Christmas TV 2018: What to watch on BBC, ITV and Netflix

We all know what Christmas is really about – the TV shows!

Christmas is approaching and with it comes a packed TV schedule, full of drama, soaps and specials.

There’s comedy, romance, period pieces and murder in mind with plenty of familiar faces and your favourite stars.

We know you want to get your TV box set so you don’t miss anything, so we’ve put together a guide to what’s on this Christmas 2018.

From BBC to ITV, Netflix to Channel 4, get your remote and red pen because there’s a lot of TV goodness on it’s way this year.

Here’s your guide to what Christmas TV is on the main channels as well as Netflix.

BBC One Watership Down, date TBC

Christmas TV 2018: What to watch on BBC, ITV and Netflix

Watership Down
(Image: BBC)

James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, John Boyega, Gemma Arterton, Olivia Colman, Ben Kingsley, Daniel Kaluuya, Miles Jupp, Taron Egerton, Rosamund Pike, Gemma Chan, Peter Capaldi, Rory Kinnear, Craig Parkinson, Jason Watkins, Anne-Marie Duff, Tom Wilkinson and more star in the Netflix and BBC One show.

The animated two-part production retells the Richard Adams’ children’s story. There’s a warning here – it should still be as terrifying as the 1978 version!

The ABC Murders, date TBC

Christmas TV 2018: What to watch on BBC, ITV and Netflix

Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders

John Malkovich is joined by an all-star cast. Rupert Grint and Tara Fitzgerald join him in this tale of brutal murder.

This is classic Hercule Poirot, so expect intrigue as the three-part Agatha Christie drama is brought to the small screen.

Les Miserables, date TBC

Christmas TV 2018: What to watch on BBC, ITV and Netflix

(Image: BBC/Lookout Point/Robert Viglasky)

The six-part adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel will make its way to the BBC, music-free.

Delving deep into the revolution and the stories of those involved, the cast features Dominic West, David Oyelowo and Olivia Colman, among others.

Read More

  • Les Miserables TV series first pics show Olivia Colman and Lily Collins in character

The Long Song, date TBC

Tamara Lawrence leads a cast including Hayley Atwell and Sir Lenny Henry in the three-part drama adaptation of Andrea Levy’s book.

The story is set in 19th century Jamaica as slavery was dying out. It shows one woman’s struggle.

Click and Collect, date TBC

One-off comedy with The Office’s Stephen Merchant and Asim Chaudhry. A story of mismatched neighbours driving together across country to get the one toy a little girl wants for Christmas.

Mrs Browns Boys, date TBC

Christmas TV 2018: What to watch on BBC, ITV and Netflix

The Christmas Special was very popular last year
(Image: BBC Studios/Alan Peebles)

The new series is hanging in the balance ie it’s yet to be commissioned, but the sitcom is back for Christmas – and will be up until 2020.

Brendan O’Carroll hasn’t revealed any details about this year though.

Read More

  • Mrs Brown’s Boys could be ‘axed’ next year, says Brendan O’Carroll

Care, date TBC

Brookside writer Jimmy McGovern has penned this drama about a single working mum played by Sheridan Smith who is trying to raise her kids when mum (Alison Steadman) gets dementia.

The Midnight Gang, date TBC

If you liked Grandpa’s Great Escape, then you’ll like this. David Walliams returns with another of his books being adapted for the BBC.

This time we follow the story of a gang of kids at Lord Funt Hospital who go on an adventure as the other patients sleep.

Zog, Christmas Day

Christmas TV 2018: What to watch on BBC, ITV and Netflix


Sir Lenny Henry stars in the BBC’s Zog. Tracey Ullman, Hugh Skinner, Patsy Ferran and Kit Harington also star.

This is an adaptation of the children’s book of the same name, telling the story of the mischievous dragon as he learns to capture princesses at school.

Strictly Come Dancing, Christmas Day

Six celebs return to dance it out for Christmas in the traditional special all in a bid to win the glitterball.

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will be back with the judges.

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  • Strictly Come Dancing: Christmas special celebrity and pro couples REVEALED

BBC Sports Personality of the Year, December 16

The 65th annual awards will be held in December. Tune in to see Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Gabby Logan host. There’s a few changes this year as the public decide who wins the trophy.

The show will reveal the contenders for the prize on the night rather than three weeks ahead.

