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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas TV: But is this the best we can do?

If watching Gemma Collins build a snowman sounds like fun, you'll be thrilled with this year's Christmas TV schedule.  The Only Way Is Essex star, 41, will star in Channel 4's The Greatest Snowman

If watching Gemma Collins build a snowman sounds like fun, you’ll be thrilled with this year’s Christmas TV schedule.

The Only Way Is Essex star, 41, will feature in Channel 4’s The Greatest Snowman, where she will compete against other ‘celebrities’ to build snow and ice sculptures in the snowy climes of Austria.

The show, presented by Sue Perkins, is one of many making up this year’s UK Christmas TV guide, which is starting to take shape after broadcasters announced their ‘world-class’ offerings today.

He will join a Strictly Come Dancing special with Anton Du Beke on the BBC, and even more Ant and Dec on ITV, as the Geordie duo launch the first Christmas edition of their new game show Limitless Win.

If watching Gemma Collins build a snowman sounds like fun, you'll be thrilled with this year's Christmas TV schedule.  The Only Way Is Essex star, 41, will star in Channel 4's The Greatest Snowman

If watching Gemma Collins build a snowman sounds like fun, you’ll be thrilled with this year’s Christmas TV schedule. The Only Way Is Essex star, 41, will star in Channel 4’s The Greatest Snowman

A Strictly Come Dancing special with Anton Du Beke (pictured) and the rest of the jury will air on the BBC this Christmas

A Strictly Come Dancing special with Anton Du Beke (pictured) and the rest of the jury will air on the BBC this Christmas

The best movies to watch on streaming services this Christmas

While most traditional broadcasters offer one-off specials or repeats, streaming services this year will show some of the latest Hollywood blockbusters – as well as their own original productions.

Christmas Carol (Sky Max)

Those looking for the quintessential festive film should enjoy this modern take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, starring British favorite Suranne Jones as a shamelessly wealthy businesswoman. Taj Atwal and Nish Kumar co-starred.

Glass Onion: A Mystery at Daggers Drawn (Netflix)

Available to stream from December 23, this murder mystery is a sequel to the 2019 hit black comedy Knives Out. Starring Daniel Craig as the relentless Benoit Blanc alongside Kate Hudson and Edward Norton.

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Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount+)

Tom Cruise stars in the sequel to the classic, reprising his role as Maverick as he trains a new generation of rookies while playing alongside his original teammates, including Jennifer Connelly. Available from December 22.

Banshees of Inisherin (Disney+)

This dark tragicomedy film written and directed by Martin McDonagh follows lifelong friends – Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson – who come to a dead end when one abruptly ends their relationship. Available from December 21.

Other predictable promotions on the Beeb include The Graham Norton Show, EastEnders, Antiques Roadshow and Call The Midwife.

Elsewhere, ITV Daytime brings audiences more Loose Women and This Morning, both of which will first air between December 28 and 30, as well as Good Morning Britain and Lorraine.

But there will also be festive one-offs for big hits, including BBC’s Motherland and two shows from Sir David Attenborough; Dynasties II and Frozen Planet II.

There will also be special game shows on Blankety Blank, The Weakest Link, House Of Games, The Hit List, Question Of Sport, Pointless, The Wheel, University Challenge, Would I Lie To You and QI.

Meanwhile, the BBC will be giving viewers not one, but two Mrs Brown’s Boys festive specials.

One viewer joked on Twitter that he was hoping for blackouts during the specials, while another said: ‘There are two things that are inevitable in life…death and Mrs. Browns Boys on Christmas Day BBC 1.”

Another jibe on Facebook: “Mrs Browns Boys? Hasn’t the nation suffered enough?

A third compared the BBC program to ‘a very thin mush’, while another complained: ‘As always the BBC reveals what happens at Christmas and as it has for so many ‘years, there’s nothing I like, there’s not even a Dr Who!’

But the BBC was quick to defend its line-up.

