Time to curl up on the sofa with the Cel­e­bra­tions!


AND fi­nally! It’s time to bat­ten down the hatches, curl up on the sofa, grab the tin of Cel­e­bra­tions and the re­mote con­trol! After weeks of gear­ing up for Christ­mas, plan­ning, shop­ping, cook­ing and wrap­ping presents, it’s time to sit back and re­lax in front of The Box for a few days of fes­tive tv.

So Kick­ing off with tonight Mon­day De­cem­ber 22nd, for those of you look­ing for a tra­di­tional feel good movie, you can’t go wrong with Dirty Danc­ing, 9 pm on TV3. Who could re­sist Mr. Snake Hips Him­self, Pa­trick Swayze teach­ing a young in­no­cent girl (Jen­nifer Grey) how to dirty dance.

If you’re look­ing for some­thing with a bit more sub­stance, don’t miss Un­break­able, 9.35 pm on RTE 1. This is the in­cred­i­ble real life story of one man’s courage in the face of ad­ver­sity. Un­break­able tells the story of Mark Pol­lack, who lost his sight at 22, and be­came the first blind per­son to race to the South Pole. The story con­tin­ues with how he met his girl­friend, be­came en­gaged and then four weeks be­fore the wed­ding, an ac­ci­dent left him paral­ysed from the waist down.

To get you in the fes­tive spirit, tune in on Tues­day De­cem­ber 23rd to Michael Bu­ble Live at Christ­mas, 9 pm on TV3. The sil­ver tongued Cana­dian Crooner gets us all in the mood with his Christ­mas Spe­cial with a lit­tle help from some friends in­clud­ing Bar­bara Streisand, Ari­ana Grande, Miss Piggy and the Rock­ettes. On Wed­nes­day De­cem­ber 24th Santa is well on his way and

On An­gels Wings, 4.15 pm on BBC 1 is a must see for all those ex­cited kids wait­ing for the Great Man Him­self to ar­rive. This is the mag­i­cal re­work­ing of the na­tiv­ity story based on the book by renowned chil­dren’s au­thor, Michael Mor­purgo. It has a stel­lar voice cast in­clud­ing Michael Gam­bon, Juliet Steven­son, Do­minic Cooper and Colin McFar­lane. It tells the spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence of a lit­tle shep­herd boy who meets the An­gel Gabriel and trav­els with him on a jour­ney to Beth­le­hem to meet the new­born king, Je­sus. The an­i­mated story is told through his own eyes, many years later as he re­counts his ex­pe­ri­ence to his grand­chil­dren on Christ­mas night.

Christ­mas Day is prob­a­bly the only day of the year when you can veg out in front of the telly all day with­out feel­ing an ounce of guilt. And what a se­lec­tion of pro­grammes to choose from! Call

the Mid­wife, 7.50 pm on BBC1 gets the Christ­mas spe­cials rolling. 1959 is draw­ing to a close as the res­i­dents of Po­plar pre­pare for Christ­mas and the mid­wifes of Non­na­tus House are busier than ever. When two preg­nant teenagers are sent to a Mother and Baby Home, Chummy and Patsy are hor­ri­fied by the con­di­tions they find there. They rally to pro­vide the preg­nant teenagers with the ut­most care and support as prepa­ra­tions are made for them to give up their ba­bies.

Mean­while it’s Christ­mas Day at Downton Abbey at 9 pm on ITV. Lord Sin­derby has rented out Bran­caster Cas­tle in Northum­ber­land and in­vited the Craw­ley fam­ily to a shoot­ing party - but a scan­dalous se­cret (sharp in­take of breath here!) threat­ens to un­der­mine the hol­i­day. In other quarters be­low stairs, Anna faces an un­cer­tain fu­ture be­hind bars. Bates takes dras­tic mea­sures in a bid to clear her name. It’s a two hour spe­cial packed full of drama and in­trigue. Miss it at your peril! Well it just wouldn’t be Christ­mas with­out the Mrs Brown’s

