Your complete guide to the best festive TV comedies, stand-up, panel shows and specials across all Virgin Media channels
By Virgin TV Edit
Christmas TV might be a time for murders on soaps, but if there has been a year when we could all do with a laugh, it’s this one. This year's schedules are packed with LOLs... or whatever kids actually say in 2021. (We bet it’s not LOL).
Read on for all the information, including when to watch them, and keep checking back as we’ll be updating this page with new shows and programming as soon as it’s announced.
Don’t miss these comprehensive Christmas TV guides:
The Morecambe And Wise Show 1970: The Lost Tape – BBC Two
Watch Morecambe And Wise: The Lost Tape 1970 at 7.45pm on Christmas Day on BBC Two HD (CH 102)
A real relic of comedy has been uncovered by Eric Morecambe’s son – an episode recorded 50 years ago which was only broadcast once, thought to have been lost. Now it’s been restored by experts, and it’s ready for your viewing pleasure for the first time since October 1970.
Live Joe Lycett: Mummy’s Big Christmas Do! – Channel 4
Watch Live Joe Lycett: Mummy’s Big Christmas Do! on at 10pm Wednesday 22 December on Channel 4 HD (CH 104/141)
The one and only Joe Lycett will be lighting up his hometown of Birmingham this Christmas with a smorgasbord of special guests, musical artists and stand-up comics, to celebrate all things queer. And you can all but guarantee the audience will be getting involved, consisting of LGBTQ+ icons, allies of the LGBTQ+ community, and local heroes.
Mrs Brown’s Boys – BBC One
Watch Mrs Brown’s Boys at 10.20pm on Christmas Day on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
As Christmas descends on Finglas, we’re in for a double-bill. In Mammy’s Mechanical Merriment, Agnes joins the church choir on the strict agreement that there won’t be any dancing, while Dermot and Buster look to host a murder mystery night to raise money for alcoholic greyhounds. In Mammy’s Micky, Grandad’s brother drops in on the Brown household fresh out of jail – and continues to overextend his welcome by asking to borrow money to invest in a South African goldmine.
The Cockfields Christmas Special – GOLD
Watch The Cockfields Christmas Special at 10pm on Monday 13 December on GOLD HD (CH 124)
This festive outing sees Simon (Joe Wilkinson, Him & Her) take his fiancé Esther (Susannah Fielding, This Time with Alan Partridge) back to his family in the Isle of Wight for Christmas and New Year. In case you’re wondering whether things all go according to plan, it means you probably haven’t seen this glorious show yet. But do not miss out.
Not Going Out – BBC One
Watch Not Going Out at 10pm on Thursday 23 December on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
Lee Mack’s hilarious Not Going Out is getting the panto treatment this year… oh yes it is! Lee (Mack) is displeased to learn he’s being taken to watch the pantomime, especially when he finds out that Lucy (Sally Bretton) still has a crush on Jason Donovan – who just happens to have a starring role.
One Night In... – Channel 4
Watch One Night In… at 9pm on Thursday 23 December on Channel 4 HD (CH 104/141)
The Last Leg lads, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe, are linking up with their comedy contemporaries and being let loose in tourist attractions after the doors have been locked. Basically the second Home Alone film come to life, then.
Spitting Image Christmas Special – ITV
Watch Spitting Image Christmas Special at 10pm on Christmas Eve on ITV HD (CH 103/113)
Nobody is safe from the glare and scrutiny of the Spitting Image writers, even at Christmas. Expect the usual targets from the world of politics, sport and entertainment, all realised in hilarious puppet form. Will their treatment be any kinder in light of the spirit of the festive season? We wouldn’t be on it...
Ghosts Christmas Special – BBC One
Watch Ghosts Christmas Special at 8.30pm on Thursday 23 December on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
Ghosts is back for another Christmas special, on the back of this year’s brilliant third season. This year at Button House, the ghosts are convinced Santa has paid them a visit early, when Mike and Ashley spot a man living in a tent on the estate. The one-off special will also have a guest appear from none other than Jennifer Saunders.
Two Doors Down – BBC Two
Watch Two Doors Down on Monday 20 December at 9.30pm on BBC Two HD (CH 102)
The Christmas special of Two Doors Down will see the Bairds at their neighbours’ place for an evening guaranteed to have its fraught moments. With impromptu invitations, party games and rising tempers, it’s all but merry and bright on Latimer Crescent.
