Your complete guide to the best festive TV entertainment shows and specials across all Virgin Media channels
By Virgin TV Edit
After the Christmas stodge of pudding followed by chocolates followed by pies, you need something light. Well, they don’t call it light entertainment for nothing. And this Christmas has a gaggle of TV shows that are lighter than that milky chocolate in your selection box.
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:
- Your guide to Christmas dramas on TV
- Your guide to Christmas comedy on TV
- Your guide to Christmas family shows on TV
- Your guide to Christmas documentaries on TV
12 Dates Of Christmas – Channel 4
Find 12 Dates of Christmas in Apps & Games > All 4
This Christmas we’re headed to a fairy-tale Austrian castle with Faith, Chad and Garrett. Over eight episodes, the singles will have to choose from ten potential partners, ultimately deciding who they’ll be spending the holidays with. Will the singletons find a Christmas miracle... or will it be the dating equivalent of receiving a lump of coal?
Sports Personality Of The Year – BBC One
Watch Sports Personality Of The Year at 6.45pm Sunday 19 December on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
Hosted by Gary Lineker, Clare Balding, Gabby Logan and Alex Scott, the show will celebrate the greatest sporting achievements of the past 12 months, as well as the unsung heroes that walk, run, swim and play among us. Will be hard to look past Emma Raducanu for this one.
The Greatest Snowman – Channel 4
Watch The Greatest Snowman at 8pm on Christmas Eve on Channel 4 HD (CH 104/141)
We’ll say it now: whoever came up with the name for this show deserves a stocking full of cash. Sue Perkins takes a group of celebrities to compete in an epic snow building competition over three rounds. Frankly, it sounds amazing and if it’s not the highlight of the entire Christmas period, you can trade our presents for coal.
Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special – BBC One
Watch Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special at 5.10pm on Christmas Day on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman are hosting Strictly’s Christmas special, with musical accompaniment from the talents of Jamie Cullum, Gary Barlow and Sheridan Smith. But it would all be for nothing without an all-star cast of contestants competing to be crowned Christmas Champion of 2021. This crop features presenter Adrian Chiles, singer Anne-Marie, newsreading legend Moira Stewart, comedian Mel Giedroyc, First Dates’ Fred Sirieix and The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades.
Strictly The Real Full Monty – ITV
Watch Strictly The Real Full Monty at 9pm on Monday 13 December and Tuesday 14 December on ITV HD (CH 103/113)
Remember Peter Kay's Britain's Got the Pop Factor and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice? Well, Ashley Banjo is back following The Real Full Monty On Ice for this new twist. This sees ten famous faces in Blackpool for a show like no other, as they raise awareness for life-saving cancer checks. Who will, ahem, shrink in the spotlight…
Jamie Oliver: Together At Christmas – Channel 4
Watch Jamie Oliver: Together At Christmas at 8pm on Monday 13 and Monday 20 December on Channel 4 HD (CH 104/141)
Having missed out on last Christmas, Jamie Oliver is rustling up two festive feasts in his kitchen, to offer some culinary inspiration ahead of the big day as family and friends (as the title of the show hopes) finally come together for this very special festive period.
Saturday Night Christmas Line Up – ITV
Watch Saturday Night Christmas Line Up at 9.30pm on Saturday 18 December on ITV HD (CH 103/113)
Tune into conversation with Paddy McGuinness, Joan Collins, Julian Clary and Sunetra Sarker, as they discuss who buys the best prezzies and who could drink who under the table.
The Wall Vs Celebrities Christmas Specials – BBC One
Watch the EastEnders edition of The Wall Vs Celebrities Christmas Specials at 7.15pm on Thursday 23 December on BBC One HD (CH 101/108), with the second episode TBC
Danny Dyer is taking The Wall to celebs this Christmas, in a decisive test of knowledge, wit, and a pinch of luck. The first of the two shows will see Dyer reunited with a couple of EastEnders, Maddy Hill and James Bye, as they battle it out to win big for their respective charities. And in the second episode, it’s over to comedy couple Sarah Millican and Gary Delaney.
The Royal Variety Performance 2021 – ITV
Watch The Royal Variety Performance 2021 at 7.20pm on Sunday 19 December on ITV HD (CH 103/113)
Marking the Royal Albert Hall’s 150th anniversary is special enough, but with the return of audiences to theatres in the past months, this year’s performance is one to savour. The line-up this year includes music from Ed Sheeran and Years and Years, plus comedy from Bill Bailey and Josh Widdicombe. Alan Carr presents.
