Best Christmas specials 2022: what new TV shows are coming out this Xmas - from Strictly to Call the Midwife

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From Call the Midwife to Strictly Come Dancing, there are lots of festive TV specials to enjoy this year

Christmas is nearly here and there’s no better way to get into the festive mood than to watch some of your favourite TV show’s latest holiday specials.

From Call the Midwife to Strictly Come Dancing and baking with Mary Berry, Christmas is the only time of the year some shows will offer up fans an exclusive one-off episode.

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This year features a packed schedule with many TV series also dropping their latest bingeable seasons over the holiday period.

To help you choose what to watch, we’ve reviewed the huge selection of TV shows and holiday specials being released this year and handpicked the best of the bunch.

Here are the 14 best Christmas TV specials you can watch this holiday season.

Happy Valley - BBC One

Although it’s not a Christmas series, Happy Valley is back for season 3 after a long hiatus. Sarah Lancashire will be returning as Sergeant Catherine Cawood for the final time, with fans excited to find out what happens in this crime thriller.

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Happy Valley will be launching on BBC One on New Year’s Day.

Happy Valley will be returning to our screens after six years (Photo: BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire)Happy Valley will be returning to our screens after six years (Photo: BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire)
Happy Valley will be returning to our screens after six years (Photo: BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire) | BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire

Motherland - BBC one

Motherland will be back on our screens for its first ever Christmas special. Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) is tasked with hosting a chaotic Christmas dinner at home, while Amanda (Lucy Punch) spends an awkward day with Johnny (Terry Mynott) and his new wife Tamara (Louise Delamere). Joanna Lumley is also set to make a special guest appearance.

You can watch the Motherland Christmas Special on BBC One and BBC iPlayer this December.

Inside No.9 Christmas Special - BBC Two

Dark comedy Inside No. 9 is returning for a Christmas special. The one-off episode will see Shobna Gulati (Coronation Street) and Simon Callow (The Rebel) guest star as two campers who stay the night in a haunted church on Christmas Eve.

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You can watch the Inside No.9 Christmas Special on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer this December.

Emily in Paris Season 3 - Netflix

Another series that isn’t Christmas-related, Netflix will be releasing season 3 of Emily in Paris on 21 December. The latest addition will follow up from the cliffhanger finale of season 2 and is ideal for binge-watching over the holiday break.

Emily in Paris is released on Netflix on 21 December 2022.

Bad Education Christmas Special - BBC Three

Bad Education is back with a one-off Christmas special. It’s been ten years since the series first aired, with the show set to make a comeback with season four in 2023.

You can watch the Bad Education Christmas special on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer this December.

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The Santa Clauses - Disney+

Disney have recreated this classic Christmas film into a brand new series. Scott Calvin (The Santa Clause) is back as Saint Nick himself in this spin-off that follows the whole family as they prepare for the holiday season.

The Santa Clauses is available to watch on Disney+ now.

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special - BBC One

Strictly Come Dancing may be coming to an end soon, but fear not Strictly fans, this year’s Christmas special has been confirmed. A brand new group of celebrities will be heading to the ballroom with rumoured contestants including Rosie Ramsey and Rickie Haywood-Williams.

You can watch the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special on BBC One and BBC iPlayer this holiday season.

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2021 (Photo: BBC/Guy Levy)Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2021 (Photo: BBC/Guy Levy)
Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2021 (Photo: BBC/Guy Levy) | BBC/Guy Levy

Call the Midwife Christmas Special - BBC One

It wouldn’t be a list of Christmas specials without Call the Midwife, every year the series brings us a new festive episode on Christmas Day and this year will be no different.

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You can watch Call The Midwife Christmas special on BBC One and BBC iPlayer this December.

The Witcher: Blood Origin - Netflix

Another not very festive series that is dropping over the holidays, the prequel to The Witcher is launching on Christmas Day leaving your Boxing Day plans sorted.

The Witcher: Blood Origin will launch on Netflix on Christmas Day.

Christmas with Mary Berry and Friends - BBC One

No one makes festive treats like Mary Berry, learn from one of the greats this Christmas in this special one-off holiday episode.

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You can watch Christmas With Mary Berry And Friends on BBC One and BBC iPlayer this December.

Death in Paradise Christmas Special - BBC One

Death in Paradise has confirmed their second Christmas Special. The Carribbean drama will be back on our screens this holiday season for another murder mystery.

You can watch The Death In Paradise Christmas Special on BBC One and BBC iPlayer this December.

The Greatest Snowman - Channel 4

Hosted by Sue Perkins, curl up in front of the fire and watch celebrities battle it out to build the best snowman.

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You can watch The Greatest Snowman on Channel 4 this December.

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse - BBC One

Something for the kids, this heartwarming animation tells the story of the novel by Charlie Mackesy and features a star-studded cast including the voices of Idris Elba (Tennant), Tom Hollander (White Lotus), Gabriel Bryne (Hereditary) and Jude Coward Nicoll (The Lost Sock).

You can watch The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse on BBC One and BBC iPlayer this December.

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse will be on BBC One over the holiday season (Photo: BBC/NoneMore Productions)The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse will be on BBC One over the holiday season (Photo: BBC/NoneMore Productions)
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse will be on BBC One over the holiday season (Photo: BBC/NoneMore Productions) | BBC/NoneMore Productions

MasterChef Christmas Special - BBC One

Get ready to cook up a feast with not one but two special episodes of MasterChef this holiday season. John Torode and Gregg Wallace are back and will be joined by celebrities from past Celebrity Masterchef including Kitty Scott-Claus, Megan McKenna and AJ Pritchard.

You can watch the MasterChef Christmas Special on BBC One and BBC iPlayer this December.

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