It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas TV: But is this the best we can do?

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas TV: From Strictly special with Anton Du Beke, Gemma Collins building snowmen and yet more Ant and Dec… is this REALLY the best we can do?

  • Only Way Is Essex star Collins will feature in Channel 4’s The Greatest Snowman
  • Strictly Come Dancing judges including Du Beke will be in Christmas special 
  • Ant and Dec launch  Christmas edition of new ITV gameshow Limitless Win 

If watching Gemma Collins build a snowman sounds like entertainment to you, you’ll be overjoyed at this year’s Christmas TV schedule.  

The Only Way Is Essex star, 41, will feature in Channel 4’s The Greatest Snowman, where she will compete with other ‘celebs’ to build snow and ice sculptures in the snowy climes of Austria. 

The show, presented by Sue Perkins, is one of the many making up Britain’s Christmas TV guide this year, which is beginning to take shape after broadcasters announced their ‘world-class’ offerings today. 

It will join a Strictly Come Dancing special with Anton Du Beke on the BBC, and yet more Ant and Dec on ITV, as the Geordie duo launch the first Christmas edition of their new gameshow Limitless Win. 

If watching Gemma Collins build a snowman sounds like entertainment to you, you'll be overjoyed at this year's Christmas TV schedule. The Only Way Is Essex star, 41, will star in Channel 4's The Greatest Snowman

If watching Gemma Collins build a snowman sounds like entertainment to you, you’ll be overjoyed at this year’s Christmas TV schedule. The Only Way Is Essex star, 41, will star in Channel 4’s The Greatest Snowman 

A Strictly Come Dancing special with Anton Du Beke (pictured) and the rest of the judging panel will feature on the BBC this Christmas

A Strictly Come Dancing special with Anton Du Beke (pictured) and the rest of the judging panel will feature on the BBC this Christmas 

The best films to watch on streaming services this Christmas 

While much of the traditional broadcasters offer one-off specials or repeats, streaming services this year will show some of the latest Hollywood blockbusters –  as well as their own original productions. 

Christmas Carole (Sky Max)

Those looking for a quintessentially festive flick should enjoy this modern take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, starring British favourtie Suranne Jones as an unashamedly wealthy businesswoman. Taj Atwal and Nish Kumar co-star. 

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix)

Available to stream from December 23, this murder mystery is a sequel to the dark comedy Knives Out, which proved a hit in 2019. Starring Daniel Craig as the relentless Benoit Blanc alongside Kate Hudson and Edward Norton. 

Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount+)

Tom Cruise stars in the sequel of the classic, reprising his role as Maverick as he trains a new generation of recruits while starring alongside original castmates, including Jennifer Connelly. Available from December 22. 

The Banshees Of Inisherin (Disney+)

This black tragicomedy film written and directed by Martin McDonagh follows lifelong friends – Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson -who find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship. Available from December 21. 

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Other predictable specials on the Beeb includes The Graham Norton Show, EastEnders, Antiques Roadshow and Call The Midwife. 

Elsewhere, ITV Daytime is treating the public to more Loose Women and This Morning, which will both air for the first time between December 28 and 30, along with Good Morning Britain and Lorraine. 

But there will also be festive one-offs for big hits, including BBC’s Motherland and two Sir David Attenborough shows; Dynasties II and Frozen Planet II. 

There will also be game show specials of Blankety Blank, The Weakest Link, House Of Games, The Hit List, Question Of Sport, Pointless, The Wheel, University Challenge, Would I Lie To You and QI. 

Meanwhile the BBC will award viewers with not one, but two festive specials of Mrs Brown’s Boys.

One viewer joked on Twitter that he was hoping for power cuts during the specials, while another said: ‘There are two things that are unavoidable in life… death and Mrs Browns Boys on Christmas Day BBC 1.’ 

Another jibed on Facebook: ‘Mrs Browns Boys? Has the nation not suffered enough?’

