Making Merry with what’s on the Telly

Forget the Radio Times and let Roobla guide you!

It’s no exaggeration to say that the 42-inch Samsung sitting in your living room will be invaluable this yuletide. But it looks like the Christmas cheer will be alive and well, for a little while at least, so whether it’s film, footy, or even Family Fortunes that’s your bag, here’s a peak at what you should – and definitely shouldn’t – be watching over the five days.

  1. 1

    Wednesday, December 23

    They're fast-becoming as dynamic a duo as Batman and Robin, so the screen version of David Walliams' tale, Jack & the Beanstalk After Ever After, in which he stars alongside Sheridan Smith, will be welcome viewing to kick-off with. Unfortunately, there's more than a mere dollop of cookery tonight, and none of it all that palatable. The BBC's Mary Berry Saves Christmas will no doubt contain the usual amount of fawning over the Queen of Baking, but that's outdone by ITV's Burnt Bits which sees several famous chefs - and Lisa Faulkner - reminisce about the times they screwed up on live TV. Yippee!

    Top of the Tree:

    Film: Scrooge: A Christmas Carol (C5, 11.30am) - The original (probably) and best.

    Jack & the Beanstalk After Ever After (Sky One, 8pm) - What's not to like about turning a 300-year-old fairy tale on its head?

    Top Turkeys:

    Burnt Bits (ITV, 8pm) - Lisa Faulkner's a TV chef, apparently.

    A Christmas History of Sacred Music (BBC4, 8pm) - The title alone's enough to put anyone off.

     

  2. 2

    Christmas Eve

    Forget The Vicar of Dibley, tonight Dawn French stars in Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse, which tells the hitherto-unknown true story of a six-year-old Roald Dahl's encounter with his hero Beatrix Potter. Apart from that and the evergreen classic It's A Wonderful Life, there's precious little to write to Santa about. Have I Got 30 Years For You could well be very entertaining, or it could just make you yearn for the days when the age-defying comedy news quiz was at its irreverent best.

    Top of the Tree:

    Film: It's A Wonderful Life (C4, 2.35pm) - Still ahead of its time, in more ways than one.

    Roald & Beatrix: The Tale of the Curious Mouse (Sky One, 8.15 pm) - Amazing that this actually happened.

    Top Turkeys:

    Film: Scrooge (BBC2, 9.35am) - 50 years on and we're still no closer to knowing who thought this would make a good musical.

    The Great Christmas Bake Off (C4, 7.40pm) - If you're one of the lucky few who've still never watched it, don't start with this.

  3. 3

    Christmas Day

    Ooooh, how we've missed going to gigs in 2020. So what better way to try and combat the withdrawal symptoms than by watching the world's greatest-living musician perform at his old stomping ground? Filmed in 2018, the premiere of Paul McCartney At The Cavern Club is guaranteed to provide entertainment of the highest order. Elsewhere on the big day, there's Quentin Blake's Clown (which sort of counts as another tick in the box for Dahl fans), along with the equally anticipated, but far less uplifting EastEnders. Ian Beale's in a bit of bother; I guess Christmas wouldn't be Christmas...

    Top of the Tree:

    Quentin Blake's Clown (C4, 7.40pm) - A brand-new adventure from one of the best in the business.

    Paul McCartney at the Cavern Club (BBC1, 11.45pm) - Doing what he does best.

    Top Turkeys:

    EastEnders (BBC1 9.10pm) - Pray you'll be asleep by then.

    George Michael: Last Christmas (C5, 10.40pm) - A documentary we've seen several times now, repackaged with a seasonal title.

  4. 4

    Boxing Day

    Aside from leftover turkey, there's one other guarantee on Boxing Day and that's an afternoon's racing. ITV brings you all the action live from Kempton Park, including the much-coveted King George VI Steeplechase. If the horses aren't your thing, the BBC have a surprise in store in the form of Premier League football, as Aston Villa take on Crystal Palace. And if that still doesn't do it for you, perhaps back-to-back specials of Family Fortunes and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire will. Failing even that, there's five-star World War II drama with Dunkirk.

    Top of the Tree:

    Racing: Live from Kempton (ITV, 12.55pm) - Today just wouldn't be the same without it.

    Film: Dunkirk (BBC1, 9.05pm) - Arguably the greatest movie of its genre in recent years.

    Top Turkeys:

    Big Fat Quiz of the Year (C4, 9.05pm) - For what seems like the millionth time.

    Film: The Holiday (ITV, 10.45pm) - Are people finally catching on that this is one of the worst festive films ever?

  5. 5

    Sunday, December 27

    Far be it from me to tell you how to spend your holidays, but I'd advise you to stick with Sky One for today. The sport carries on with a double-header of Premier League fixtures, followed by the day's second session of darts from the Ally Pally. After that, there's the small matter of the alternative Christmas cracker, Gremlins. If you like your Sundays with a touch more familiarity, there's Countryfile and Antiques Roadshow in their usual slots, but whatever you do, avoid Last Woman On Earth with Sarah Pascoe. Quite while the BBC feel the need to send yet another celebrity around the world to tell us things we already know is a mystery, but mercifully this is a mere three-parter.

    Top of the Tree:

    World Darts Championship (Sky One, 6pm) - This is the day the business end of the tournament really begins.

    Film: Gremlins (Sky One, 10pm) - Christmas movies have never been the same since.

    Top Turkeys:

    Last Woman On Earth With Sarah Pascoe (BBC2, 9pm) - Another celeb, another travel yawn.

    We Love Only Fools and Horses (C5, 9pm) - Just let it be - or at least use some decent talking heads.

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