The Great Christmas Bake Off – Channel 4
Watch The Great Christmas Bake Off at 8pm on Christmas Day on Channel 4 HD (CH 104/141)
Boy oh boy, is this a biggie. The stars of possibly 2021’s best drama It’s A Sin are making their way into the tent. That means Olly Alexander (Ritchie), Lydia West (Jill), Shaun Dooley (Clive, Ritchie’s dad) and Nathaniel Curtis (Ash) will all be baking. If it’s half as good as the Derry Girls special, we’re in for a treat.
The Great New Year Bake Off – Channel 4
Watch The Great New Year Bake Off at 7.40pm on New’s Year Day on Channel 4 HD (CH 104/141)
The second special sees four former bakers returning to the tent to do battle under the watchful eyes of Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith. Series 9 bakers Kim-Joy and Jon and series 11’s Hermine and Rowan will all be aiming to be the top of the tree as this year’s Christmas star (baker).
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.
I Can See Your Voice Christmas Special – BBC One
Watch I Can See Your Voice Christmas Special at 9.30pm on Christmas Eve on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
Paddy McGuinness’ singalong game show is getting the festive treatment, as the celeb investigators – Jimmy Carr, Alison Hammond, Amanda Holden and Leona Lewis – attempt to work out if the contestant has the voice of an angel or the deceit of the devil. Before they’ve even sung a note.
I Literally Just Told You – Channel 4
Watch I Literally Just Told You at 10pm on Thursday 30 December on Channel 4 HD (CH 104/141)
Welcome to the only quiz show where you literally get told the answers before you’re asked the questions. Jimmy Carr will host this back-to-front game, in which contestants only have to do one thing – pay attention. And that is harder said than done during a period when sleepy food comas in front of the telly are a real problem...
Mary Berry’s Festive Feasts – BBC One
Watch Mary Berry’s Festive Feasts at 7.05pm Monday 20 December on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
Undisputable legend Dame Mary Berry is opening her doors to three novice cooks this Christmas, with the goal of teaching them how to create mouth-watering festive feasts for their respective families.
Gino’s Italian Family Adventure – ITV
Watch Gino’s Italian Family Adventure at 8pm on Monday 20 December on ITV HD (CH 103/113)
Gino D’Acampo is taking his in-laws, Elizabeth and Malcolm, on a personal tour of the Cilento Coast, promising tourist postcard-level landscapes and mouth-watering local cuisine.
The Big Soap Quiz – ITV
Watch The Big Soap Quiz at 9pm on Monday 20 December on ITV HD (CH 103/113)
If you can’t get enough of the soaps this one’s for you. Jack P Shepherd (David Platt, Coronation Street) and Mark Charmock (Marlon Dingle, Emmerdale) lead two teams, determined to field more of Stephen Mulhern’s questions than the other.
The Voice Kids – ITV
Watch The Voice Kids at 7.30pm on Monday 27 December on ITV HD (CH 103/113)
Former Spice Girl Melanie C joins the judging panel alongside Pixie Lott, will.i.am and Danny Jones for this new series of the young’uns version of the popular singing show. Acts are aged from 7 to 14 (going on 30, some of them) as they try to get the judges to spin round those famous red chairs.
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...
First Dates At Christmas – Channel 4
Watch First Dates At Christmas at 9pm on Wednesday 22 December on Channel 4 HD (CH 104/141)
Super suave maître d’ (and star of the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special this year) Fred Sirieix, and his Christmas helpers, will be welcoming singletons looking for love, in a Yuletide special of the show. It’s snow joke finding a special someone at this time of the year...
Blankety Blank – BBC One
Watch Blankety Blank at 7.45pm on Christmas Day on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
The legendary game show is back in business, with Bradley Walsh at the helm. Filling in the blanks on this Yuletide special are Angela Rippon, Richard E Grant, Tom Allen, Sarah Millican, Mel B and Danny Jones.
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.
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.
Live Joe Lycett: Mummy’s Big Christmas Do! – Channel 4
Watch Live Joe Lycett: Mummy’s Big Christmas Do! at 10pm on 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.
The Weakest Link Christmas Special – BBC One
Watch The Weakest Link Christmas Special at 6.30pm on Thursday 23 December on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
This Christmas, the much-loved quiz show The Weakest Link is back! Now hosted by BAFTA-award winning comedian Romesh Ranganathan, in this special Romesh will be teasing the brains of eight celebs, as they compete to bag £50K for charity. But who will be dismissed from the show in the infamously brutal fashion?
Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow – ITV
Watch Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow at 8pm on Thursday 23 December on ITV HD (CH 103/113)
Join the chatty man himself, Alan Carr, as he takes a punt at another classic gameshow from days gone by – this time, The Price Is Right. As always, contestants have to figure out the RRP of various products, in the hope of taking them home.
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.
Bradley And Barney Walsh: Breaking Dad At Christmas – ITV
Watch Bradley And Barney Walsh: Breaking Dad At Christmas at 9pm on Christmas Eve on ITV HD (CH 103/113)
Bradley Walsh and his son Barney are on the road again, and this year they’re taking the trusty RV to the land of ice and fire. Quality bonding time is guaranteed in Iceland’s harsh climate, providing the RV’s heating doesn’t give out.
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.
Love Not War – Sky Max
Watch Love Not War at 10pm on Monday 20 December on Sky Max/HD (CH 122/121)
Hosted by Carey Mulligan, Himesh Patel, Dawn O’Porter and Chris O’Dowd, and with performances from Elbow and Bastille, this one-off brings some of the nation’s top performers together, all in the name of charity. All funds will go towards supporting families who have been affected by war.
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.
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...
The Repair Shop – BBC One
Watch The Repair Shop at 7pm on Christmas Eve on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
In this Repair Shop special, the elves are hard at work on some specialist fixings, including a mechanical doll, an ancient harmonium, and a Kenyan train set. But that’s not all, as Secret Santa has demanded the experts craft a gift for the colleagues from scratch.
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.
Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel – BBC One
Watch Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel at 6.25pm on Christmas Day on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
Tune into a festive episode of The Wheel this Christmas, hosted by national treasure, Michael McIntyre. Danny Dyer, Zoe Ball and David Walliams will be trying their best not to get in a spin, with a little help from choirmaster and broadcaster Gareth Malone, actress Martine McCutcheon, presenter Alex Scott, comedian Jason Manford, EastEnders actress Tameka Empson, comedian Julian Clary, and presenter Gregg “Buttery Biscuit Base” Wallace.
All Star Musicals At Christmas – ITV
Watch All Star Musicals At Christmas at 8pm on Boxing Day on ITV HD (CH 103/113)
Tune into this All Star Musicals special, which will see six celebs compete to steal the show following tuition from a world-class panel of musical theatre talent. Presenter Fern Britton, actor Ben Miller, broadcaster Gyles Brandreth, presenter Anita Rani, actress Catherine Tyldesley and sports presenter Radzi Chinyanganya will all be performing songs from contemporary and traditional musicals.
Would I Lie To You? At Christmas – BBC One
Watch Would I Lie To You? At Christmas at 8.30pm on Monday 20 December 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 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).
Dating No Filter: Under The Mistletoe – Sky Max
Watch Dating No Filter: Under The Mistletoe at 10:15pm on Tuesday 21 December on Sky Max/HD (CH 122/121)
Dating No Filter affords comedians the power to become flies on the wall, commentating on real-life first dates as they happen. With Tom Allen, Josh Widdicombe, Daisy May Cooper, Judi Love, Joel Dommett and many more, it’s set to be a cringe-worthy Christmas.
The Great British Christmas Sewing Bee – BBC One
Watch The Great British Christmas Sewing Bee at 8pm on Wednesday 22 December on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
Sara Pascoe is taking the reins in a Great British Sewing Bee festive special, joined by celebrity sewer, Rev Kate Bottley, actors Antony Cotton and Kiell Smith-Bynoe, and presenter Anneka Rice. Tune in to find out if the celebs can make their own Christmas jumpers, and turn charity shop finds into festive dresses from yesteryear.
The Great British New Year Sewing Bee – BBC One
Watch The Great British New Year Sewing Bee at 9pm on Thursday 30 December on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
More Sewing Bee please, you scream? To ring in the New Year, Sara Pascoe is welcoming a host of new celebrities into the sewing room, namely Drag Race’s Lawrence Chaney, comedian and writer Rose Matafeo, Steps’ Claire Richards, and journalist Kirsty Wark. Will they be able to charm the judges with their skills, making festive waistcoats and food-themed fancy dress?
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.
The Hairy Bikers Go North For Christmas – BBC Two
Watch The Hairy Bikers Go North For Christmas at 8pm on Wednesday 22 December on BBC Two HD (CH 102)
Hairy Bikers, Dave Myers and Si King, have their sights set on the tastes of home for this year’s Christmas. With the likes of turkey doner for starters and gourmet marshmallows for dessert, it’s set to be a Christmas dinner like no other.
Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs At Christmas – ITV
Watch Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs At Christmas 5.30pm on Christmas Day on ITV HD (CH 103/113)
Certified animal-lover Paul O’Grady, is returning to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, in the hope of finding forever homes for its residents. The man himself says: “This Christmas special is a real cracker. There’s little Pudding who had me on the edge of my seat whilst he was in surgery and then there’s the Cockerpoo who needs some table manners in time for his Christmas feast – as usual I can’t resist a challenge and decide I’ll give it a go! All the staff are working hard at Battersea so I hope to bring them a bit of help and Christmas cheer!”
A Taste Of Christmas With Andi Oliver – BBC Two
Watch A Taste Of Christmas With Andi Oliver at 9pm on Tuesday 21 December on BBC Two HD (CH 102)
Andi Oliver has been lucky enough to dine in some of the world’s best restaurants, but what really gets her going is the food that’s lovingly created at home – especially at Christmas. This year, Andi is dining with three very different families across the city of Glasgow, to dig into the customs, traditions and specialities.
Gogglebox: Best Of 2021 – Channel 4
Watch Gogglebox: Best Of 2021 at 9.15pm on Christmas Day on Channel 4 HD (CH 104/141)
This Christmas, our favourite Goggleboxers the Siddiqui family; Giles and Mary; Jenny and Lee; Ellie and Izzi; Marcus and Mica; and Amira and Iqra will be tuning into the best TV moments of the year. Will your favourite moments (and favourite Gogglebox moments) make the cut?
MasterChef Champion Of Champions – BBC One
Watch MasterChef Champion Of Champions at 8.30pm on New Year’s Eve on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
A load of MasterChef this Christmas, starting with finding out what happens to the chefs after they’re crowned top dogs on the show. In this special, five former champs return to demonstrate their skills. Tim Anderson (2011), Ping Coombes (2014), Saliha Mahmood-Ahmed (2017), Kenny Tutt (2018), and Irini Tzortzoglou (2019) are back, competing for the prestigious title of MasterChef Champion of Champions.
MasterChef: The Professionals Rematch Special – BBC One
Watch MasterChef: The Professionals Rematch Special at 8pm on Monday 27 December on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
In this one-off special, four of the most memorable faces from MasterChef gone by are back to show how far they’ve come since their appearances on the show. Armitage-Mattin (2020 finalist), Jamie Park (2017 finalist), Santosh Shah (2020 finalist) and Bart van der Lee (2020 finalist) are ready for culinary warfare, as they go head-to-head to prove they’ve got the chops to be crowned champ.
Celebrity MasterChef Christmas Cook-off – BBC One
Watch Celebrity MasterChef Christmas Cook-off at 8pm on Tuesday 21 December on BBC One HD (CH 101/108)
This is the big one – ten of the biggest celeb names in MasterChef history are back. Reality star Gemma Collins, actor and TV Presenter Joe Swash, actor and entertainer Les Dennis, singer Mica Paris, broadcaster the Reverend Richard Coles, Strictly Come Dancing professional Oti Mabuse, reality star Joey Essex, pro-footballer Neil Ruddock, comedian Judi Love, and actor Su Pollard are all competing to take home the all-new, and extremely coveted, Celebrity MasterChef Golden Whisk trophy.
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.
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.
Jon & Lucy’s Christmas Sleepover – Channel 4
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.
Only Connect Christmas Special – BBC Two
Watch Only Connect Christmas Special at 8pm on Thursday 30 December on BBC Two HD (CH 102)
Victoria Coren Mitchell returns once more to host the one-off special of Only Connect, challenging contestants to find connections between seemingly random subjects. Two special teams from series gone by, the Turophiles and the Corkscrews, will return to go head-to-head on the lateral-thinking show.
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!
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.
ITV HD is subject to regional variation. ITV HD is not available where STV HD or UTV HD is available.
TV Go: Content available to view depends on TV package. Not all channels/content from relevant pack available. Live streaming and On Demand requires broadband/WiFi or 3G/4G/5G access. UK only. Access via PC, Mac or TV Go App (selected iOS devices and Android™ devices only). Maximum 5 compatible devices per account can watch TV. Maximum 2 compatible devices per account can watch TV simultaneously.
Netflix: Netflix subscription required at extra cost.
Amazon Prime Video: Amazon Prime subscription required at extra cost. 18+. Click here for T&Cs.