For many, the magic of Christmas lies in an overload of delicious food and abundance of fabulous gifts. However, it could be argued that the UK's annual lineup of festive TV is in fact the greatest aspect of the Christmas season. Each year viewers are inundated with an array of classic reruns, seasonal specials, and outstanding one-off dramas — all of which dominate the airwaves throughout the latter half of December. However, with such a large amount of options, it's difficult to know which shows are worth giving a go. So, here's your guide to the best Christmas TV of 2019, because you won't want to miss a second of what promises to be a great year for yuletide telly.
As the Christmas season rolls around, us Brits come to expect a top notch TV schedule, and judging by whats in the pipeline for 2019, this year is going to be no different. Viewers can look forward to the return of a much-loved BBC sitcom, an all-star adaptation of a classic Dickens novel, a festive edition of the nation's favourite baking show, and much more. So to ensure your Christmas Day TV marathon runs smoothly, have a look below to discover what tickles your fancy.
1. 'A Christmas Carol'
Charles Dickens' festive classic has been brought to life once again, this time in the BBC's creepy adaptation of A Christmas Carol. In this unique reimagining, Memento's Guy Pearce will portray the seasonal grump Ebenezer Scrooge, and be joined in the three-part special by the likes of Charlotte Riley, Stephen Graham, Andy Serkis, and more. We're still waiting on an exact date, but A Christmas Carol is confirmed to air on BBC One sometime during the Christmas period — and clear your schedules, because you don't want to miss this Tom Hardy-produced masterpiece.
2. 'Call The Midwife Christmas Special'
BBC period drama Call The Midwife has become nothing short of a Christmas Day tradition following a string of festive specials over the past few years. Luckily for fans of the series, our favourite midwives will be back once again for yet another seasonal special — which is set to mark the beginning of the show's ninth season. The hit drama will then continue early next year, and the upcoming Christmas edition will ensure Call The Midwife arrives back into our lives with a bang.
3. 'Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special'
News that Gavin & Stacey would indeed be returning for a one-off Christmas special came as some very welcome news to fans of the hit comedy, and after decade since last gracing our airwaves, the sitcom's comeback might well be the highlight of this year's festive TV calendar. The show's original cast — which includes Ruth Jones, James Corden, Matthew Horne, and more — are all set to return for the hour-long episode, which is confirmed to be part of BBC One's Christmas Day line-up. I can't wait.
4. 'Mimi & The Mountain Dragon'
The magic of Christmas provides a perfect opportunity to tap into your inner-child, and BBC One's animated adventure Mimi and the Mountain Dragon allows viewers to do precisely that. The festive special is based on Michael Morpurgo's popular children's book of the same name, and tells the story of a shy girl who discovers a baby dragon in her family woodshed.
5. 'The Great Christmas Bake Off'
Fans of Britain's best-loved baking show are in for not one, but two delicious festive treats on Channel 4 this Christmas, because The Great British Bake Off is back with two seasonal specials — the first of which will see some of our favourite bakers from years gone by return to the famous gazebo. Then, as part of Channel 4's New Year’s Day lineup, Prue Leith and the gang will be joined by the cast of Derry Girls, in what promises to be a hilarious edition of the competition series.
6. 'The Trial of Christine Keeler'
Based on an infamous British scandal, The Trial of Christine Keeler is set to be a brilliant addition to the BBC's Christmas lineup. The six-part series centres around the sexual and cultural politics of the 1960s, and the festive season seems like the perfect time to kickstart this gripping new drama.
7. 'Cinderella: After Ever After'
Sky's 2019 Christmas offering arrives in the form on Cinderella: After Ever After, and as the title suggests, the original drama picks up where the classic story of Cinderella left off. Starring David Walliams, Sian Gibson, and more, the festive special explores Cinderella's post-marriage life, and the seemingly perfect Prince Charming might not be everything he was originally cracked up to be.
8. 'Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special'
Like turkey on a Christmas dinner, it's hard to imagine the festive season without a Strictly Come Dancing special. Thankfully, the BBC ballroom competition is back for another Christmas spectacular, along with hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, and an all-star lineup of contestants — each of whom have previously competed in the reality-competition series. Exciting stuff.