What to watch on TV this Christmas Day – from Strictly to the zombie Christmas movie – Essex Live

Christmas Day TV is a universal constant.

Which is a charitable way of saying for the last ten years or so the main broadcasters have all basically stuck to the same tried and tested formula - Queen's Speech, a triple decker sandwich of soaps, Call the Midwife packed with peril, sadness and an inevitable Christmas miracle birth and Mrs Brown's Boys (the less said about that the better).

But just in case you haven't busted out this year's Radio Times to play your Christmas Day viewing (why not?) here's a guide to some of the other options for December 25th.

Best for reality TV lovers: Strictly Come Dancing (5.10pm, BBC1)

After the heart warming joy that was the Strictly final, it's inevitable that many will turn to the Christmas special version to add some joy and a cubic tonne of sequins to the post-turkey haze.

Filmed before Rose and Gio lifted the winner's glitterball, this year's celebrities include Adrian Chiles (pictured), Jay Blades, Moira Stuart and Mel Giedroyc. Meanwhile First Dates' Fred Sirieix is also taking a turn around the dance floor and has taken it seriously enough that he has made a seriously striking hair dye choice for the occasion.

Also recommended: The Masked Singalong (6pm, ITV), The Great Christmas Bake Off (8pm, Channel 4), Gogglebox (9.15pm, Channel 4)

Best for kids: Superworm (2.30pm, BBC1)

If you've been wrangling young children this Christmas then you've probably already run through the list of lovely Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's previous TV adaptations that have packed the schedules.

But you don't have to watch The Gruffalo's Child for the three hundredth time, Superworm is here.

Superworm wriggles himself into shapes to help other animals in the garden when they get into peril.

So when he gets snatched by an evil lizard all his friends team up to rescue him.

Matt Smith voices the plucky worm while Olivia Coleman narrates.

Also recommended: Terry Pratchett's The Abominable Snow Baby (7.30pm, Channel 4), The Tiger Who Came to Tea (10.30am, Channel 4), Gangsta Granny (10am, BBC Two)

Best film: Anna and the Apocalypse (9pm, The Horror Channel)

The best Christmas film you've never seen gets its Freeview debut - although be warned, it's on The Horror Channel which is the give away that it's a bit of a gorefest.

A zombie apocalypse threatens the residents of a sleepy Scottish town at Christmas, forcing high school student Anna and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to saving their families.

That's right. We said sing. Did we not mention it was a zombie Christmas musical?

It's the quirkiest and most unusual thing you're going to see this Christmas Day and, while it's not the most polished of films, it makes up for it with good natured fun and a cast who throw themselves into it.

Think of it as an anti-Hallmark movie in the best possible way.

Also recommended: Mary Poppins Returns (3.10pm, BBC1), Love Actually (10.40pm, ITV), Knives Out (8pm Sky Thriller), Zack Snyder's Justice League director's cut (6pm, Sky Hits)

Best music: The Beatles: Eight Days a Week (6.45pm, Sky Arts)

Ron Howard directs not one but two music-focused films viewers can enjoy this Christmas Day.

If the Get Back Peter Jackson documentaries on Disney Plus have whetted your appetited then Eight Days a Week is a fantastic complementary piece, focusing on the Fab Four's time touring and using some rarely seen footage to show exactly what it was like living in the bubble of Beatlemania.

Meanwhile his Pavarotti documentary tells the full life of the opera icon focusing on his professional achievements and colourful personal life in a series of interviews with family, friends and collaborators.

Also recommended: Pavarotti (9.35pm, BBC Two), Queen and Adam Lambert: the Show Must Go On (11.45pm, Sky Arts)

Best quiz: Blankety Blank (7.25pm, BBC1)

Not going to lie, putting this in our festive round up gives me flashbacks to growing up in the eighties, tussling for the toffee pennies in the Quality Street tin with my nan.

But sometimes it's nice to have little moments like that, so bust out your chocolates of choice - maybe Miniature Heroes or Celebrations for the new century - and enjoy the family-friendly silliness and trying to correctly answer all the questions before the rest of the family.

Bradley Walsh (who is on TV more than Father Christmas himself this week thanks to this, a father and son documentary, his usual Chase duties and the festive edition of The Larkins which is on ITV at 9pm) tries to keep celebs including comedians Tim Allen and Sarah Millican, Spice Girl Mel B and acting legend Richard E Grant in line with varying degrees of success.

Also recommended: Michael McIntyre's Christmas Wheel (6.25pm, BBC1).

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What to watch on TV this Christmas Day - from Strictly to the zombie Christmas movie - Essex Live

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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