TV Picks: Christmas Eve

TV Picks: Christmas Eve

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Tuesday, 24th December 2019
The Tiger Who Came to Tea (credit: Channel 4)
The Tiger Who Came to Tea (credit: Channel 4)

From beloved children's stories to spooky tales of ghosts, count down the hours until Christmas with these festive programmes. 

Martin’s Close

BBC Four, 10pm

(Credit: BBC)

Hark back to the Victorian tradition of ghost storytelling on Christmas Eve with this spooky adaptation of MR James’ 1911 short story, Martin’s Close.

Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) adapts this terrifying tale, which follows the murder trial of the well-to do young man John Martin, played by Wilf Scolding (Game of Thrones), in 1684. 

Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who) plays the prosecutor Dolben, who outlines Martin’s alleged crime: the murder of an innocent albeit simple-minded country girl named Ann Clark.

Martin faces the infamous ‘hanging judge’, George Jeffreys, played by Elliott Levey (Black Earth Rising). Yet the proceedings are thrown into mystery when the supposed murder victim is sighted after her death...


The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Channel 4, 7:30pm

Following the 50th anniversary of its publication last year, Judith Kerr’s timeless children’s story The Tiger Who Came to Tea has been adapted into a hand-drawn animated special.

David Walliams narrates the tale, which follows Sophie (Clara Ross) and her mum (Tamsin Greig) as a mischievous Tiger interrupts their tea-time, eating and drinking everything in sight before disappearing into the night.


Child Genius v Celebrities

Channel 4, 8pm​

(Credit: Channel 4)

Four of the brightest young brains in Britain return to battle it out against a team of celebrities, lead by Jimmy Carr. Joining Jimmy’s team will be comedian Jo Brand, radio host Vick Hope and presenter Richard Bacon.

On team ‘Child Genius’ will be the brainiacs: Dan (10), Fabio (12), and regulars Rahul and Nishi.

Richard Osman hosts as the teams are quizzed on spelling, maths and general knowledge.


Not Going Out

BBC One, 10pm

(Credit: BBC)

It wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without a panicked rush to the shops for last-minute gifts.

When married couple Lee (Lee Mack) and Lucy (Sally Bretton) pop out on their quick Christmas Eve mission for an inflatable Father Christmas, things do not go to plan.

Chaos ensues, with a theft, followed by a car chase, followed by an angry bull in a countryside field driving the exhausted parents to the end of their tether.

Meanwhile, Sally’s parents man the fort at home, with everything running smoothly until Lee’s feckless father Frank (Bobby Ball) arrives with his bizarre gifts and unusual festive spirit. 


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From beloved children's stories to spooky tales of ghosts, count down the hours until Christmas with these festive programmes.