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Let the countdown begin…

Let the countdown begin…

Celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day with the best TV and entertainment across all channels

Get your glad rags on, print out the words to Auld Lang Syne and pop open the bubbles… it’s time to celebrate the New Year!

New Year’s Eve + New Year’s Day telly

Whether New Year celebrations in your house are a wild party, a civilised shindig or a cosy night in, one thing’s for certain, your telly is ready to burst with great shows and entertainment to enjoy! Let’s hope 2020 TV keeps up this blistering pace all year long.


So, from ringing in the New Year with live music, diving into new drama or cheers-ing over comedy specials, there’s something on the box to satisfy everyone. And then, of course, there’s even more on to help you recover from that headache on New Year’s Day, with a Time Lord and a vampire landing on your screen.


Read on for our TV timeline of highlights over the two-day party period! And don’t worry… there’s always Catch Up if you sleep through to 2 January.


Only Fools And Horses: Jolly Boys Outing

GOLD HD (CH 124). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > Gold

It’s not called a comedy classic for nothing and the feature-length from 1989, is not your average Christmas special either. Set over an August weekend, it’s time for the traditional Jolly Boys Outing “dahn ta Margate”. Featuring all of the cast from the sitcom, David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst, John Challis and the rest of the Nags Head regulars set off to the seaside for a trip that is obviously set to be a success and go off without a hitch… right?


Top Of The Pops New Year’s Eve Special

BBC One HD (CH 101/108). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > BBC iPlayer

Ferne Cotton and Clara Amfo are back to see in the New Year with some of the biggest songs and artists from the last twelve months. Not only that they’ll be getting the party started with the New Year number one!


The Last Leg Of The Year 2019

Channel 4/HD (CH 104/141). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > All 4

Adam Hills heads up the last of this year’s politically-leaning comedy chat show as we say goodbye to the year. Ably aided and abetted by co-hosting duo Josh Widdicombe and Sink or Swim hero Alex Brooker, they are set to take an acerbic look back at whatever 2019 actually was. With no shortage of social, political and celebrity shortcomings and mad moments, the show is sure to be jam-packed with juicy bits for the gang and their guests to get stuck into.


The Big Fat Quiz Of The Year 2019

Channel 4/HD (CH 104/141). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > All 4

Taking a sideways look back to the year, the ultimate TV pub quiz format is back. It’s hosted as ever by the comedy Paxman, Jimmy Carr, who’s again joined by three teams of celebs to find out who knows the most about headlines from 2019. Richard Ayoade, Noel Fielding, Maya Jama, Rosin Conaty, Asim Chaudhry and Dara Ó Briain are all onboard to give the answers, while Jon Snow and Mitchell Brook Primary School students return to help ask the questions.


Jools’ Annual Hootenanny 2019

BBC Two HD (CH 102). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > BBC iPlayer

It’s just not New Year without Jools Holland and his Hootenanny, so it’s only right for him and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra to see us in as the countdown draws closer! Joining Jools for a song and a quick chat by the piano are the likes of Stormzy, La Roux, Tom Walker, Rick Astley, Stereophonics, Ruby Turner and the Pipes and Drums of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards. That’s all crammed in before the chimes start, unless you fancy some fireworks…


London Fireworks Live

BBC One HD (CH 101/108). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > BBC iPlayer

The banks of the River Thames are where the London Fireworks and Big Ben will officially ring in the New Year! So, rather than having to wrap up and head down there yourself (trust us, you’ll spend half of the time trying to find your mates, the other half looking for somewhere to pee!), just turn the telly up, turn the lights off and fill up everyone’s glass to enjoy it all from the comfort of your warm and cosy living room. Happy 2020!


Craig David Rocks Big Ben Live

BBC One HD (CH 101/108). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > BBC iPlayer

Things really kick off once the fireworks stop, as Southampton’s favourite son brings his smash Ibiza party experience, TS5, to the BBC. The artist that was literally Born To Do It will be playing a set of classic choons and new bangers, all accompanied by his band and some very special guests. So, make sure your dancing shoes are on (even if they’re the new slippers your mother-in-law got you) cos there’s no better way to soundtrack the first hours of a new year than with this!


