ITV has a stocking full of Christmas and New Year treats for viewers this year, including new drama, Christmas specials of viewer favourites, new documentaries, entertainment events and free to air film premieres.
Brand new one-off drama, Torvill & Dean (Christmas Day, 9.15pm), premieres this Christmas on ITV. Starring Will Tudor (Game Of Thrones, Humans) and Poppy Lee Friar (Ackley Bridge, In The Club) as the iconic leads, the feature-length film explores Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean’s early years and the creative impetus that finally drove them to become ice dancing royalty. Written by acclaimed film, television and theatre writer, William Ivory (Made in Dagenham,Burton and Taylor), the one-off drama will follow the pair’s humble beginnings and family life in Nottingham and how they came together to become Olympic champions.
Also this Christmas, ITV brings viewers the free-to-air premiere of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (December 30th 8pm), plus festive favourite Elf (December 16th, 6pm) will back on television for its premiere on ITV.
Viewers will also have the chance to watch the classic 1984 Gremlins (Christmas Eve, 9.30pm) which will follow The Keith and Paddy Picture Show: Gremlins (Christmas Eve, 9pm), in which which Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness recreate the iconic movie with the help of an all-star cast. For this festive one-off they recreate the 80’s classic with guest stars including Zach Galligan, Kara Tointon, John Thomson, Su Pollard, Les Dennis and Arthur Bostrom. Further comedy comes in the form of a Bad Move – Festive Cheer Christmas special starring Jack Dee and Kerry Godliman (Christmas Eve 8.30pm).
There will be Christmas specials of shows including Through The Christmas Keyhole (December 14th, 9pm), The Jonathan Ross Christmas Show (December 22nd, 9pm), What Would Your Kid Do? (December 23rd, 7pm), The Chase: Bloopers (December 23rd, 8pm), Judge Rinder’s Christmas Kids Court (Christmas Eve 5.30pm), Tipping Point: Lucky Stars Christmas Special (29th December 7pm) and Paul O’Grady for The Love of Dogs Christmas (Christmas Day, 5.55pm).
It will be an eventful Christmas in ITV’s soaps this year, for Coronation Street and Emmerdale. In Emmerdale Jessie’s planning a surprise festive wedding with Marlon Dingle, but will she manage to dupe the unsuspecting groom and get him down the aisle? With such secretive plans for the nuptials and Marlon believing he’s doing the catering, Sam thinks he might be the lucky groom. With one misunderstanding after another will Jessie and Marlon exchange their vows and seal their partnership with a kiss under the mistletoe?
Meanwhile Bob is facing a bleak Christmas alone in his room at the B&B, following his break up from Laurel. Beyond the point of crying, Bob is a shadow of his former self and it’s clear Christmas has well and truly broken him. It is the season of goodwill to all men, but Bob isn’t feeling festive. Will 2019 bring him health, happiness and prosperity?
In Coronation Street affairs of the heart will set pulses racing in Weatherfield as the residents get into the festive spirit. But as families gather and glasses are raised will there be peace on the cobbles or will anyone find themselves on the naughty list?
Johnny’s infidelity with Liz is still playing on Jenny’s mind and, having overdone the Christmas spirit, the Rovers’ landlady does something she will live to regret. With Sally behind bars for the festive season Gina is enjoying her time with Tim, perhaps a little too much. Meanwhile, Daniel is determined to make this a Christmas to remember for him and his pregnant wife Sinead.
At the Platts’ Audrey has a surprise for her dysfunctional family and at Bessie Street Primary School, Bran hosts a nativity with a difference that leaves the pupils and parents open mouthed, just not necessarily for the right reasons.
Entertainment treats this Christmas include The Royal Variety Performance (December 11th, 7.30pm) this year hosted by Greg Davies, an unforgettable evening of the best UK and international musical performers, extraordinary theatre and brilliant comedy as well as a number of surprises along the away. Stars lined up to appear include one of the UK’s biggest bands, the multi-award-winning Take That, the West End cast of the phenomenal hit musical Hamilton, chart topper George Ezra, award winners Clean Bandit, West End cast of Tina – The Tina Turner Musical and the legendary Andrea Bocelli & his son Matteo.Also taking to the stage are, Britain’s Got Talent winner, comedian The Lost Voice Guy, a special performance from Rick Astley, comedian Rhod Gilbert, the mesmerising Cirque Du Soleil, plus music from Sigrid and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Circus 1903 will be unveiling their unique and beautifully crafted performances with their extraordinary elephant puppetry, and there will be more comedy from stand up comedians Gad Elmaleh and Rod Woodward.
In the run up to Christmas ITV will celebrate 20 Years of The Black Eyed Peas (December 22nd, 10pm), with Joanna Lumley presenting a one-hour special featuring exclusive performances of some of the global super group’s greatest hits. A whole host of international celebrities and faces from the music industry, as well as the friends and family that have shaped their lives, will share their insights into the group and what makes them such a unique and special act. Away from the bright lights on stage, the show will take a look back at how The Black Eyed Peas came to be.
