It’s time to sink into the sofa and see to that box of Quality Street. Charlie Mackesy's The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse is at the top of our list.

A typical British household will watch 62 hours of TV over the Christmas period including six films, two full box sets and four festive specials, according to research.

Yes, those figures sound terrifying. Are we really such fans of the box? You can mitigate the horror, however, by making sure that what you watch is new, enriching and as festive as can be.

Here – to suit a variety of ages and tastes – are the best things to watch on TV this year.

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse


When Charlie Mackesy published his heart-warming illustrated story in 2019, it stayed on the bestseller lists for over 100 weeks. This Christmas, it comes to the small screen. ‘The journey of making the film of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse with my ridiculously talented and kind animation team has been a magical one,’ said Mackesy. ‘It’s so great to think the story will be in the nation’s homes this Christmas – and I really hope it helps bring comfort, love and laughter.’

Falling For Christmas


Who doesn’t love a frivolous and cheesy rom com at Christmastime? In this Netflix corker, a spoilt little rich girl, played by Lindsay Lohan, goes on a redemptive journey, and ditches her ghastly fiancé, during a swanky yuletide skiing holiday. Watch it.

The Smeds And The Smoos


Christmas isn’t Christmas any more without a Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler adaptation to watch en famille. This year, we can look forward to a 30-minute film of The Smeds and the Smoos. Voiced by Bill Bailey, Sally Hawkins and Rob Brydon, it encourages us – whatever age we are – to honour our differences and embrace change.

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special


Fans of the glitterball, rejoice! For Bruno Tonlioni is returning for the show’s Christmas special this year. The one-off programme, to be recorded on December 7 and shown on Christmas Day, will see six (as yet unannounced) celebrities competing to become this year’s Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Champion. Until then, just remember: Keeeeeep dancing! Check out the video of last year’s extravaganza for a taste of what’s in store.

Scrooge: A Christmas Carol


The beloved Dickens classic gets a reboot on Netflix this year. Streaming from December 2, this joyful new musical cartoon has a stellar cast, including Luke Evans, Jessie Buckley, Olivia Colman and Jonathan Pryce, and excellent original tunes. Watch it.

Without Sin


Between Christmas and New Year, look out for the new four-part thriller, Without Sin, on ITV’s new streaming service, ITVX. Starring Vicky McClure, the psychological drama tells the story of a grieving mother, who makes a shocking discovery when she visits her daughter’s killer in prison. The series was written and filmed in Nottingham, from where McClure comes. She says: ‘I just really hope that the audience will enjoy, if they’re not from Nottingham, to see the city in all its glory. And then for those that are locals: it’s a big show, it’s a great show, it’s set here and it’s for the city.’

The Swimmers


There is nothing frivolous about this hard-hitting new weep fest from Working Title. Based on real events, it follows two talented young Syrian sisters as they escape their war-torn country to pursue an Olympic dream. Thanks to their combined tenacity, one ends up competing at Rio 2016. The New York Times calls it ‘an inspirational (but rarely sugar-coated) crowd-pleaser’. Watch it.

The Great Christmas Bake Off 2022

Channel 4

Join judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith as they welcome a new batch of celebrities who will battle for the Christmas crown. The Guardian says: ‘Bake Off has long been a proving ground for a kinder, more diverse and inclusive Britain.’ Christmas Day, when this cosy special will air, is just the moment for such a message.

Great Expectations

Steven Knight – of Peaky Blinders fame – is giving us a great gift this Christmas: a new adaptation of Dickens’s Great Expectations. With a cast including Olivia Colman as Miss Havisham, this classic period drama is not to be missed.

By Becky Ladenburg
December 2022

Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.