to a rich trader in 17th Century Amsterdam. What proceeds is a story of secrecy, forbidden love, intrigue and a mysterious wedding gift; a cabinet-sized dolls house which is an exact replica of the house that they live in!
BBC1 | December 26th 2017 | 9pm
9. Grandpa's Great Escape
One for the kids - David Walliam's hugely popular children's books will come to life again this Christmas! Telling the story of a Grandpa who is moved into a care home which is run by the questionable Miss Dandy (played by Jennifer Saunders) it soon becomes abundantly clear that Miss Dandy has some questionable ulterior motives and it's up to Grandpa and his grandson to escape.
BBC 1 | January 1st 2018 | 6:55pm
A hotly anticipated two-hour Christmas Special is ITV's Victoria. Tensions hit an all-time high this Christmas when unwanted house guests are invited to join the Christmas celebrations. What ensues is melancholy, forbidden romances and a dramatic rescue.
ITV | December 25th 2018|9pm
No.11. The Great Christmas Bake Off
Just when you think you could not possibly fit any more food in, The Great Festive Bake Off will be on our screens tempting us with delicious baked goods on Christmas Day! Bringing bakers back from previous years, the episode will fill us with festive cheer as Paul, Prue, Sandi and Noel challenge the bakers to create seasonal baking delights!
Channel 4 | December 25th 2017 | 3.05pm
No.12. Doctor Who
We simply couldn't put our top Christmas TV Shows together without mentioning Doctor Who! An after Christmas Dinner treat this episode will be the current Doctors (Peter Capaldi) last show. Expect an icy landscape, mysterious glass people, a lot of drama and an appearance of the 12th reincarnation of the Doctor - Jodie Whittaker.
BBC1 | 25th December 2017 | 5:30pm