The Last Leg Christmas Eve Special – Channel 4
Watch The Last Leg Christmas Eve Special at 10.30pm on Christmas Eve on Channel 4 HD (CH 104/141)
Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker will be joined by a raft of guests this Christmas, as they dissect world news with their unique brand of satire and witticism. Plus, as usual, they’ll take viewer questions in the “Is it ok?” segment.
A League of Their Own Christmas Party – Sky Max
Watch A League Of Their Own Christmas Party at 9pm on Wednesday 15 December on Sky Max/HD (CH 122/121)
Let’s get this Christmas Party started with the ALOTO lads. Romesh Ranganathan is taking Freddie Flintoff and Jamie Redknapp on a trip of a lifetime to... Centre Parks. There, they’ll take on physical challenges while Romesh serves up a traditional Sri Lankan Christmas feast.
Beauty & The Beast: A Comic Relief Pantomime For Christmas – BBC Two
Watch Beauty & The Beast: A Comic Relief Pantomime For Christmas at 9pm on Sunday 19 December on BBC Two HD (CH 102)
A very celeb-packed panto is on the horizon, following the success of last year’s Cinderella, which raised close to £900K for Comic Relief. This year, the cast will be taking on Beauty & The Beast. Cinderella featured star turns from Olivia Colman, Guz Khan and 007 himself, Daniel Craig, so who will star this year?
Big Fat Quiz Of The Year – Channel 4
Watch Big Fat Quiz Of The Year at 9pm on Boxing Day on Channel 4 HD (CH 104/141)
As usual Jimmy Carr will be leading the year’s biggest quiz, testing the knowledge of a superstar cast, and as always featuring the talents of Mitchell Brook Primary School, Charles Dance and Jon Snow.
Would I Lie To You? At Christmas – BBC One
Watch Would I Lie To You? At Christmas at 8.30pm on Monday 20 December on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
Rob Brydon returns to hosting duties in this Christmas special of Would I Lie To You?, David Mitchell and Lee Mack will be in their usual captain seats, supported by the talents of Jim Broadbent, Rose Matafeo, Angela Rippon and Ardal O’Hanlon (who has just been announced as appearing on the next series of Taskmaster).
Never Mind The Buzzcocks Christmas Special – Sky Max
Watch Never Mind The Buzzcocks Christmas Special at 9pm on Friday 17 December on Sky Max/HD (CH 122/121)
Noel Fielding, Daisy May Cooper and Jamali Maddix are joined by Frankie Goes To Hollywood frontman Holly Johnson, broadcaster Lauren Laverne and People Just Do Nothing’s Asim Chaudhry for a festive edition of the popular music quiz. Bring on the intros round and see if your gran can guess...
Mortimer And Whitehouse: Gone Christmas Fishing – BBC Two
Watch Mortimer And Whitehouse: Gone Christmas Fishing at 9pm on Boxing Day on BBC Two HD (CH 102)
This Christmas, Paul Whitehouse is gifting Bob Mortimer a fishing trip with a challenge – to catch the elusive English salmon. The pair are heading to the rivers Eden and Tyne in the North East in the hope of snagging a prize fish, accompanied as always by fishing dog, Ted.
There’s Something About Christmas Movies – Sky Max
Watch There’s Something About Christmas Movies at 9pm on Thursday 16 December on Sky Max/HD (CH 122/121)
Think you know your Elf from your Die Hard? Actually, that’s a bad example – one has Will Ferrell singing in tights, while the other has Bruce Willis crawling through ventilation shafts covered in blood. Hopefully this special edition of the Alan Carr movie-based panel show will delve into our love of the Christmas film a bit better.
Live At The Apollo – BBC Two
Watch Live At The Apollo at 10pm on Wednesday 15 December on BBC Two HD (CH 102)
The sixth Christmas special of Live at The Apollo will be hosted by Manchester’s Jason Mansford, compering Maisie Adam and Nabil Abdulrashid, before welcoming them to the world-famous comedy stage. If you have tired of the jokes from your crackers, this is the perfect pick-me-up.
Rob & Romesh Vs Christmas – Sky Max
Watch Rob & Romesh Vs Christmas at 10pm on Monday 20 December on Sky Max/HD (CH 122/121)
Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan are back in this festive edition of their non-scripted comedy series. But after trying their hands at everything from country music and athletics to music and drag, will they find something they’re actually good at? Well, miracles don’t just happen on 34th Street...
