While there is no end of stuff to stream via any one of the many streaming services, sometimes it's nice to watch old fashioned live TV, especially at Christmas. And especially when there is so much to choose from. Check out our list of recommendations of what to watch on TV over the Christmas break.
Bradley and Barney Walsh - Breaking Dad - ITV at 9pm
Filmed in Iceland, father-and-son duo Bradley and Barney take in volcanoes and glaciers and try their hands at terrifying feats. Expect loving moments amid the bickering.
Shaun The Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas, BBC 1 at 6pm
Christmas rarely goes smoothly for Shaun the Sheep, but this year might be one of the most disastrous. When the flock goes on a farmhouse raid to find presents and decorations, little Timmy goes missing among the commotion. Watch the trailer here
Adam saves Christmas - RTEjnr - at 12 noon
A festive short animation starring Toy Show hero Adam King and featuring Ryan Tubridy as the voice of Santa will premiere on Christmas Eve on RTÉjr. This will be repeated at 12:25pm on RTE1. Watch the trailer here.
Mrs Brown's boys, Christmas Day and New Years Eve, RTE 1 at 9:35pm
All the Mrs Brown’s Boys gang return with two episodes, one on Christmas Day and the other on New Years Eve. The two festive episodes are titled Mammy's Mechanical Merriment and Mammy's Micky. So join the gang as chaos ensues! In Mammy's Mechanical Merriment it's Christmas in Finglas once again. Agnes has been recruited to the church choir, but she's under strict instructions from Father McBride that there's to be no singing and certainly no dancing. That's not the only thing off-limits, a Christmas tree shortage means Buster has to get even more creative than usual trying to impress Agnes by any means necessary.
In Mammy's Micky Grandad's brother, Micky, is fresh out of prison when he decides to stop by for a visit. Everyone except Grandad is suspicious when he shows up asking for €5,000 to invest in a South African gold mine. Winnie, inspired by Cathy's book, is on a daredevil mission to change the trajectory of her life while Mrs Brown's boys are forced to have a heart to heart.
Peter O’Toole — Réalta & Rógaire, TG4 at 9.25pm
This TG4 documentary will explore the connection between Ireland and the late Lawrence of Arabia actor, Peter O Toole. He was born in Leeds in England but this may come as a surprise to many as he always stated that he was Irish to the core. His father was born in Connemara and there was some tale of two birth certificates. He spent much of his life here, in his home in Clifden in Galway and after his death his ashes were brought to Galway. This documentary will look at his life, his wild partying and his love for Ireland.
Call The Midwife Christmas Special - BBC 1 at 8pm
Christmas promises to be a memorable one at Nonnatus House as Lucille and Cyril prepare for their upcoming winter wedding. Meanwhile, the team face their busiest Christmas yet.
Terry Pratchett’s The Abominable Snow Baby, Channel 4 at 7:30pm
Charming animation with Julie Walters, Hugh Dancy, and David Harewood. When a 14-foot snow creature throws a town into disarray, can Granny and Albert save the day?
The Great British Bake Off Christmas Special, Channel 4 at 8pm
The stars of It's A Sin join Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding for some Christmas baking. Plus the London Community Gospel Choir sing All I Want For Christmas.
Strictly Come Dancing Celebrity Special, Christmas Day at 5:10pm, BBC 1
Well, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a Strictly Come Dancing special, would it? Although last year we had to make do with a Strictly countdown compilation, this year the show will be back in its traditional festive format, with judges Anton Du Beke, Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel-Horwood and Motsi Mabuse dishing out the praise and the put-downs. Celebrities include Fred Sirieix, front man of the First Dates restaurant, who will be partnered with professional dancer Dianne Buswell.
The Larkins, ITV at 9pm
The Darling Buds of May ran for three seasons in the early 90's and was hugely popular. It also launched the career of Catherine Zeta Jones. Now the Larkin family are back in a one off and they are celebrating Christmas in the Kent countryside. Bradley Walsh leads the family in the role of Pa Larkin with Sabrina Bartlett taking over from Zeta Jones as Mariette. The excitement over the forthcoming panto is undermined by a spate of burglaries and the anxiety is only made worse when a power cut hits the village.
ST STEPHEN'S DAY
A Very British Scandal, BBC 1
In a similar vein to 2018’s A Very English Scandal, a dramatisation of the 1976–1979 Jeremy Thorpe scandal, this drama will focus on the antics surrounding the divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll in the 1960s. Described as one of the 20th Century’s most notorious, extraordinary and brutal legal cases, it was a divorce that was highly-publicised and included the discovery of salacious photographs and scandalous testimonies. Famed for her charisma, beauty and style, Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, was a bona-fide celebrity who frequently made the front pages.
Around the World in 80 days, Stephen's Day at 5:50pm, BBC 1
The tale has been told before, but not like this. Adapted from Jules Verne’s well-known book of the same name, the series stars David Tennant (Good Omens) in the lead role of English gentleman-turned-adventurer Phileas Fogg. He is joined on his incredible journey by French actor Ibrahim Koma (OSS 117, Wùlu) as Jean Passepartout, Fogg’s irrepressible valet, and German actress Leonie Benesch (The Crown, Babylon Berlin) as Abigail “Fix” Fortescue, a determined and headstrong journalist. Watch the trailer here.
Daniel At Sixty, December 28th RTE 1 at 10:35pm
With exclusive access to Daniel O’Donnell, his family and friends and an archive trip down memory lane, a family album of pictures and some behind the scenes bloopers from La De Dah (below), this promises to be an entertaining and honest insight into the life of a local hero at 60.
Here he is in a hula skirt!!
Rachael Blackmore: A Grand Year, 29th of December RTE 1 at 9:25 pm
This tells the remarkable tale of Rachael’s rise to the pinnacle of horse racing and her historic year. Supported by a cast of horse racing luminaries - AP McCoy, Katie Walsh, Willie Mullins, Ruby Walsh, Henry De Bromhead and Davy Russell - and her family and closest friends, Rachael tells her story in depth for the first time.
New Years Eve Countdown Show, New Year's Eve
The 2 Johnnies will host this countdown to the new year, live from Dublin Castle with guests from the world of sport and entertainment. Picture This will ring in the New Year in front of a crowd of 5,000 people.
Dr Who Christmas Special - New Years Day BBC 1 at 7pm
Eve of the Daleks: On New Year’s Eve, the appearance of an executioner Dalek means Sarah and Nick’s countdown to midnight will be the strangest and deadliest they have ever known. Can the Doctor, Yaz and Dan save them?
The Tourist, New Year's Day at 9pm, BBC 1
When a man (Jamie Dornan) wakes up in the sweltering Australian Outback with no recollection of who he is or how he got there, he sets out on a mission to uncover his identity. In a world full of enigmatic characters, he leans on police officer Helen Chambers (Danielle Macdonald) to help him search for answers and stay safe from ruthless figures from his past.
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, New Year's Day - HBO Max
This highly anticipated reunion show will be available to watch on HBO Max from New Year's Day as the stars of the movie series reunite in Hogwarts to sit down for a feast of memories. The trailer has people very excited. Watch below.