Top Christmas TV shows and movies to watch: 2019 edition
- Brian Donaldson
- 16 December 2019
Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special
Classic festive treats and new yuletide-themed content for your delectation, including Scrooge and Derry Girls, and two slices apiece of The Grinch and Romesh
Whether you're gathering around the family telly or streaming shows in the peace and quiet of your own domain, there's plenty festive-themed viewing fare in store. We've unwrapped all the schedules of the key streaming services and TV channels to help you get set for some indoors holiday fun.
Country Christmas, BBC Four
For all you Country fans out there, the Beeb roll out the tinsel and baubles with this festive spin-off to Ken Burns' definitive history series. Trisha Yearwood is the host with the likes of CeCe Winans, Lady Antebellum and Kristin Chenoweth giving it their all.
Friday 20 December
Ball & Boe: A Very Merry Christmas, ITV
The bearded Ball 'n' Boe team up for a good old-fashioned seasonal singalong as they're joined by buddies such as Shirley Bassey and Gregory Porter.
Friday 20 December
The Christmas Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan, BBC Two
After heading to the Arctic last yuletide, Romesh hops off to the Sahara for a no doubt deeply sarcastic look at how to celebrate the festive season amid utterly intolerable heat.
Sunday 22 December
A Christmas Carol, BBC One
Stephen Graham and Andy Serkis help spook up a storm in a festive three-parter of the Dickens epic with Guy Pearce playing miserable ole Scrooge.
Sunday 22 December
Crystal Maze Christmas Special, Channel 4
Among those donning some natty boiler suits are Scarlett Moffatt, Nish Kumar and Gareth Malone as Richard Ayoade aims to put everyone off their maze-based stride. And you won't believe it, but Richard Wilson plays Santa.
Thursday 19 December
The Reluctant Landlord Christmas Special, Sky One
Your second piece of Romesh as his pub-based sitcom celebrates a festive special in which the grumpy landlord threatens to close the bar over Christmas.
Monday 23 December
Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special, BBC One
A decade after viewers last spent time with the Shipmans and the Wests (see what they continue to do there?) and life has certainly moved on for some of residents of Billericay and Barry.
The Great Christmas Bake Off, Channel 4
Some of those Derry Girls (and token English lad) join Noel, Prue and co for some festive fare with some musical treats thrown in by the London Community Gospel Choir.
Wednesday 1 January
A Bad Moms Christmas, Netflix
The mischievous trio played by Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn meet their festive match when their own matriarchs (Cheryl Hines, Susan Sarandon and Christine Baranski) show up for the Christmas from hell.
The Night Before, Amazon Prime
Another naughty threesome (this time played by Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt) unite for their traditional Christmas Eve larks, though given that they're now more grown up, it'll be a bit more sedate, right? Wrong.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Netflix
Back in 2000, Jim Carrey set the movie template for the green-bodied misery-guts as the residents of Whoville prepare for the season with or without the help of their raw onion-munching neighbour.
The Grinch, Sky Cinema
Benedict Cumberbatch lent his velvety tones to the evergreen grump for this animated version narrated by Pharrell Williams and soundtracked by Danny Elfman.
Despicable Me creator Sergio Pablos directs an animated feature about a rubbish postie who befriends a reclusive toymaker. JK Simmons, Rashida Jones and Jason Schwartzman provide their vocal talents.