We Wish You A Mandy Christmas – BBC Two
Watch Mandy on Monday 20 December at 10pm on BBC Two HD (CH 102)
Diane Morgan’s back as Mandy this Christmas, a woman struggling to survive the gig economy while trying to pursue her dream of breeding Doberman pinschers. Morgan has confirmed that We Wish You A Mandy Christmas will be one minute longer than normal episodes, in order to solidify its “special” status.
Top Gear: Driving Home For Christmas – BBC One
Watch Top Gear: Driving Home For Christmas at 8.30pm on Christmas Eve on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
In the spirit of Secret Santa, Chris Harris, Paddy McGuiness and Freddie Flintoff are choosing cars for each other, as they drive from Bethlehem (the one in Wales) to Bath – delivering an enormous Norway spruce to the postcard city.
Travel Man: 96 Hours In Iceland – Channel 4
Watch Travel Man: 96 Hours In Iceland at 8pm on Monday 27 December on Channel 4 HD (CH 104/141)
After nine years, Richard Ayoade is hanging up his travel cloak. Taking over his globetrotting ways is comedian Joe Lycett, with his sights set on the land of ice and fire, Iceland. And to make sure he doesn’t get lonely, he’ll be joined by the marvellous Bill Bailey.
Frankie Boyle’s New World Order 2021 – BBC Two
Watch Frankie Boyle’s New World Order 2021 at 10pm on Wednesday 29 December on BBC Two HD (CH 102)
The king of satire is back with a New World Order special, as he and a panel of guests inspect and commentate on the tumultuous year that has been 2021. It might have been a year where you think there wasn’t much to laugh about, but let Frankie give it a go. Warning: likely contains some of the strongest language you have heard this Christmas period.
Jon & Lucy’s Christmas Sleepover – Channel 4
Watch Jon & Lucy’s Christmas Sleepover at 9pm on Monday 27 December on Channel 4 HD (CH 104/141)
Side-splitting spouses, Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont, are hosting a Christmas party for their funny pals, in the general spirit of eating, drinking and being merry. Joining the couple will be Roisin Conaty, Romesh Ranganathan and Rob Beckett.
QI: Seasons Greetings – BBC Two
QI: Seasons Greetings at 9pm on Monday 20 December on BBC Two HD (CH 102)
The QI comedy special will be hosted by Sandi Toksvig, with panellists Bonnie Langford, Joe Lycett, Sally Phillips and, as always, Alan Davies. This year, Sandi will be picking the panellists’ brains on seasonal S’s – from school nativity success stats, to the secrets behind shiraz and sprouts.
The Ranganation Christmas Special – BBC Two
Watch The Ranganation Christmas Special at 10pm on Sunday 19 December on BBC Two HD (CH 102)
This year, Romesh will be joined in the studio by Scarlett Moffatt and comedian Josh Widdicombe; and digitally by the Ranganation, which includes his mum, Shanthi. Together they’ll take a look at modern Britain, and hilariously dissect the year’s happenings.
Mock The Week – BBC Two
Watch Mock The Week End Of Year Special at 10pm on Tuesday 28 December on BBC Two HD (CH 102)
Join Dara Ó Briain, Hugh Dennis and more hilarious comics as they dissect the year’s news and share a laugh with outtakes from the past 12 months.
The Last Leg Of The Year
Watch The Last Leg Of The Year at 9pm on Friday 31 December on Channel 4 HD (CH 104/141)
Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker will be joined by a host of famous faces to wave the bonkers year of 2021 off. The bumper episode will be two hours, and promises all the usual high-brow comedy for which the trio are renowned.
Taskmaster’s New Year Treat
Watch Taskmaster’s New Year Treat at 10pm on Saturday 1 January 2022 on Channel 4 HD (CH 104/141)
And boy, what a treat we have in store for this standalone special of the greatest show on TV. Broadcaster Adrian Chiles, presenter Claudia Winkleman, Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock MBE, rapper Lady Leshurr and former Cabinet Minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi take on the challenges set by Alex Horne and judged by Greg Davies. What a way to start 2022…
Christmas has come early
This year we’re bringing Christmas early with gifts and giveaways, plus check out all your Christmas TV, movie and sport listings and tips on what to watch and play!
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