6.00pm Winter Wipeout! BBC1 – Richard Hammond and Amanda Byram present as 20 brave and chilly Brits face a new obstacle course in a snowy, winter wonderland setting. The five contestants left hanging on the brutal and rather amusing Ski Lift will take on Winter Blunderland.
9.15pm Westlife: The Last Time ITV – The group perform one last time before their break-up.
10.00pm Catherine Tate: Laughing at the Noughties Channel 4 – Catherine tells the story of the decade in which she became a household name. She meets comedy glitterati Alan Carr, David Walliams, Noel Fielding, Rob Brydon and her Doctor Who co-star, David Tennant, all of whom reflect on the greatest comedy moments in recent history. Other interviewees include Leigh Francis, Dom Joly, Miranda Hart, Lee Mack, Mathew Horne, Rebecca Front, Al Murray, Chris Addison and Ross Noble. As well as showcasing all the most entertaining, memorable comedy of the time, the documentary also features newsreel and pop culture archive that contextualises the gags. It reveals not just what was funny, but why it was funny. Catherine’s journey provides new insight and revelations and features anecdotes from some of the biggest names in comedy
6.30pm Noel’s Christmas Presents Sky1 – The Christmas institution returns for 2011.
7.00pm Just Henry ITV – Drama set in post-World War II Britain and based on the award-winning novel by Michelle Magorian. Troubled 15-year-old Henry lives in a fraught household with his mum, stepfather and grandmother. Henry has always believed that his father Joseph died during the war, and he puts his dad on a pedestal while his relationship with his mother is fractured and difficult. Then his father appears out of the blue, turning the whole family’s lives upside-down.
8.00pm James May’s Man Lab: Christmas Special BBC2 – James and the team try to create their own Christmas miracle, by making it snow. Oz Clarke is dispatched in a small plane armed with a salt shaker to see if cloud seeding really will produce the desired effect. Back in the Man Lab, James invents a Christmas tree decorating blunderbuss gun, he discovers the easiest way to wrap presents and he attempts to transform the tired Christmas cracker by making his own with shocking results.
8.00pm Home for the Holidays Channel 4 – One soon-to-be-married couple will, for the first time, bring their two extended families together this Christmas in Channel 4’s brand new, live entertainment event, Home for the Holidays. Can they survive their own family, 24 hours a day for an entire week, to win up to half a million pounds? Hosted live each night by Vernon Kay, this week-long entertainment cracker will follow the families’ festive frolics as they face tinsel temptations and yuletide games in a bid to win this fantastic Christmas present.
9.00pm Young James Herriot BBC1 – Three-part drama telling the story of James Herriot’s early years begins, as he starts his first term at Glasgow Veterinary College. After blundering his way into the case of a suffering dray horse, he learns his first lesson in veterinary medicine: you treat the owner, not the animal. Continues Monday, Concludes Tuesday.
9.00pm A Night with the Stars BBC2 – Professor Brian Cox presents a specially recorded programme from the lecture theatre of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. In his own inimitable style, Brian takes an audience of famous faces, scientists and members of the public on a journey through some of the most challenging concepts in physics. With the help of Jonathan Ross, Simon Pegg, Sarah Millican and James May, Brian shows how diamonds – the hardest material in nature – are made up of nothingness; how things can be in an infinite number of places at once; why everything we see or touch in the universe exists; and how a diamond in the heart of London is in communication with the largest diamond in the cosmos.
9.00pm Michael Buble: Home for Christmas ITV – The crooner performs Christmas songs.
9.00pm Barbara Windsor’s Little Cracker Sky1 – A host of British comedy stars take a trip down memory lane. A budding young actress receives a boost in a short inspired by the life and times of Barbara Windsor.
9.15pm Jack Whitehall’s Little Cracker Sky1 – The Prince of Thieves offers a few pearls of wisdom in a short inspired and written by Jack Whitehall
10.25pm Take That: The Progress Tour BBC1 – Concert that sees Robbie Williams re-join the group.
8.00pm The Year the Earth Went Wild Channel 4 – A look back at a year where almost every month was affected by a natural disaster. With a record-breaking cold winter, the tsunami in Japan, the extraordinary killer American tornado season, the floods in Australia and a hurricane in New York, 2011 has seen an onslaught of epic-scale climate and geological events across the world, all caught on camera in the most spectacular fashion. Using eye-witness footage, interviews with survivors and rescuers, and analysis from geological and weather specialists, this documentary charts the incredible natural events of 2011.
8.30pm The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff BBC2 – A Victorian comedy adventure in the style of Charles Dickens. Jedrington Secret-Past is a happy family man with a successful business until on Christmas Eve Malifax Skulkingworm, a lawyer with a flinty heart and an evil hat, tells him he owes a massive debt he never knew of, and imprisons his family and shop in London’s most notorious debtors prison, the Skint. What is behind Skulkingworm’s sinister plan? Will Jedrington rescue his family in time for Christmas? And is there more to the name of Secret-Past than meets the eye? All will be revealed in a tale of hidden wills, brave urchins, giant clocks, misery, joy and treacle.