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Charlotte Moore, BBC Content Director, said: “Nothing brings people together across the UK like Christmas on the BBC and this year we have world-class programming like no other.”

“Get ready to get away from it all and be entertained with an incredible range of new festive shows across all genres, live or on-demand, there’s something for everyone.”

Part of this “world-class” range is The Great British Sewing Bee: Celebrity Christmas Special, which will see familiar faces attempt to turn unwanted material into something suitably festive.

And Cliff Richard fans can rejoice, as the King of Christmas is set to perform an hour-long special on BBC Two.

Cliff At Christmas will see the 82-year-old some of his classics in an east London church – as well as some of his new tunes.

There will be even more Ant and Dec on ITV this Christmas, as the Geordie duo kick off the first Christmas edition of their new game show Limitless Win

There will be even more Ant and Dec on ITV this Christmas, as the Geordie duo kick off the first Christmas edition of their new game show Limitless Win

Top Gun: Maverick will air on Paramount+ this Christmas (Picture: Tom Cruise in the sequel)

Top Gun: Maverick will air on Paramount+ this Christmas (Picture: Tom Cruise in the sequel)

There will also be festive one-offs for big hits, including BBC's Motherland (pictured cast) and two shows from Sir David Attenborough;  Dynasties II and Frozen Planet II

There will also be festive one-offs for big hits, including BBC’s Motherland (pictured cast) and two shows from Sir David Attenborough; Dynasties II and Frozen Planet II

“Thank goodness for Amazon and Netflix,” another Twitter user joked after reading the schedules.

Another called the list of programs a “horror story”.

Others were enthusiastic about the programme, as one said: “Finally some great BBC Christmas specials this year!” I can not wait to be there.

‘Thank God for Amazon and Netflix’: Viewers react to Christmas TV schedule announcement

Meanwhile, on Channel 4, comedian Nish Kumar will host Celebrity Legomasters At Christmas, which will see three teams of celebrities compete in the ultimate Lego-building competition.

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Just like in recent years, the broadcaster will also air a celeb celeb edition of Bake Off.

Perhaps its most original offering will be Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama.

The series sees Michael Sheen dramatize the now infamous Wagatha Christie trial – aka the “libel trial of the century” – between WAGs Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy, which captured the nation’s imagination this year.

Who is showing what on TV this Christmas?

BBC

  • The Smeds and the Smoos (BBC One)
  • The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse (BBC One)
  • It’s My Jam with Mo Gilligan (BBC One)
  • The Weakest Link Christmas Special (BBC One)
  • Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel (BBC One)
  • Cliff at Christmas (BBC Two)
  • Christmas Eve (BBC One)
  • Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special (BBC One)
  • The Great British Sewing Bee: Celebrity Christmas Special (BBC One)
  • When Tina Turner came to Britain (BBC Two)
  • Detectors (BBC Two)
  • Bad Education: Reunion (BBC Three)
  • Call the Christmas Special Midwife (BBC One)
  • Death in Heaven (BBC One)
  • Luke Evans Showtime (BBC 2)
  • Ghosts (BBC One)

TVI

  • Ant & Dec’s Christmas Unlimited Win
  • Britain starts singing
  • Doc Martin Christmas Special
  • Britain’s Got Talent: The Ultimate Magician
  • Royal carols: together at Christmas
  • A Year on Planet Earth (ITVX)
  • Lost Voice Guy Christmas Comedy Club
  • Wealth (ITVX)
  • Christmas Comedy Club with Lost Voice Guy
  • Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs – Royal Special
  • children of the voice

Channel 4

  • Famous Legomasters at Christmas
  • The biggest snowman
  • The big festive oven
  • Five Star Christmas: Inside Corinthia
  • Light up Christmas
  • Miriam’s Dickensian Christmas
  • Vardy vs. Rooney

Channel 5

  • All creatures big and small

Sky

  • Christmas Carol (Sky Atlantic)
  • After Always: Little Red Riding Hood (Sky Max)

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