Christmas Viewing With

The Christmas television schedules are always eagerly awaited as TV fans wait to see which of their favourite dramas or comedy shows will be granted a Christmas special or an extended episode. Many TV shows culminate at Christmas, with explosive season finales or final public votes, and there is always a variety of classic festive films to enjoy with all the family. This guide runs down the top Christmas television which will hit the UK’s Freeview and satellite TV channels this year; something everyone can enjoy over the festive season.

5. The X Factor

The crowning of the year’s X Factor winner has become as much a part of Christmas as mistletoe or turkey, and this year’s final will not be one to miss. The show will be held live in Manchester this year, and although ITV are yet to confirm the date, it is expected to be held two or three weeks before Christmas as in previous years. The unmissable event will be shown on ITV1 and ITV1HD, which can be received through all Freeview and Freesat boxes.

4. The Royal Christmas Message

Timed to perfection to coincide with the end of many families’ Christmas dinner, the Queen’s Christmas address is traditionally shown on BBC1 and BBC1HD at 3.00pm. Written by Her Majesty herself, the speech often neatly sums up the year, and will this yeah undoubtedly contain references to the year of sport that was enjoyed by all, as well as tributes to countries visited, with emphasis on those ravaged by recent natural disasters. The message has been a Christmas tradition since 1932, and will continue to remain a vital part of Christmas Day for the foreseeable future.

3. The Snowman

A favourite with children and adults alike, The Snowman is traditionally shown on Channel 4 at some point over the Christmas season. This year, however, the classic story gets a revamp; the old version of The Snowman will be shown on Christmas Eve, with a brand new sequel, The Snowman & The Snowdog directly after. Original author of The Snowman, Raymond Briggs, has hailed the follow-up as ‘absolutely super’, and the new short film will be eagerly anticipated by all seated in front of their televisions this year.

2. Noel’s Christmas Presents

This show has gained momentum in previous and is now one of the most popular things on the box around Christmas. The premise is completely simple: Noel Edmunds rewards the special members of the public with extra-special Christmas presents including celebrity visits, extravagant holidays and life-changing experiences. The show can be seen on Sky1, which is available through the majority of digital TV providers.

1. Downton Abbey Christmas Special

The hit period drama famed for its lavish costumes, the stunning backdrop and the cast of lovable (or hateable) characters returns for a Christmas special this year after a relatively happy end to the third season. It is predicted that this year’s festive feature-length episode will throw many spanners in the works in preparation for the fourth series of the show, which returns in 2013. Downton Abbey won the battle of the ratings last year, and it is predicted that millions will be glued to their televisions this year as they await the jewel in ITV’s crown.

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