9.00pm Cutting Edge: King of Christmas Lights Channel 4 -Documentary that explores the world of extreme Christmas decorating, meeting some of the UK’s most obsessive, eccentric and lovable people who live for adorning their houses in festive regalia every year. Throwing a spotlight on what Christmas means in contemporary Britain, this programme finds out what motivates people to cover their houses in Christmas every year.
9.30pm Rob Brydon Show BBC2 – Christmas Special of the chat show that sees Rob joined by Comedian Noel Fielding, Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding, Kiwi comedian and star of Flight of the Conchords, Rhys Darby, and Shooting Stars’ very own Angelos Epithemiou come over for egg nog and festive cheer. There is also music from Alejandro Toledo and the Magic Tombolinos and stand-up comedy from Charlie Baker, winner of Lets Dance for Comic Relief 2011.
8.00pm The Hairy Biker’s Christmas Party BBC2 – Si King and Dave Myers, the Hairy Bikers, are throwing a Christmas party for family, friends and some of the people they have met on the road over the last few years. But this is a ‘hairy’ party so it will be anything but predictable. It’s all about finger food, those tiny mouthfuls of loveliness that brighten up the festive season from the first Christmas party right through to New Year’s Eve. So expect the very best canapes, mind-blowing mini-desserts and even some spicy Thai treats.
8.00pm The Butlin’s Story ITV – Documentary celebrating the 75th anniversary of the opening of Billy Butlin’s first holiday camp in 1936. Holidaymaker David Bradshaw returns to the Skegness camp which he first visited on the day of its opening, while Silvia Collins remembers visiting Filey as a teenager after the war.
8.00pm Rags to Riches Sky1 – Series sending families that have never been abroad on holiday.
9.00pm The Comedy Annual ITV – Phillip Schofield is joined by Jason Manford, impressionist Alistair McGowan, Jason Byrne and Patrick Monahan to look back at some of the key moments from 2011.
9.00pm Alan Davie’s Little Cracker Sky1
9.00pm A Year to Remember Sky Atlantic – Sky News chief correspondent Alex Crawford takes a personal look at the year’s news.
10.00pm The Only Way is Essexmas ITV2 – Festive episode of the reality series.
7.30pm Nigel Slater’s Simple Christmas BBC1
7.30pm Downton Abbey: Behind the Drama ITV – The cast and creators of the award-winning drama series tell the story of the show from the inside. The actors talk exclusively about their characters and the gripping storylines, giving the audience a real insight into the romance and conflict portrayed in the series. There is also behind-the-scenes footage from key locations – the historic Ealing Studios in London where the ‘below stairs’ scenes are shot and the fabulous Highclere Castle in Berkshire, site of most of the ‘above stairs’ scenes. Plus there is a look at the filming of the dramatic opening of the second series, set during the Battle of the Somme and shot on location near Ipswich.
8.30pm A Night of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards 2011 ITV – Phillip Schofield and Amanda Holden host a glittering event paying tribute to our armed forces. Stars of sport, showbiz and entertainment join forces with politicians and members of the royal family at the Imperial War Museum to honour the brave servicemen and women who have served the country with the highest distinction. The awards categories include Life Saver, Overcoming Adversity, Best Soldier and Support to the Armed Services. Judges include Ross Kemp, Samantha Cameron and Jeremy Clarkson, and other celebrities joining in on the night include footballer Frank Lampard, Holly Willoughby and Simon Pegg.
9.00pm The Royle Family BBC1 – Another chance to see last year’s Christmas Special that sees the Royle have next-door neighbours Joe, Cheryl and Mary for Christmas Dinner.
9.00pm Rick Stien’s Spanish Christmas BBC2 – Inspired by his recent journey through Spain, Rick Stein
hosts a festive gathering and shares his take on great dishes to cook for Christmas and New Year.
9.00pm Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder Channel 4 – Cutting Edge documentary that follows the infamous Mr Wallace, whose hoarding habits have spread across a million pounds-worth of property that used to belong to his parents. His detached bungalow, four-bedroom semi-detached house and separate double garage are all stuffed from floor to ceiling with newspapers and other household items. Cutting Edge is given unique access into his intriguing home, where no one else has ever ventured. Mr Wallace is arguably the UK’s most extreme hoarder and his house has become a death trap. It is so packed that he has to crawl over mountains of papers and magazines simply to move from room to room; it takes 40 minutes to get to his front door from the chair he eats and sleeps in. The garden also acts as a dumping ground for tonnes of refuse so old that it is overgrown by foliage and trees.
9.00pm Great Movie Mistakes BBC3 – Narrated by Robert Webb.
9.00pm John Bishop’s Little Cracker Sky1
10.00pm Ruth Jones’ Christmas Cracker BBC2 – The Gavin & Stacey star returns to speak to her co-writer James Corden, Lulu and Comedian Micky Flanagan.
