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Lightbox Loves: Christmas Specials

Back in September, with things looking more promising than since the start of the pandemic, 3 in 5 Brits were expecting to celebrate Christmas 2021 normally. Despite the emergence of the Omicron variant tarnishing this optimism, and despite 2 in 3 now expecting further restrictions post-Christmas, a quarter of Brits feel this Christmas will at least be more exciting than last year’s.

More than anything, just shy of half of all Brits are looking forward to spending time with loved ones this Christmas, and what better way to spend time together than gorging on a festive tin of chocolates in front of this year’s TV Christmas specials? We love TV here at the7stars, so Christmas specials are always a hot topic whether we’re discussing them in-person or on Teams. And 2021 looks set to deliver. Below are this author’s ones not to miss.

  1. Around the World in 80 Days (BBC One & iPlayer 5.50pm Boxing Day)

Starring David Tennant, this adaptation of Jules Verne’s 1872 novel is set to bring a bit of Christmas cheer, with leading man Tennant recently describing the series as a “romp” with “real heart”. And, if that isn’t enough for you, superstar composer Hans Zimmer scored the soundtrack.

  1. Spitting Image Christmas Special (ITV & ITV Hub 10pm Christmas Eve)

Usually accessible through Britbox, this Christmas special is making a one-off appearance on ITV. Featuring household names ranging from Emma Radacanu to Prince Andrew and, of course, Boris Johnson, this hour-long special is sure to have the nation’s living-rooms in stitches.

  1. LIVE Joe Lycett: Mummy’s Big Christmas Do!

Part of C4’s drive to spread its operations across the UK, this 90-minute live performance from Brummie comedian Joe Lycett combines three of his favourite things; “LGBTQ+ culture, Birmingham and chaotic live television” and promises to deliver “devilish” surprises.

*Since writing, this show has sadly been postponed for the time being*

  1. Last Train to Christmas (Sky Cinema & NOW 18th December)

Not so much a Christmas special, but this film follows Nightclub owner Tony (Michael Sheen) as he takes the train to visit his girlfriend (Nathalie Emmanuel) for Christmas. Things take an unexpected turn though and Tony finds himself transported through time as he moves through the carriages. This nostalgia-inducing, 80s-based one-off is sure to be worth a watch.

  1. The Girl Before (BBC One & iPlayer 9pm 19th December)

Nothing screams Christmas like a psychological thriller. The Girl Before follows new tenant Jane’s discovery that the previous occupant of her home met a mysterious end in the very property Jane now resides in. Running over Christmas as part of the BBC’s festive schedule, with all episodes released immediately on iPlayer for us binge-watchers, it’s set to be a big hit.

The above are just some of a wealth of Christmas specials though and others include: Call the Midwife, A Boy Called Christmas, A League of Their Own, Paul O’Grady, Nevermind the Buzzcocks and, of course, Doctor Who, among many others. So, whatever your TV preference, and whatever form Christmas takes for you this year, we’re sure they’ll be plenty to keep you entertained. Enjoy!