What’s on TV this Christmas? The best holiday television

Here is The Week’s guide to the best Christmas TV content to watch this year.


Quentin Blake: The Drawing of My Life 

A celebration of the illustrator and author, who is now 89, as he works on a 30-foot drawing featuring characters from his 70-year career. 

Saturday 25 December, BBC2 16:10 (60mins)

Terry Pratchett’s The Abominable Snow Baby

Julie Walters and David Harewood are among the voices narrating this animated adaptation of Pratchett’s charming short story.

Saturday 25 December, C4 19:30 (30mins)

A Musical Family Christmas with the Kanneh-Masons

The seven siblings come home to Nottingham to perform Christmas songs from Britain, Sierra Leone and the Caribbean.

Saturday 25 December, BBC2 20:35 (60mins)

Around the World in 80 Days

David Tennant plays explorer Phileas Fogg in the BBC’s new eight-part adaptation of the classic novel.

Sunday 26 December, BBC1 17:50 and 18:40 (50mins each)

A Very British Scandal

Three-part drama starring Claire Foy as the heiress who fell for the dashing – and married – future Duke of Argyll (Paul Bettany).

Sunday 26, Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 December, BBC1 21:00 (60mins each)

This is Joan Collins

Feature documentary, narrated with characteristic verve by Collins herself, telling the story of her seven decades in showbiz.

Saturday 1 January, BBC2 21:00 (90mins)


In this emotionally charged four-part drama, Maxine Peake plays a bereaved mother determined to discover the truth about the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

Sunday 2, Monday 3, Tuesday 4 and Wednesay 5 January, ITV1 21:00 (75mins each)

Andy Warhol’s America

Three-part series looking at Warhol’s relationship with America a country he both critiqued and glorified in his work.

Thursday 6 January, BBC2 21:00 (60mins)


West Side Story (1961)

The classic musical, just remade by Steven Spielberg, with a Leonard Bernstein score and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

Monday 27 December, BBC2 15:35 (145mins)

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Acclaimed sequel to the sci-fi classic, starring Ryan Gosling as the replicant charged with “retiring” older models.

Monday 27 December, BBC2 21:00 (150mins)

A Star Is Born (2018)

Bradley Cooper stars as the washed-up country star who falls for a talented younger singer (Lady Gaga) in this latest remake of the Hollywood love story.

Wednesday 29 December, BBC1 21:00 (126mins)

Judy (2019)

Renée Zellweger won an Oscar for her role as Judy Garland in this biopic, set in the last year of the singer’s life.

Thursday 30 December, BBC2 21:00 (110mins)

The Sound of Music (1965)

Another chance to see the evergreen musical about the von Trap family.

Saturday 1 January, BBC1 14:20 (165mins)

Subscription TV 

The Amazing Mr Blunden

A seasonal update of a 1972 film about two London teenagers arriving at a tumbledown house in the country that is said to be haunted. Starring Simon Callow, Tamsin Greig and Mark Gatiss.

From 24 December, on Sky Max and Now TV

Stay Close

An eight-part thriller adapted from Harlan Coben’s novel about a group of people who are each hiding a secret. Cush Jumbo, Sarah Parish and James Nesbitt star.

From 31 December, on Netflix


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