BBC Christmas TV Shows 2017: From 'Call The Midwife' To 'The Miniaturist, Our Top Picks

We've got your Christmas plans covered.

28/11/2017 13:24 GMT | Updated 28/11/2017 16:24 GMT

If you needed a sure sign that Christmas is basically upon us then here it is: The list of this year’s Yuletide show is officially out. 

We know, we know, the festive season is all about catching up with family, sharing gifts with friends and playing a boardgame or two... But there’s nothing quite like sitting down to catch up on your favourite shows, is there? 

The BBC has revealed their plans for this year and while the air dates and times are still to come, we’re pretty excited for some of the shows on offer. 

Here are the 16 programmes to watch out for... 

1. ‘Call The Midwife’

BBC/Neal Street Productions/Nicky Johnston

Now set in the 1960s, ‘Call The Midwife’ is often the most-watched TV show on Christmas Day and we expect 2017 to be no different. 

While last year’s festive offering was set in sunnier climes, this winter’s special sees the nuns, midwives and families of Poplar struggle through the Big Freeze of 1962/3. 

2. ‘Doctor Who’

BBC

It’s been four years since a regeneration episode of the sci-fi favourite and this year’s is even more special, as when Peter Capaldi bids us farewell, the first ever female Doctor will arrive

Titled ‘Twice Upon A Time’, the episode is described as “an uplifting new tale about the power of hope in humanity’s darkest hours”.

“As the Doctor must face his past to decide his future, his journey is only just beginning,” reads the description.

3. ‘Our Friend Victoria’ 

Paul Stuart/Camera Press

The BBC will pay tribute to much-loved comedian Victoria Wood with a special hosted by her longtime collaborator, Anne Reid.  

The episode starts with some classic stand-up from Victoria perfectly summing up the downsides of Christmas, over spending, over indulgence and all too tiring.

However, interviews with her close friends - including Celia Imrie, Julie Richard E. Grant and Reece Shearsmith - reveal the comedian adored the festive season, as they share their favourite memories. 

4. ‘EastEnders’ 

BBC Pictures

‘EastEnders’ bosses have made bold promises about the 2017 Christmas episode, promising that it will feature “the most explosive yuletide in Albert Square’s history”, which is a seriously bold claim. 

5. ‘Nigella’s Christmas Table’ 

BBC Pictures

If you’re lacking inspiration for a festive feast the fear not, as Nigella is here to help. 

The chef decamps to the countryside for a cosy break, sharing her party tips and recipes, for everything from devilled eggs to roast duck, as the fire crackles away in the background. 

6. ‘The Miniaturist’ 

The Forge/BBC/ Laurence Cendrowicz

Based on Jessie Burton’s best-selling novel, this drama is set in 1686 and tells the mysterious story of 18 year-old Nella Oortman, who arrives in Amsterdam to become the new wife of merchant, Johannes Brandt.

Not just one for fans of the book, ‘The Miniaturist’ sees Nella receive an intriguing wedding gift from groom: a dolls house replica of their house, which begins predicting the future with frightening accuracy.

7. ‘Top Of The Pops’ 

Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates present an hour-long celebration of 2017′s musical moments, with performances from Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Clean Bandit, Rita Ora and The Script.

And obviously, it will also include an all-important update on who is Christmas number one. 

8. ‘Strictly Come Dancing: The Christmas Special’

BBC Pictures

Six much-loved ‘Strictly’ stars from years gone by will return to the ballroom, hoping to impress the panel with some festive-themed routines.

The show will be Shirley Ballas’s first ever Christmas Special and - as the Sunday results shows usually do - it will also include a music performance from a chart-topping act.

9. Nile Rodger’s And Chic’s New Year’s Ever Fireworks 

Empics Entertainment

The disco titans will be bringing 2017 to a close on BBC1, with a special live concert followed by fireworks on the Thames. 

10. ’300 Years Of French And Saunders’ 

BBC

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders reuniting to inject some much-needed humour into proceedings. 

With new clips and never-before-seen footage, the comedians celebrate their 30th anniversary in style - with the help of a few famous friends. 

11. ‘McMafia’ 

BBC Pictures

James Norton takes centre stage in this “impressive and intimate, glamourous and gritty” new drama. 

The english-raised son of Russian exiles, James’s character Alex Goodman is drawn into the world of organised crime and what starts out as a story of survival and revenge, becomes an epic tale of a man’s struggle against the lures of corruption. 

Does this sound Christmassy? Nope. Is that going to stop us form tuning in? Nope again. 

12. ‘Joanna & Jennifer: Absolutely Champers’

BBC Pictures

It’s not just Eddy and Patsy who are partial to a glass of bolly, as Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders also love a glass of bubbly during a catch-up. 

The pair will head over to the Champagne region of France to learn about how their favourite tipple is made - while enjoying a few glasses along the way, of course. 

13. ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ 

BBC Pictures

Brendan O’Carroll’s show may be divisive, but there’s no avoiding the fact it consistently ranks highly when post-Christmas TV viewing figures are revealed.

This year, there will be two specials with one airing on Christmas Day and the second just in time for the New Year. 

14. BBC Sports Personality Of The Year 

BBC Pictures

The annual ceremony will air live from Liverpool’s Echo Arena on Sunday 17 December. 

Sports stars up for the evenings’ biggest prize include World Cup winning cricketer Anya Shrubsole, World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua and Paralympian-turned-‘Strictly Come Dancing’ star Jonnie Peacock. See all the nominees here

15. ‘Judi Dench: A Passion For Trees’

BBC Pictures

Yup, you read that correctly. Dame Judi has made a show about her secret passion... trees. 

According to the press release, the programme is “told through the narrative of the changing seasons and filmed over the course of a year” and showcases “innovative filming techniques and the latest cutting edge scientific technology
and research to unlock the remarkable secret lives of trees”. 

We’re equal parts intrigued and... well, just intrigued really. This is a must-watch. 

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