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TONY ON TV: Will it be a Christmas cracker for TV viewers?

 

WHO will you be sharing Christmas Day evening with on the box?

Will it be tasting the high life with the Crawleys or will you be dropping in at the Queen Vic in Albert Square?

TV planners think that the 8.30pm slot, which sees ITV1’s ‘Downton Abbey’ pitched against the BBC’s ‘EastEnders,’ will be the highspot of festive viewing.

But a quick flip through any of the double issue listing magazines show there is a wealth of viewing before, during and after that supposed peak in the schedules.

Here’s my own TV take on the Twelve Days of Christmas, which from previous years I only watch a few, record most and then never get round to watching the rest in the New Year!

Christmas Day: Downtown Abbey (ITV1) -- The Crawleys arrive in London and get involved in a scandal threatening the royal family.

Boxing Day: Death Comes to Pemberley (BBC1). -- Three-part adaptation of P. D. James’ best-selling murder mystery updating Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice.’

Friday 27th: Vicious -- Camp comedy gets festive as theatrical knights Derek Jacobi and Ian McKellen invite friends round for a meal.

Saturday 28th: Moonfleet (Sky1) -- It’s ahoy there as Ray Winstone heads a gang of smugglers in 19th century Dorset in this two-part retelling of John Meade Faulkner’s adventure novel.

Sunday 29th: Agatha Christie’s Marple (ITV1) -- Fans will know that ‘Endless Night’ didn’t feature the amateur sleuth but Julia McKenzie makes the part work in this one-off episode.

Monday 30th: Gok Does Panto (Channel 4) -- Save money on travelling to Birmingham’s Hippodrome to see how the fashion fiend treads the boards in some festive fun with Stephanie Beacham and Gary Wilmot.

New Year’s Eve: 2013, A Funny Old Year (ITV1) -- Comedian Jason Manford, no stranger to making gaffes in public, takes a light-hearted look over the high and lows of the past 12 months.

New Year’s Day: Sherlock (BBC1) -- Far from being dead, Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) returns after a two-year absence just as London is threatened by a huge terrorist attack.

Thursday 2nd: Rab C Nesbitt (BBC2) -- Keep the subititles on as Govan’s favourite son, dogged by Universal Credit and the “Bedroom Tax,” turns to a life of crime to make ends meet.

Friday 3rd: Celebrity Big Brother (Channel 5) -- What a way to start the New Year as Emma Willis presides over another mixed bunch of “celebs” out to stay the course and claim fame and fortune.

Saturday 4th: The Bridge (BBC4) -- The Oresund Bridge, between Denmark and Sweden, provides the link again for a new chaper of Scandi drama which casts off with police boarding a crew-less tanker.

Sunday 5th: Rude Tube (Channel 4). -- Alex Zane welcomes in the New Year with 100 cracking internet clips including Vine sensation Bat Dad, the massive viral hit LED baby, and Granny Grand Theft Auto.

 

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