Christmas Crackers 2008

The countdown to Christmas has begun, and in the runup to the big day many of our favourite shows will be celebrating with seasonal specials and returns. Which festive treat will you tune in for?

Drama

Doctor Who, The Next Doctor

Thursday 25 December, 6 p.m.
BBC1

It's Christmas Eve 1851 and there are two doctors in town. David Tennant is joined by a second Time Lord, played by James Morrissey, in a quest to free the world from the clutches of the Cybermen and save Christmas day.

Midsomer Murders, Days of Misrule

TBC
ITV1

DCI Tom Barnaby and DS Ben Jones have no time to celebrate this Christmas after there's an explosion at a haulage yard and a man's body is found floating in a lake. Will they be able to solve the crime and get back in time for Christmas dinner?

Jonathan Creek, The Grinning Man

Thursday 1 January, 9 p.m. BBC1

Alan Davies returns after a four-year break to solve another murder mystery. This one-off show will see the magician's assistant back to his old tricks as he investigates some unexplained deaths in the attic of a Gothic house.

Entertainment

Strictly Come Dancing

Saturday 20 December 6:40 p.m. and Thursday 25 December, 7 p.m.

BBC1

Along with the final of the celebrity dance contest, this Christmas will play host to a special Strictly show, featuring favourite contestants from past and present. Kelly Brook, Alisha Dixon, and Jill Halfpenny return to the stage to compete with this year's finalists for the Strictly Christmas Champion title.

The Charlotte Church Nutcracking Christmas Special

Sunday 21st of December Channel 4

The Welsh singer hosts this special edition of her entertainment show. Ronnie Corbett, Gavin and Stacey's James Corden, and comedian Jo Brand will be joining Charlotte to give the nativity story a Welsh twist.

Top of the Pops

Thursday 25 December, 2 p.m. BBC1

Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates present this year's festive Top of the Pops, bringing you performances from some of the year's biggest stars and counting down to reveal that all-important Christmas No. 1.

Alan Carr's Christmas Ding Dong

Tuesday 23rd of December
Channel 4

Alan Carr presents a seasonal battle between panto's goodies and baddies. Barbara Windsor, Paul Daniels, and Debra Stephenson take part in the festive fun as they take on the roles of well-known panto characters.

Don't Forget the Lyrics

TBC
Sky1

The sing-a-long game show, hosted by Shane Richie, returns with a festive focus this December, as contestants complete the lyrics to Christmas classics in a bid to win a cash prize.

Comedy

The Simpsons

TBC
Sky1

"Love, Springfieldian Style" is the first of Sky's "12 Days of Exclusive Simpsons" episodes (which includes--yup, you've guessed it--12 days of exclusive Simpsons programming). After getting stuck in a Tunnel of Love ride at a carnival, Homer, Marge, and Bart pass the time by sharing some of the greatest love stories ever told.

Wallace and Gromit

Thursday 25 December, 8:30 p.m.
BBC1

The premiere of the duo's latest adventure, "A Matter of Loaf and Death," premieres on the BBC over Christmas. Wallace has opened his own bakery, complete with new inventions, but he and Gromit find themselves under threat from the local "cereal killer" who has been targeting every baker in town.

Gavin and Stacey

Wednesday 24 December, 10 p.m.
BBC1

Everyone's off to the Shipmans' this year, and Smithy can't wait to spend his first Christmas with baby Neil. All doesn't go to plan, however, as an unexpected visitors turn up. There's also a behind-the-scenes special to keep your eyes peeled for during the festive period.

My Family

TBC
BBC1

Ben plays Scrooge this Christmas as he attempts to buy Susan a necklace at a bargain price. It's not easy, though, and he soon comes face to face with an especially unhelpful shop assistant. Will he manage grab Susan a good bargain, or will he come away empty-handed?

Britain's Got an Extra Pop Factor and Then Some

TBC
Channel 4

Peter Kay is back with a follow up to his comedy Britain's Got the Pop Factor.... This one-hour special continues the reality mockery by counting down the "best" performances from the last show. The show features interviews with this year's winner Geraldine McQueen, as well the chance to hear her new Christmas single, "Once Upon a Christmas Song."

The Royle Family

Thursday 25 December, 9:30 p.m.
BBC1

Two years since the last Christmas special, The Royle Family returns. The festive period is treated with their usual irreverence as Jim and Barbara continue to taunt each other while Denise and Dave still aspire for more.

Comments (2)
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I am looking forward to Doctor Who, maybe I will watch Midsomer Murders as well.
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It's so good to see Jonathan Creek, Doctor Who and Wallace and Gromit are coming back, even if it is only for one day! The Peter Kay thing looks funny too I'll be tuning into those for sure!
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