Best Christmas Ever with Alexander Armstrong (December 16th, 9pm) is a one-off festive special, hosted by TV favourite Alexander Armstrong where he’ll be joined by some very special celebrity guests, all on a mission to find out what really makes the best Christmas ever. Much like the big day itself, there will be games, sing-along and polite but firm disagreement as our celebrity guests battle it out to crown the best Christmas food, song, movie and much, much more.
Plus Olly Murs will be heading back to his Essex roots as he takes over an entire pub to put on a jam-packed night of games, chat and performances of all his biggest hits. As he celebrates a decade at the top with his sixth album, You Know I Know, Happy Hour with Olly Murs (December 15th, 9pm) will be the ultimate homecoming party with a specially invited audience of friends, family and famous faces. With the bar packed to the rafters, there will be laughs aplenty as Bradley Walsh – who Olly affectionately calls his ‘showbiz dad’ – is pub landlord for the night. Emma Willis will be the resident Karaoke Queen as she hosts special singalongs for any game guests that choose to step up to the mic and entertain the crowd. Fellow Voice coach Sir Tom Jones will be dropping in to join in the fun and there will be a very special exclusive duet from Jennifer Hudson and Olly.
In The Big Soap Quiz: Coronation Street v Emmerdale (December 21st, 9pm) hosted by Stephen Mulhern, the casts of the two soaps will battle it out to find out who knows their soap best. Headed by team captains Jack P Shepherd and Mark Charnock, which soap will lift the trophy this year?
In Bradley Walsh: When Dummies Took Over The World (December 29th, 9pm) Bradley Walsh tells the fascinating story of Britain’s most famous puppet stars including Orville, Emu, Sooty, Lord Charles, Dicky Mint, Spit the Dog, and Nookie Bear. They were once the stars of Saturday night TV, but what happened when the limelight faded? Bradley Walsh discovers where they are now and brings together some of them for a very special reunion.
And Re-Play 2018 with Richard Osman will see Richard Osman and Scarlett Moffatt join forces for a brand-new quiz testing the nation’s best-loved celebrities on the most-talked about events of the year where the winner doesn’t have to be clever, they just need to have been paying attention.
Singing superstar Alfie Boe returns to present this year’s Christmas Carols on ITV (Christmas Eve). An array of stars including Ruby Turner, Claire Richards and Rebecca Ferguson will sing in Christmas day during this very special evening of celebration and commemoration which will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Brand new documentaries this Christmas include a chance to relive an unforgettable World Cup for England in World Cup: Summer of Love (December 19th, 9pm). Gareth Southgate and his team helped unite and delight the nation as they made it through to the semi-finals in Russia. The memorable story is retold by the manager and players inside the camp and complemented by the insights of those who followed their journey back home, including Piers Morgan, Susanna Reid and Sir Clive Woodward.
Over the last eight years Long Lost Family has reunited over 200 relatives desperate to find that one person missing from their lives, to make their family complete. Now for the first time many of these families are brought together under one roof, to celebrate Christmas and the joy of finally being together, after the agony of years apart. Long Lost Family Christmas Reunion (December 17th, 9pm) will find out what it means to spend your first Christmas with your loved ones and reflect on how lives have changed for people since finding their relatives, with some guests meeting new family members for the very first time during the programme.
Plus, Global Adventurer Bear Grylls will take on the wild with England football manager Gareth Southgate for an ITV special, Bear’s Mission with Gareth Southgate (December 20th, 9pm). The leader of the Three Lions squad and former Premier League player will swap the football field for some of the UK’s toughest terrain, to tackle the ultimate challenge, as he joins Bear on a mission across some of the country’s most rugged, unspoilt moorlands. Bear’s mission will test Gareth’s composure and poise under pressure, as they battle the wilderness together.
Film highlights on ITV this Christmas also include Monsters Inc (Christmas Day 4.10pm), Casino Royale (December 23rd, 9pm), Quantum of Solace (December 26th, 8pm), Skyfall (December 27th, 8pm) and Spectre (December 31st, 8pm).
Plus on ITV2 Keith Lemon takes a look back at all the best, most-juiciest bits of Celebrity Juice’s illustrious 10-year history in Celebrity Juice: 10 Years of Best Bits (December 20th, 10pm). So expect to see all the best games, gags and mayhem from 10 years of Celebrity Juice. And in Love Island: The Christmas Reunion (December 17th, 9pm) ITV2 is bringing the cast back together one last time for a festive reunion. Hosted by Caroline Flack and with voiceover from Iain Stirling, this is the perfect Christmas present for Love Island fans.
The new year starts on ITV with a brand new series Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? (January 1st, 9pm) which see’s Jeremy Clarkson return as host following the success of the anniversary specials, and also the launch of Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad (January 2nd 8pm), which sees actor Bradley Walsh and his 20-year-old son Barney hitting the road together for a brand-new four-part series, travelling over 2000 miles from Los Angeles to New Orleans. They might be father and son but when it comes to travelling they are worlds apart, with Bradley keen to relax while Barney wants to live life a little more on the edge. Worried his old man is too stuck in his ways, Barney has decided to take matters into his own hands with an adventurous trip that his dad will never forget.