For many people, the Christmas TV schedules are a big part of the festive celebrations, which is why many of us don’t bother with TV listings magazines through the year but always buy the Radio Times at Christmas.
That’s because the schedules are packed with family favourites, one-off drama episodes and great programmes.
And Christmas TV’s schedules for 2018 are no different with the return of Mrs Brown’s Boys, Strictly Come Dancing and the popular family Christmas Day favourite, Call The Midwife.
However, there will be no Doctor Who special edition on our screens on Christmas Day as the show will, instead, be broadcast on New Year’s Day.
There’s also the thrilling return of Idris Elba in the cracking crime show Luther and a six-part adaptation of Les Miserables, featuring Dominic West.
The BBC has also unveiled a fresh interpretation of Richard Adams’ Watership Down and there is Agatha Christies’ The ABC Murders – starring John Malkovich and Rupert Grint – to enjoy.
Festive TV tradition in recent years
Another festive TV tradition in recent years is to enjoy a David Walliams’ book and this year the BBC has adapted The Midnight Gang for the screen.
Pop group Take That will also mark their 30th anniversary with the broadcast of a special one-off programme.
It’s also the 20th anniversary of comedy show Goodness Gracious Me and it will celebrate its anniversary with celebrity fans in a special edition.
There’s also a raft of documentaries scheduled, including one on the illustrator Raymond Briggs, who created The Snowman, and the comedian Billy Connolly.
There’s also some festive culture on BBC Four with a performance of Swan Lake from the Royal Opera House.
In addition, music lovers will get to enjoy four Top of the Pops specials over the holiday period.
Live episode of the long-running sitcom Not Going Out
One particular highlight could be the live episode of the long-running sitcom Not Going Out, featuring the comedian Lee Mack.
Fans of Morecambe and Wise will also get to enjoy two episodes that have been lost for 50 years.
The episodes were found in Sierra Leone cinema and though they were in black-and-white, they have now been returned to colour.
The radio schedules have also been unveiled with the BBC highlighting that Hollywood star Angelina Jolie will guest edit the Today programme and there’s an interactive drama created for those with an Amazon Alexa device called The Unfortunates.
The story will be broadcast in 17 different sections and then shuffled into new order whenever the series is listened to with just the first and final sections remaining in a fixed place.
For those who are interested in the maths, this show will have 1.3 trillion different permutations of the same story which should keep a few people busy over the festive period!