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Culture

15 Of The Best Christmas Specials Gracing Our TVs This Festive Season

Laura Rogan Laura Rogan

christmas-specials-1024x576

A number of TV faves will receive a festive makeover.

If there’s one thing we’ve found solace in this year, it’s the tele. In particular, recent competition shows such as The Great British Bake Off and I’m A Celebrity have kept us more than occupied – with a little something to look forward to each night while we go stir-crazy in tier 3. And now, some of our night time saviours are getting a festive makeover, with a number of Christmas TV specials set to grace our screens this month. So grab your festive tipple of choice, turn on the Christmas tree lights and read on for our top picks for the 2020 festive season.

1. The Vicar of Dibley, BBC One

Credit: BBC One

Returning for a ‘lockdown special’ following the events of 2020, The Vicar of Dibley is back to cheer us all up a little after what can only be described as a turbulent year. Paying tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement with a sermon and honouring former castmate Emma Chambers, each episode will last just ten minutes, but is sure to fill the Dibley-shaped hole in any fans hearts this Christmas. The episodes will air at 8.50pm on December 7, 14 and 21.

2. Doctor Who, BBC One

Credit: BBC

Filming the Christmas special before the pandemic hit, Doctor Who will return for its annual special, with Jodie Whitaker and co. taking on the Daleks for another round. Watch it at 6.45pm on New Year’s Day.

3. The Great British Bake Off, Channel 4

Credit: Channel 4

GBBO may have only just wrapped up, but fans won’t have to wait long for their next sweet fix. A number of former contestants will return for two Christmas specials this year, with Paul, Prue and Matt Lucas all returning for the special episodes. Watch The Great Christmas Bake Off at 8pm on Christmas Day, and The Great Festive Bake Off at 7.40pm on New Year’s Day. 

4. Gogglebox, Channel 4

Credit: Channel 4

Continuing to provide us with our vital dose of Gogglebox, Channel 4 has a three Gogglebox specials in store for us this year, including two ‘Best Of’ episodes and a festive special. Watch our favourite binge-watchers react to some of this year’s Christmas TV shows, or reminisce on some of the best moments from this year’s regular and celebrity offerings. All dates TBC.  

5. Taskmaster, Channel 4

Credit: Avalon

The hilarious game show packed full of comedians, Taskmaster, is back this Christmas with its own New Year special – with Rylan Clark-Neal, Shirley Ballas, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Nicola Coughlan and more battling it out in some brilliant challenges set by Greg Davies. Watch it at 9pm on New Year’s Day. 

6. First Dates, Channel 4

Credit: Channel 4

Giving us something heartwarming to get stuck into this festive season, Fred and his team are returning for a Christmas version of much-loved First Dates. Swapping the city for the countryside, daters will get to dine in a cosy, romantic atmosphere, while getting to know a potential match this Christmas. Airing 8.15pm on Christmas Day.

7. Strictly Come Dancing, BBC One

Credit: BBC

Shortly after finishing up for 2020, Strictly Come Dancing will return for its annual festive special – taking place on Christmas Day itself. Strictly: The Christmas Countdown will see both Claudia and Tess return to our screens, looking back on some of the best moments in the show’s history. Watch at 4.45pm on Christmas Day.

8. The Repair Shop at Christmas, BBC One

Credit: BBC

Wholesome show The Repair Shop will be back for a festive special, bringing back to life beloved items that mean the world to their owners. It might even bring a tear or two to your eye! Watch it at 6.45pm on Boxing Day.

9. Britain’s Got Talent, ITV

Credit: ITV

Bringing back some favourite acts from over the years, Britain’s Got Talent will return this Christmas with some fantastic entertainment and Ant and Dec in tow. Airing on Christmas Day, it’s sure to be the perfect antidote to the usual Christmas chaos. Watch it at 8pm on Christmas Day.

10. Dancing on Thin Ice with Torvill and Dean, ITV

Credit: ITV

Dancing on Ice legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean travel to Alaska for this very special episode, on a mission to fulfil their lifelong dream of skating outdoors. It’s not as wholesome as it all sounds though, as the duo discover no ice to be seen as a result of the dramatic effects of climate change. Watch it at 9pm on New Year’s Day. 

11. Billy Connolly: It’s Been A Pleasure, ITV

Credit: ITV

Gracing our screens for one last time before he retires as a result of a Parkinson’s diagnosis, legendary comedian Billy Connolly will have one last hurrah as he looks back at his 55-year-long career. Connolly will be joined by a number of famous friends for the very special feature, which will surely bring a tear to the eye of many fans who’ll miss his jokes dearly. Airing at 9.30pm on December 28th. 

12. Celebrity Juice, ITV2

Credit: ITV

Keith Lemon, Emily Atack and Laura Whitmore will be back for a festive treat this year, with guests Maya Jama, Paddy McGuinness, Paloma Faith and Ricky Wilson on board for more games, jokes and your usual Juice antics. Airing at 10pm on December 17. 

13. Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2020, Channel 4

Credit: Channel 4

Jimmy Carr will be back on screen for the comedic Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2020, putting a panel of celebs to the test to see who remembers what the bloomin’ ‘eck happened this year. And let’s face it, it was a lot. Watch it at 9.05pm on Boxing Day.

14. Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse, Sky One

Credit: Sky UK

Dawn French, Rob Brydon and Bill Bailey all star in Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse – a special family film which is based on the true story of a 6-year-old Roald Dahl, who heads off to meet his idol, Beatrix Potter. See two literary worlds collide in this heartwarming affair, which is perfect for curling up with a mulled wine on Christmas Eve. Airing at 8pm on Christmas Eve.

15. Gordon Gino and Fred: Desperately Seeking Santa, ITV

Credit: ITV

The hilarious trio is back for another road trip, and this time, they’re heading to Lapland. The culinary crew will once again get behind the wheel of their RV, trying out some local festive grub on their search for Santa. Watch it at 9pm on December 16th.

[Featured image: Channel 4/BBC]

Read more: Here Are The Brand New Christmas Films Arriving On Netflix This Winter