The Lion King

Channel 4/HD (CH 101/141).

Settle down on the sofa with a stockpile of snacks to enjoy this classic from the House of Mouse. While the recent live-action remake was stunning, it’s the original 90s animation that set the bar and really ushered in a new era for Disney. The kids will love this family favourite and it’s also suitable for those adults with a sore head after the night before. Just try and keep yourself together after that wildebeest stampede scene…


Doctor Who

BBC One HD (CH 101/108). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > BBC iPlayer

The Time Lord (finally) returns! It has been 12 veeeeeery long months since Jodie Whittaker last took to the TARDIS as the thirteenth incarnation of The Doctor. But she’s back now and joined once again but her motley crew of companions, Graham (Bradley Walsh), Ryan (Tosin Cole) and Yasmin (Mandip Gill). In the 2019 New Year’s special, they only just managed to defeat the Daleks… so we’ll have to wait to see what they come up against and how they fare as the twelfth season (since its regeneration in 2005) begins.


The Great Festive Bake Off

Channel 4/HD (CH 104/141). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > All 4

Get your oven gloves on, it’s back into the Bake Off tent we go. Our first visit of 2020 may arrive a while before the show starts for real, but this occasion is a special one-off featuring the cast of Derry Girls. Stars Saoirse-Monica Jackson (Erin), Nicola Coughlan (Clare), Jamie-Lee O’Donnell (Michelle), Dylan Llewellyn (James) and Siobhan McSweeney (Sister Michael) will be battling it out to be crowned Star Baker before the serious steely blue eyes of Paul Hollywood and the strained patience of Prue Leith. As ever, hosts Noel Fielding and Sandy Toksvig provide light relief and even more lightweight baking advice.



BBC One HD (CH 101/108). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > BBC iPlayer

This time of year just screams out for a great horror series, and Sherlock writers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffatt are not going to disappoint with their highly anticipated adaptation of Dracula. Over three terrifying episodes, they tell the classic Bram Stoker tale with Claes Bang (The Affair) as the vampiric count. Staying faithful to the source material, the show is set in Victorian London and Transylvania and is sure to feature blood, gore, bats and more, with three episodes showing over three consecutive nights. 



ITV HD (CH 103/113). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > ITV Hub

Broadchurch’s Sarah Parish is back as Elizabeth Bancroft, a ruthless and newly promoted Detective Chief Superintendent who is riding high in her career. But success has come at a cost – she’s now estranged from her son and still locked in a pact with a dangerous crime boss. When a disturbing double murder brings her personal and professional life together, a chilling new adversary enters from the shadows. Picking up two years after series 1, this time around Bancroft will be pushed to the edge like never before. This three-parter is also showing over three consecutive nights. 


Mrs Brown’s Boys New Year Special

BBC One HD (CH 101/108). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > BBC iPlayer

Brendan O’Carroll’s perennially popular comedy returns to our screens for its second special of the festive season, “Orange Is The New Mammy”! Agnes Brown and her brood are set for a less-than-happy new year when they find out that Peggy Piper the Pernod poisoner (try saying that fast just after the New Year bells!) might be released from prison… Cue bickering, banter and some bad language as the family try to figure out what to do with the news.

What to watch over the rest of the year

There are loads more TV, movies, sports and entertainment to watch out for in 2020. Check out our pick of the best new TV coming this year and a round-up of favourite returning shows too.


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TV channels: Channels, content and features available depend on your chosen package. Channel line-ups and content are subject to change at any time and to regional variations.

HD: HD TV set, V HD Box, TiVo box or Virgin TV V6 connected with HDMI cables required for HD channels. Number of inclusive HD channels depends on package.

Catch Up TV: Catch Up TV content available for up to 7 days or up to 30 days after broadcast, depending on content.

Image credits: Doctor Who © BBC / BBC Studios – Photographer: Henrik Knudsen

Jools Holland © BBC – Photographer: Michael Leckie

Dracula © Hartswood Films – Photographer: David Ellis