11.00pm Argumental Dave – Sean Lock hosts a Christmas edition of the panel game with guests Mickey Flanagan and Jason Manford.
7.30pm The Lakes ITV – 2-part Christmas episode of the series showcasing the Lake District hosted by Rory Magrath. Concludes tomorrow.
8.00pm The Sports Personality of the Year 2011 BBC1 – Sue Barker, Gary Lineker and Jake Humphrey present live from MediaCityUK, Salford. The event features some of the greatest names in world sport and climaxes with the presentation Sports Personality of the Year award, chosen by viewers from a shortlist of ten contenders. There have been some stunning individual performances this year, including golfers Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke winning their first majors, and Mark Cavendish winning the green jersey at the Tour de France and earning victory in the World Road Championship.
8.00pm Lorraine’s Last Minute Christmas BBC2 – Lorraine Pascale creates a feast of seasonal dishes, edible gifts and a stunning winter wonderland cake as she prepares for a festive family get-together. All of the recipes in the show can be created in the final countdown to Christmas
9.00pm London’s Burning Channel 4 – Set in Clapham Junction, London, London’s Burning is a dramatic interpretation of a single night of rioting and looting that took place in August 2011. Starring David Morrissey and Samantha Bond as senior police officers, London’s Burning tells how residents, shopkeepers and businesses dealt with the violence. Over several nights in August 2011, riots broke out all over London. The Metropolitan Police said: ‘We have never seen such levels of multi-site disorder in the Capital before.’ On Monday 8 August, it was unclear where the rioters would strike next. When over 400 youths besieged Clapham, nothing had prepared local shopkeepers, residents and police for the attack. This drama is the story of what happened, based on the testimony of some of those who were there.
9.00pm How Not to Live Your Life BBC3 – Festive episode of the Comedy.
10.00pm Christmas Lights ITV2 – Festive comedy/drama starring Robson Green and Mark Benton as competitive brothers in-law who become obsessed with having the most Christmas lights.
10.35pm Gavin & Stacey BBC1 – The 2008 Christmas Special
7.45pm Gordon’s Christmas Cookalong Channel 4 – Ahead of his Christmas Day Cookalong Live, Gordon shows viewers where to buy the best turkey, when to get started, and how to make your Christmas go with a bang. Gordon Ramsay talks viewers through all the ingredients needed for his Cookalong live on Christmas Day.
8.00pm Raymond Blanc’s Christmas BBC2 – From his Oxfordshire kitchen, Raymond Blanc prepares his recipes for the biggest meal of the year. This Christmas he creates a feast for friends and family, full of Gallic flavour but generously dusted with a frosting of British tradition.
8.00pm Come Dine With Me Channel 4 – Four comedians do culinary battle in a bid to win £1000 for charity. Going head-to-head in this festive special are Sean Hughes, Gina Yashere, Paul Tonkinson and Duncan Norvelle. Sean Hughes serves up a non-festive, nonsense-sounding menu of ‘squibby’s delight’, ‘mumsy’s surprise’ and ‘Irish odlums’, all containing the same ingredient – home-made vegetarian stew. He also hires a Smiths tribute band for entertainment.
9.00pm The Many Lovers of Miss Jane Austen BBC2 – Professor Amanda Vickery is fascinated by how Jane Austen, an anonymous minor novelist in her lifetime, is 200 years later recognised as a unique British literary genius whose fame rivals Dickens and Shakespeare. From a convention centre in Texas to Princess Diana’s family home, and from the trenches of World War I to the silver screen of Hollywood, Vickery explores how and why generations of readers have been won over by just six classic novels.
9.00pm The Jonathan Ross Show ITV – With guests Tom Cruise, Downton Abbey daughters Jessica Brown Findlay, Laura Carmichael and Michelle Dockery, and Inbetweeners stars Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, James Buckley and Blake Harrison. There is also an exclusive performance from Tim Minchin and music from teenage tenors Il Volo.
9.00pm 8 Out of 10 Cats: Christmas Special Channel 4 – Comedians Sean Lock and Jon Richardson head up the teams for this year’s Christmas capers, joined by guests pop duo Jedward, comedian Micky Flanagan, actress and presenter Liza Tarbuck and The Inbetweeners star Greg Davies. Plus, familiar faces from the world of panto feature in a seasonal face-off special; including Keith Harris and Orville, Arlene Phillips, Nikki Grahame and Brian Belo.
9.00pm Morecambe & Wise Christmas Special Five – When Eric and Ernie persuaded veteran actor Alec Guinness to appear in their Christmas special in 1980, he had no idea what he was in for! There’s a version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet what Ernie wrote (an improvement, of course) with Peter Barkworth as Hamlet, Hannah Gordon as Ophelia, Ernie as Claudius the King (complete with short, fat, hairy legs), and Eric as a priceless, none-too-convincing ghost.