Boys Christ­mas Spe­cial and the gang are back at 10pm on RTE1 with enough laughs to have you clutch­ing your sides and re­gret­ting that last mince pie. As well all know, Mrs Brown loves Christ­mas but as the day ap­proaches Agnes is stressed! Rory is get­ting plas­tic surgery, Cathy is hid­ing some­thing for her and the fam­ily are in­sist­ing on a cost cut­ting Se­cret Santa. Mrs. B is not im­pressed. Even worse, Win­nie drops a Christ­mas bomb­shell! Will any­thing save the fes­tiv­i­ties for Mrs Brown?

Mov­ing on to St. Stephen’s Day when you’re lolling around in a food coma, what bet­ter way to re­lax than watch­ing a new episode of Birds of a Feather at 9 pm on ITV. Re­viv­ing an old favourite can be dodgy, es­pe­cially after 15 years, but rest as­sured, the new Birds of a Feather is as funny as ever. Pauline Quirke, Linda Rob­son and Les­ley Joseph are all back and the Christ­mas spe­cial sees Dorien treat­ing the two sis­ters to a trip to the Ca­naries but with Sharon’s hopes for ad­ven­ture, Tracey’s fear of fly­ing and Dorien’s lust for any­thing in trousers, this hol­i­day will be any­thing but re­lax­ing!

Here’s one for the kids, The Boy in a Dress at 6.55 pm on BBC1. A David Wal­liams adap­ta­tion is fast be­com­ing a Christ­mas sta­ple on the BBC and fol­low­ing on from the suc­cess of Gangsta Granny and Mr Stink, this is a one hour spe­cial of Wal­liams first book about a 12 year old boy called Den­nis who wants to wear a dress!

You may have thought you’d got­ten rid of him off Strictly Come Danc­ing, well Brucie is back on Satur­day De­cem­ber 27th with

Bruce’s Hall of Fame at 8.30 pm on BBC1. This is a new se­ries from the London Pal­la­dium where some of the UK’s best loved en­ter­tain­ers cel­e­brate the artists who in­spired their ca­reers. Celebri­ties fea­tured tonight in­clude Easten­ders ac­tress Jessie Wal­lace.

Sure it wouldn’t be Christ­mas with­out a Top Gear spe­cial and this year the lads are off to Patag­o­nia at 8.30 pm on BBC 2- clash­ing with Brucie, but take your pick! Jeremy, Richard and James take three V8 sports cars on a 1,600 mile trek through Patag­o­nia. Along the way there are bro­ken bones, epic back­drops, me­chan­i­cal calami­ties and cows plus a cli­max that wasn’t ex­actly the one that was ex­pected! If you’re a Strictly fan don’t miss the Strictly Come Danc­ing

Christ­mas Spe­cial on Sun­day De­cem­ber 28th on BBC 1 at 6.45pm. Mark­ing the end of the lat­est in­cred­i­ble se­ries of sparkles and show­stop­ping mo­ments. Bruce is back again for a One Off with celebri­ties in­clud­ing Rachel Stevens, Chris Hollins, Louis Smith, Rus­sell Grant, Sophie El­lis Baxter and Lisa Ri­ley.

Another bril­liant re­vival hits our screens on Sun­day at 7.30 pm on BBC 1 with Still Open All Hours. The much-cel­e­brated up­date to the beloved 1970’s sit­com con­tains a blended cast of old and new faces but thank­fully Sir David Ja­son is repris­ing his role as Granville and while Ron­nie Barker is sorely missed from the line up, new faces like Johnny Ve­gas cer­tainly make up for it.

Christ­mas Day isn’t the with­out the Mrs Brown’s Boys Christ­mas Spe­cial and the gang are back at 10pm on RTE1 and to get you in the fes­tive spirit, tune in on Tues­day De­cem­ber 23rd to Michael Bu­ble Live at Christ­mas, 9 pm on TV3.

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