The best Christmas TV specials

Despite the digital era taking many viewers from traditional broadcasting to online platforms, there is no disputing that Christmas time is dominated by our television screens.

The classic Christmas Day family argument normally stems from a fight over the remote; but there are some TV specials that have the whole family laughing or crying together.

Whether it’s reruns of classic moments or the excitement at the return of an old favourite, there is a Christmas TV special for everyone. 

Here are six of the best Christmas TV specials to get you in the festive spirit.

Outnumbered returns for Christmas special

Outnumbered BBC 1 Xmas

It's been three years since Outnumbered was on our screens, but this Christmas brings us a 40-minute special of the BBC One comedy.

It's Boxing Day and the Brockman family have to carry out a special mission for Grandad. They encounter many problems along the way and if the adults can't sort things out the children will have to. Starring Claire Skinner and Hugh Dennis this is sure to be a Christmas favourite. Hugh Dennis has said: "I can't wait to re-join our TV nucleus, and what better place to experience the full joy of family life than stuck in the family car."

Wednesday's top TV

Jane Horrocks returns in Trollied: A Christmas Carol

Snow Chick: a Penguin’s Tale



Kate Winslet narrates this captivating story following an emperor penguin chick’s first few months in the Antarctic.

Filmed over an entire year, we see the penguin chick take his first steps, evade chick-hunting predators and take his first dip in the ocean.

Watch: Trailer for Call the Midwife Christmas special

Call the Midwife, Christmas, BBC One

Outside Christmas spirit fills the air, with a jovial Father Christmas waving from the back of a Routemaster bus, and Christmas trees and lights adorning the streets.

In the local church, cameras role as the BBC comes to Poplar to record a carol concert. New-face Adrian Scarborough (The King’s Speech, Miranda) can be seen in earnest talks with Shelagh Turner (Laura Main) who promises him a show to be proud of.

However at Nonnatus House Christmas is yet to come.

Watch: The final Downton Abbey trailer

Hugh Bonneville as Lord Grantham in the final episode of Downton Abbey

Julian Fellowes's award-winning period drama Downton Abbey finally draws to a close this Christmas.

As Mary settles into married life with Henry, he is still scarred by his best friend's Charlie's tragic death on the race track. Meanwhile, it looks like Thomas will finally be saying goodbye to Downton.

Watch the trailer below to get a glimpse of what else is to come in Downton's finale.

Airs Christmas Day, 8.45pm on ITV

Celtic shop props up TV industry

Natalie Rolley

A group of RTS Wales members visited Celtic Prop Hire in early October, and saw items used in top TV shows, including BBC One’s Doctor Who, for which Celtic supplied various props in the current series.

Established in 1999, the Cardiff-based company supplies productions across the UK. Other recent credits include BBC's The Coroner and Sherlock as well as Sky 1's Stella.

The company also supplies a lot of props to the BBC’s Drama Village in Cardiff Bay, including for the long-running medical series Casualty.