23/12/2011 07:45 GMT

Christmas TV Guide: What To Watch - Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, Absolutely Fabulous

At Christmas you're spoilt for a choice of great TV, with vintage classics getting a re-run, one-off festive specials worth a look, and some of your favourite series being revised.

It's also a time when TV viewing becomes less solitary and you have to share the remote with family members young and old. In our effort to help maintain seasonal cheer, reduce arguments in your living room (yes, we're all heart) and make the most of your valuable viewing time, here is our pick of the best shows on the box for this Christmas weekend...

Christmas Eve

The Many Faces Of Les Dawson, BBC Two, 9pm

Colleagues and friends explore the many talents of the still much missed Northern master of the put-down, Les Dawson.

Outnumbered, BBC One, 9.20pm

Find relief in the fact your Christmas can't be as bad as that of the Brockmans.

Lapland, BBC One, 10.00pm

A crowd-pleasing comedy starring Sue Johnston, whose family set off to Lapland for a Christmas of a lifetime. Predictably, it won't be a fairytale.

Christmas Day

The Queen, BBC One, 3pm

No Christmas day would feel quite right without settling down to watch Her Majesty's address - whatever your views on the monarchy, HM's message with the nation is always worth a watch, if only to count the corgis.

Doctor Who, BBC One, 7pm

The Doctor Who Christmas special blends sci-fi with 1940s wartime spirit as Steven Moffat gives us his unique take on The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe.

Strictly Come Dancing, BBC One, 8pm

The series finished last weekend but the glitterball's not back in its cupboard yet. Strictly returns for a tinsel-toed special starring Su Pollard of Hi-De-Hi fame, former boxer Barry McGuigan, comedian Debra Stephenson and EastEnders villain Charlie Brooks.

Downton Abbey, ITV1, 9pm

Downton decks its grand halls with Christmas trees and festive goodwill. The two-hour bumper bonanza has everything - scene-stealing asides from Maggie Smith, a murder trial and a lot of love. We've seen the preview, and can guarantee you'll be laughing and crying into your sherry.

Absolutely Fabulous, BBC One, 10pm

We can't imaging you'll be able to tear yourself away from Downton once it starts, but Ab Fab isn't one to miss, either. Stick it on Record and tune in later for this uproarious fashion disaster-filled comeback for Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley. Even The Killing's Sofie Grabol makes an appearance, though no guarantees about that jumper.

Boxing Day

The Borrowers, BBC One, 7.30pm

Mary Norton's classic story about little people living under the floorboards has a stellar cast, including Christopher Eccleston and Stephen Fry.

EastEnders, BBC One, 9pm

Big things are going down in Albert Square this Christmas - yes, really. Tune in for a fiery festive finale.

The Royal Bodyguard, BBC One, 9.30pm

David Jason - the former king of Christmas TV - makes a comeback with his first comedy role since Only Fools and Horses, starring as a bumbling royal security boss who's promoted to look after the Queen.