Best Christmas Food Ever, date TBC

Chef Paul Ainsworth and home cook Catherine Fulvio are joined by guests for the special cooking show. It’ll be shown in the lead up to the big day.

Call the Midwife Special, Christmas Day

Christmas TV 2018: What to watch on BBC, ITV and Netflix

Call The Midwife Christmas Special

Miriam Margoyles joins the regular cast for the Christmas special as Sister Mildred, a nun who arrives at the Nonnatus House with four Chinese refugees. Chaos and joy ensue.

Bad Move Christmas Special, date TBC

Jack Dee and Kerry Godliman return for the special. The married couple face more struggles after escaping the city.

The Jonathan Ross Show, Boxing Day

The chat show is back for a Christmas special as you come down off the high of the festivities.

Sir Ian McKellen, Fiona Bruce and Downton Abbey’s Lily James will all be on the sofa.

Doctor Who, New Year’s Day

Christmas TV 2018: What to watch on BBC, ITV and Netflix

Doctor Who has a New Years special

No Christmas special this year, but we do get a New Year’s Day one, with Jodie Whittaker continuing her adventures.

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  • Doctor Who New Year Special 2019: Special episode details revealed

ITV Torvill and Dean, Christmas Day

Anita Dobson and Stephen Tompkinson star in this biopic piece about Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. It follows their rise to fame.

Channel 4 So This is Christmas, date TBC

Alan Carr returns two years after his series was axed. Expect the same format with a festive feel.

The Great British Bake Off, date TBC

Bake Off will be back! So if you’re missing it after Rahul’s win don’t worry.

There’s a Christmas and New Year special. We’ll update you when we know who is taking part.

Jamie’s Quick and Easy Christmas, date TBC

Jamie is set to show you the tips and tricks you need to whip up the best Christmas dinner.

The Inbetweeners Tenth Birthday Party, date TBC

Christmas TV 2018: What to watch on BBC, ITV and Netflix

(Image: John Wright)

Simon Bird, James Buckley, Joe Thomas and Blake Harrison are back for a Christmas special to mark the show’s tenth anniversary.

The documentary will feature special guests and unseen footage.

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  • Which Inbetweeners character are you? Take this quiz to find out

The Keith and Paddy Picture Show Christmas Special, date TBC

What’s next for the pair to parody? Gremlin! Zac Galligan, Billy in the original, will cameo.

BBC 2 Upstart Crow, date TBC

Nothing hath been announced yet for the Shakespearean comedy, but it will returneth.

David Mitchell, Gemma Whelan and Liza Tarbuck are joined by Lily Cole and Kenneth Branagh.

BBC 4 The Dead Room, date TBC

Mark Gatiss has created a ghost story starring Simon Callow and Anjili Monhindra.

Gatiss also stars as a veteran radio host disturbed by the spooky goings on.

Netflix Nightflyers

Christmas TV 2018: What to watch on BBC, ITV and Netflix

Netflix’s Nightflyers

The new horror sci-fi series is based on George RR Martin’s novella. Think Psycho in Space.

Set in 2093 on the eve of Earth’s destruction we follow a group of scientists and a telepath that board the most advanced ship in history. They’re off to contact alien life forms that may have the knowledge to save humanity.

It, of course, doesn’t go to plan.

The Christmas Chronicles, November 22

Kurt Russell stars as Santa Claus in the Christmas movie a la 90s flicks.

A Christmas Prince: A Royal Wedding, November 30

The sequel to the viral hit A Christmas Prince, expect more cheese and a big old wedding.

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  • A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding trailer and poster revealed

Mowgli, December 7

Andy Serkis’ live-action take on The Jungle Book is dropping on the streaming site with Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale.

Dumplin’, December 7

Christmas TV 2018: What to watch on BBC, ITV and Netflix


Jennifer Aniston stars in the comedy film about the plus-sized daughter of a former beauty pageant queen who signs up for a teen pageant.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale, December 14

The Sabrina reboot is getting its own Christmas special focusing on the Church of Night celebrating the Winer Solstice.

The Innocent Man, December 14

Netflix’s latest true crime series breaks down two murders in six-parts. Set in a town in Oklahoma it takes us through the murders in the 1980s, which gained attention when thriller writer John Grisham wrote The Innocent Man: Murder and Justice in a Small Town about them.


Check back for updates on the soaps as we get them.

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