A third compared the BBC’s schedule to ‘some very thin gruel’, while another complained: ‘As always the BBC reveal what’s on at Christmas and as has been for so many years there’s nothing I fancy, there isn’t even a Dr Who!’ 

But the BBC was quick to defend its line-up. 

Charlotte Moore, BBC ‘s Chief Content Officer said: ‘Nothing brings people across the UK together like Christmas on the BBC and this year we’ve got a world-class line-up like no other. 

‘Get ready to escape and be entertained with an incredible range of new festive shows across every genre, live or on demand, there’s something for everyone.’

Part of that ‘world-class’ lineup is The Great British Sewing Bee: Celebrity Christmas Special, which will see some familiar faces attempt to transform unwanted materials into something suitably festive. 

And Cliff Richard fans can rejoice, as the King of Christmas is to perform a one-hour special on BBC Two. 

Cliff At Christmas will see the 82-year-old some of his classics at a church in east London – as well as some of his new material. 

There will be yet more Ant and Dec on ITV this Christmas, as the Geordie duo launch the first Christmas edition of their new Limitless Win gameshow

There will be yet more Ant and Dec on ITV this Christmas, as the Geordie duo launch the first Christmas edition of their new Limitless Win gameshow

Top Gun: Maverick will stream on Paramount+ this Christmas (Pictured: Tom Cruise in the sequel)

Top Gun: Maverick will stream on Paramount+ this Christmas (Pictured: Tom Cruise in the sequel) 

There will also be festive one-offs for big hits, including BBC's Motherland (cast pictured) and two Sir David Attenborough shows; Dynasties II and Frozen Planet II

There will also be festive one-offs for big hits, including BBC’s Motherland (cast pictured) and two Sir David Attenborough shows; Dynasties II and Frozen Planet II

‘Thank God for Amazon and Netflix,’ another Twitter user joked after reading the schedules. 

Another branded the list of programming a ‘horror story.’ 

Others were excited for the schedule, as one declared: ‘Finally some great Christmas specials from the BBC this year! Looking forward to this.’  

'Thank God for Amazon and Netflix': Viewers react to announcement of Christmas TV schedule

‘Thank God for Amazon and Netflix’: Viewers react to announcement of Christmas TV schedule 

Meanwhile on Channel 4, comedian Nish Kumar will host Celebrity Legomasters At Christmas, which will see three celebrity teams compete in the ultimate Lego-building contest. 

Much like the last few years, the broadcaster will also show a festive celebrity edition of Bake Off. 

Perhaps its most original offering will be Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama. 

The series sees Michael Sheen dramatise the now infamous Wagatha Christie trial – aka the ‘libel trial of the century’ – between WAGs Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy, which captured the nation’s imagination this year. 

Who is showing what on TV this Christmas?  

BBC

  • The Smeds and the Smoos (BBC One) 
  • The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse (BBC One) 
  • That’s My Jam with Mo Gilligan (BBC One)
  • The Weakest Link Christmas Special (BBC One)
  • Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel (BBC One) 
  • Cliff At Christmas (BBC Two)
  • On Christmas Night (BBC One)
  • Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special (BBC One) 
  • The Great British Sewing Bee: Celebrity Christmas Special (BBC One) 
  • When Tina Turner Came To Britain (BBC Two)
  • Detectorists (BBC Two) 
  • Bad Education: The Reunion (BBC Three) 
  • Call The Midwife Christmas Special (BBC One

ITV

  • Ant & Dec’s Christmas Limitless Win 
  • Britain Get Singing
  • Britain’s Got Talent: The Ultimate Magician 
  • Royal Carols: Together At Christmas 
  • A Year On Planet Earth (ITVX) 
  • Lost Voice Guy’s Christmas Comedy Club 
  • Riches (ITVX) 

Channel 4

  • Celebrity Legomasters At Christmas 
  • The Greatest Snowman
  • The Great Festive Bake Off
  • Five Star Christmas: Inside The Corinthia 
  • Lighting Up Christmas 
  • Miriam’s Dickensian Christmas
  • Vardy v Rooney  

Channel 5

  • All Creatures Great And Small 

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