It’s Christmas Eve already? How did that happen? Surely you’re all done your shopping now, so time to reward yourself with a few nice things to watch on TV.
On TV, Londonist likes:
Jamie at Home Christmas Special (Channel 4, 17:10-18:15) Say what you will about Jamie Oliver, he puts on an entertaining cooking show. And we’re guessing this Christmas episode will be chock full of amazing dishes that will look incredibly simple and delicious, but that for the life of us we can’t recreate at home. Just what we like.
Carols from King’s (BBC2, 17:30-18:45) Gorgeous Christmas music sung by a gorgeous choir, along with Bible and poetry readings. Just the thing to put you in the Christmas spirit.
Shrek the Halls (BBC1, 18:35-19:00) The makers of Shrek cash in on the Christmas cartoon appeal with one of their own. Shrek has done nothing to prepare for Christmas – can Donkey convince him to enjoy the Christmas spirit? Our bet is yes. If you like the films, you’ll definitely enjoy this short.
Blackadder’s Christmas Carol (BBC2, 19:15-20:00) A Christmas Carol, Blackadder style. There’s not much more to say, is there?
The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (Five, 19:15-20:00) This year’s lectures explore human survival, which is sure to be fascinating if you need a break from all the Christmas madness. This first lecture focus on respiration – you’ll absolutely learn a thing or two about something you very likely take for granted.
The Comedy Christmas (BBC2, 21:00-22:10) Another Christmas clip show, which is just the thing if you’re burned out from last minute shopping. This one features the best moments from seasonal telly specials. Who among us didn’t get a bit teary when Dawn and Tim got together on The Office special? Relive all those special moments and get a bit nostalgic.
A Christmas Bucket o’ French and Saunders (BBC1, 22:45-23:20) Again with the clip shows, BBC! This one is classic sketches from the last 20 years of French and Saunders goodness. Surely good for a chuckle or two.
Midnight Mass (BBC1, 23:35-00:45) If you can’t be bothered to actually go to church, but want to enjoy the whole midnight service thing, this is just the show for you. Get all the carols and Christmassy goodness from the warmth and comfort of your front room.
And now a few Christmas Eve film options:
My Fair Lady (BBC2, 13:15-16:00) Yes, it’s really long, but it’s also really good. Enjoy Audrey Hepburn’s “cockney” accent, and enjoy how pretty she looks in all those lovely dresses. We thoroughly enjoy a musical, and this is a great one.
Annie (Living, 15:30-18:00) It may not be the best movie musical ever, but we defy you not to be delighted at “It’s A Hard Knock Life”. If you’re watching TV with kids today, this is a sure fire hit.
Scrooge – A Christmas Carol (Five, 16:15-18:00) This is the definitive Christmas Carol film. Alastair Sim is prefect as Scrooge, and this is a great re-telling of the familiar story. Sure, it doesn’t have singing and dancing Muppets, but no film can have everything.
A Christmas Carol (Channel 4, 19:15-21:00) If anyone’s going to challenge Sim for the Scrooge crown, it just might be Patrick Stewart. We also find the casting of Richard E Grant as Bob Cratchit to be delightfully unexpected.
Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl (BBC1, 20:30-22:45) The best of the three films, and you can’t go wrong with Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. No mascara-wearing pirate will ever be as charming and delightful. (Thanks to the eagle eyed reader who noticed our mistake. Thanks!)
The Fast and the Furious and 2 Fast 2 Furious (ITV2, 21:00-23:00 and 23:00-01:00) If you’re just tired of the whole Christmas thing, enjoy a bit of fast car driving escapism. Paul Walker in both films and Vin Diesel in the first film aren’t the best actors, but fit the bill perfectly in these drive fast, take no prisoners films. And there’s not one single mention of Christmas.