From Doctor Who to Strictly Come Dancing and Watership Down, here are the festive highlights from BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky
Push aside your turkey and crackers, we all know Christmas is about one thing only: TV. And the best TV too, whether you’re looking for drama, entertainment, comedy or even a spot of sci-fi.
So, what presents have we got waiting for us on screen this year? Here’s everything we know so far…
Who’s in the Doctor Who special’s cast?
Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill
What will happen in the Doctor Who Christmas special?
Following on from Jodie Whittaker’s first series of adventures across time and space, Whovians can expect an additional story in the form of a
Christmas New Year’s Day special
Who’s in The ABC Murders cast?
John Malkovich, Rupert Grint, Tara Fitzgerald, Andrew Buchan and Jack Farthing
What will happen in The ABC Murders?
Nothing says Christmas like watching a horrific murder being solved on TV, with the BBC serving up this classic Hercule Poirot story.
Not only can we expect an intriguing plot from this three-part Agatha Christie adaptation, but an all-star cast too: Hollywood legend John Malkovich will play the super sleuth and Rupert Grint the role of Inspector Crome.
Who’s in the cast of Luther?
Idris Elba is reunited with his overcoat for brooding detective’s return with Wunmi Mosaku joining the show as new recruit DS Catherine Halliday. But will Ruth Wilson make her heavily rumoured return as fan favourite Alice Morgan?
What is the new series of Luther about?
The eponymous detective is called upon to investigate another tangle of monstrous murders with a mass of different leads seemingly designed to protect an untouchable corruption. Can Luther solve the puzzle? And how will he cope when forced to face demons from his own recent past?
Who’s in the cast of Les Misérables?
A fine crop of acting talent includes Dominic West as Jean Valjean, David Oyelowo (playing Javert), Lily Collins (Fantine), Adeel Akhtar and Olivia Colman (Monsieur and Madame Thénardier), Ellie Bamber (Cosette) Josh O’Connor (Marius) and Elin Kellyman (Éponine).
How is the BBC’s Les Misérables different to the musical?
It’s the story we all know – but without the songs. Pride and Prejudice and War and Peace writer Andrew Davies has adapted Victor Hugo’s epic into a six-part drama without its famous musical score.
Who’s in The Midnight Gang cast?
David Walliams, with more names to follow…
What will happen in The Midnight Gang?
Good news if you enjoyed last Christmas’ Grandpa’s Great Escape: the BBC are adapting another hit children’s book from comedian David Walliams. The Midnight Gang follows the story of a gang of children at Lord Funt Hospital on the quest for adventure as their fellow patients sleep.
Who’s in the Call the Midwife Christmas cast?
Miriam Margolyes joins regulars Jenny Agutter (Sister Julienne), Linda Bassett (Nurse Crane), Judy Parfitt (Sister Monica Joan), Helen George (Trixie), Laura Main (Shelagh Turner), Victoria Yeates (Sister Winifred), Jennifer Kirby (Valerie), Leonie Elliott (Lucille) and Stephen McGann (Dr Turner)
What will happen in the Call the Midwife Christmas special?
The now-traditional special of the midwifery drama welcomes Miriam Margoyles as Sister Mildred, a forthright nun who arrives at Nonnatus House with her hands full with four Chinese orphan refugees. As the BBC say, “these unexpected visitors cause joy and chaos in equal measure”.
Who’s in the cast of The Dead Room?
Simon Callow stars as Aubrey Judd alongside Anjil Mohindra (who played Nadia in Bodyguard), Susan Penhaligon and Joshua Oakes-Rogers.
What is The Dead Room about?
Writer Mark Gatiss follows up 2013’s The Tractate Middoth with another Christmas ghost story, this time telling the tale of a long-running radio series whose presenter finds that all is not quiet in his eerie radio studio.