The Idiot Box: What To Watch This Week - A Christmas Special

14/08/2014 16:37 | Updated 22 May 2015

Will Gore

There's only a week or so to go before Christmas and The Idiot Box has bowed to the inevitable. With the TV listings packed with yuletide specials, it was impossible to do anything except pull on one of those annoying Christmas jumper and produce a special festive edition of our own...

Great British Bake Off

Christmas crackers... Two of the year's telly favourites, The Great British Bake-Off (BBC Two, Tuesday, 8pm) and Educating Yorkshire (Channel 4, Thursday, 9pm), return for one-off Christmas editions. Sadly, this version of GBBO won't include smiling girl Ruby, Michael Gove tribute act, Howard, or Mel and Sue, but instead has Marry Berry and Paul Hollywood trading festive recipes. Not exactly a riveting premise, but it should do enough to keep those suffering from GBBO withdrawal satisfied. Educating Yorkshire at Christmas catches up with staff and pupils at Thornhill Community Academy and will bridge the gap to the next series, and next school, that should hit our screens next year.

Christmas crap... While there might be a few decent Christmas specials coming our way this week, it's probably easier to spot the Yuletide rubbish that's been dumped into the schedules. Kirstie Allsopp (Crafty Christmas, Monday, 8pm) and Gordon Ramsay (Festive Home Cooking, Friday, 8pm) continue to outstay their welcome on Channel 4, while another of the channel's grim perennials gets a festive run out in the shape of My Big Fat Gypsy Weddings: Carols and Caravans (Friday, 9pm). On a similar track to that horror show, Channel Five's Crimbo gift to us all is Britain's Craziest Christmas Lights, a documentary about those charmers who celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus by plastering their homes in neon once a year.

Do they know it's Christmas?... For those who find Christmas excruciating, then it is possible to find some TV relief. The extraordinary-sounding MC Hammer's Big Shot Academy (ITV2, Thursday, 9pm) in which "members of the public attempt the rapper's greatest hits", could be the best thing to happen to the world in 2013. If for some strange reason, though, Mr Hammer doesn't appeal, then there's a Nigel Slater documentary about biscuits (BBC Four, Wednesday, 9pm) and the BBC's two-part Great Train Robbery drama to keep you entertained (BBC One, Wednesday-Thursday, 9pm - watch the trailer above).

Festive Film... With a lack of decent Christmas films to recommend, I'll point you in the direction of A Field in England (Channel 4, Wednesday, 12.20am - see trailer above) the latest off-kilter offering from Ben Wheatley, the most exciting British director to emerge in recent years. If you want to know when the criminally awful Four Christmases is on, you'll just have to find out for yourself.

Catch up... After his excellent performance earlier in the year in Southcliffe, Rory Kinnear is back on the small screen in ITV's much-trailed docudrama, Lucan. On the whole, critics were kind about the first episode, which you can catch up with here before the concluding part on Wednesday (ITV1, 9pm - watch the trailer above).

MORE! Read all the latest TV views and reviews from Will here.


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