Festive favourites on the box – there really is something for everyone!

December 25th, 2022 1:30 PM

By Southern Star Team

Jim Carey embodies the cynical, Christmas-hating Grinch, with the help of extreme, transformational prosthetics.

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The festive season is many things to many people, but one thing that we almost all enjoy is settling down in front of the TV to enjoy some old favourites, and discovering new ones. Aaron Hennessy has selected top picks for all the family this year … be it on terrestrial TV, or your chosen movie streaming service

NOTE: At time of going to press not all terrestrial transmission times were confirmed, so please check individual channels for exact schedules.

Best for kids

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse (BBC One, 30 mins)

This is an animated short film adaptation of Charlie Mackesy’s beloved novel published in 2019. It follows the four title characters title as they seek out the boy’s home on a journey during which they all grow close and learn much about each other. The film is voiced by Idris Elba, Tom Hollander, Gabriel Byrne and Jude Coward Nicoll.

Disenchanted (Disney+ 1 hour, 59 mins)

Amy Adams reprises her role from the 2007 film Enchanted. After finding her happiness in the suburbs, doubts creep in and she accidentally allows the fairytale world to infiltrate the real. James Marsden, Patrick Dempsey and Idina have also returned to reprise their roles in the original film.

Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Amazon Prime, 1 hour 44mins)

Jim Carey embodies the cynical, Christmas-hating Grinch, with the help of extreme, transformational prosthetics. This is a modern classic with real lasting power – the production and balance of material for both kids and adults are pitch perfect and the laughs carry us all along.

Best for nostalgia

Falling for a Dancer (RTÉ Player, 50min)

Another adaptation, this time based on the novel by Deirdre Purcell. The film is set on the Beara peninsula in the 1930s and stars a young, smouldering Colin Farrell and Elisabeth Dermot Walsh in the lead role.

The Crown (Netflix, 50mins)

Now in its fifth season, the royal biopic focuses on Prince Charles and Princess Diana, the crisis within the royal family and whether they have a place in British culture. Like in previous seasons the cast is amazing as is the attention to detail.

Yellowstone Season 5 (Amazon Prime, 50mins)

The show which has sparked a renewed interest in the western genre is maybe not technically a show for nostalgia, but it does celebrate a traditional way of life. Christmas break is the perfect time to catch up the Dutton family, headed by Kevin Costner.

Best for an evening in

Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special (Dec 25th 19.40 on BBC One & RTÉ, 30mins)

Love or hate Brendan O’Carroll’s enduring show, we must appreciate its consistency, ever since its first airing in 2011, Mrs Brown’s Boys has been a Christmas staple.

Spirited (Apple TV+, 2 hours 7mins)

A musical version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol starring Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell. Everyone knows the story: the ghosts of Christmas convince scrooge to change his way, that life is too short to be miserable all the time. This offering is full of laughs, songs and there is great chemistry between the two lead actors.

Andor (Disney+, 40mins)

The latest addition to the Star Wars universe, is far and away the most compelling. Following on the success of The Mandalorian, Andor focuses on the beginning of the rebellion against the Empire. With a stellar cast of actors, good storylines, and compelling action sequences, there’s more than enough for the whole family.

Best for creating the Christmassy feeling

Harry Potter (RTÉ, 2 hours, 20mins)

This franchise has become synonymous with Christmas, probably because it offers something for all the family, especially the darker, later films.

We recommend The Prisoner of Azkaban, which best blends the childhood adventures of Harry and the gang with a gothic flavour of werewolves and dementors.

Luke Evans’ Showtime (BBC Two, 1 hour)

Best known for his acting, Luke Evans has put together a Christmas entertainment special this year. He will perform songs from his recent album, A Song For You, and will be joined on stage by the likes of Olly Murs and LeAnn Rimes.

Richard Osman’s Christmas House of Games (Dec 26th, BBC One, 19.00, 30mins)

A Christmas special of the beloved game show. Four celebrity guests compete for the title of Christmas House of Games champion.

Apart from being a best-selling author of The Thursday Murder Club series of books, Richard Osman brings his clever, jovial wit to bear on his guests each week.

Best for the New Year

Later… with Jools Holland (BBC 2, 45mins)

The best of the international contemporary music scene performs weekly on Jools’s stage, but the New Years’ Eve show is special year in, year out. Some of the music industry’s biggest names have made their UK television debut on the show, such as Adele, Taylor Swift, Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys.

RTÉ’s NYE Countdown (New Year’s Eve, 23.30-00.30)

Wrap up 2022 with some of Ireland’s most beloved personalities, musical performances and recounting of the highlights of the past year, including music from Bandon songstress Lyra.

The Graham Norton New Year’s Eve Show (BBC One, 22.20)

Bandon’s own living legend presides over a couch of loose tongued celebrities and an ever-lively audience and is sure to titillate and amuse us all in the lead-up to the New Year’s Eve countdown. Who better to get the party started?

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