Christmas TV guide: best Christmas specials to watch in 2023 from Doctor Who to Call the Midwife and The Crown

From Doctor Who to Call the Midwife there are plenty of Christmas specials to watch on TV this year
Mog's Christmas is coming to Channel 4 (Photo: Channel 4, Tabby Tales Limited)Mog's Christmas is coming to Channel 4 (Photo: Channel 4, Tabby Tales Limited)
Mog's Christmas is coming to Channel 4 (Photo: Channel 4, Tabby Tales Limited)

Christmas is right around the corner and there is no better way to get into the festive mood than to watch some of your favourite TV show’s latest Christmas specials, and in 2023 we are spoilt for choice.

This year's schedule is packed with many TV series also dropping their latest bingeable seasons over the holiday period, including the final second half of Netflix's The Crown.

To help you choose what to watch this Christmas, 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 12 best Christmas TV specials you can watch this holiday season.

Doctor Who Christmas Special - BBC One

Doctor Who fans have already been tuning into the three 60th anniversary episode specials, but there will also be a Christmas special airing on Christmas Day. Called The Church on Ruby Road, it will be the first full episode to feature Ncuti Gatwa in the role of the 15th Doctor.

EastEnders - BBC One

It wouldn't be Christmas without a dramatic EastEnders special. This year's storyline is hinting that a mystery man could be killed, but who could it be? We won't have long to find out, the EastEnders Christmas special will air on Christmas Day.

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special - BBC One

Get your sequins ready, Strictly Come Dancing is back for the holiday season. The festive line-up includes EastEnders's Jamie Borthwick, Sugababes sensation Keisha Buchanan and BBC Breakfast's Sally Nugent. The Strictly Christmas special will air on Christmas Day.

Ghosts Christmas Special - BBC One

Ghosts is back with a Christmas Special. Fans had suspected the season 5 finale would be the last time they'd see their favourite spooks, but the gang is back together in this one-off festive episode which will reportedly be the last episode ever.

Call the Midwife Christmas Special - BBC One

It wouldn't be Christmas without a Call the Midwife Special. This year viewers will go back to 1968 just before Apollo 8 circled the moon. Call The Midwife Christmas Special will be available to watch on Christmas Day.

Bad Education Christmas Special - BBC Three

Bad Education is back for its Christmas Special, featuring the return of the one and only Mr Wickers played by Jack Whitehall. The episode will feature hilarious antics and new one-off songs to the theme of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The Bad Education Christmas Special is available to watch on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer on Wednesday December 13 at 9pm.

The Crown Season 6 Part 2 - Netflix

The final part of The Crown Season 6 will be airing on Netflix this December. Fans were left disappointed by the first half which covered the death of Princess Diana. Part 2 will focus on Prince William and his relationship with Kate Middleton. Can The Crown finally redeem itself for its grand finale? You can find out when episodes drop on December 14.

A Very Brassic Christmas - Sky Max

Brassic is back following its season 5 finale. The Christmas Special is expected to include a festive heist and guest appearances from The Crown's Imelda Staunton and comedian Gregg Davis. A Very Brassic Christmas will be available to watch on Thursday December 21 on Sky Max at 10pm.

Mog's Christmas - Channel 4

Something for the kids, Mog's Christmas is a heart-warming hand drawn animation coming to Channel 4. An adaptation of the children's book of the same name by Judith Kerr, it tells the story of Mog the family cat who is feeling a bit left out during the holiday season. It features an impressive cast with voice actors including Claire Foy, Benedict Cumberbatch and Miriam Margolyes.

All Creatures Great and Small - Channel 5

Channel 5's period drama, All Creatures Great and Small is back with a cosy Christmas special. Season 5 saw Winston Churchill come to power against the backdrop of World War Two. The Christmas Special is coming soon to Channel 5.

22 Kids and Counting at Christmas - Channel 5

Britain's biggest family will be sharing how they celebrate Christmas in this brand new special on Channel 5. The episode has already been making headlines, with Metro reporting tension between siblings Luke and Chloe had reached breaking point. 22 Kids and Counting at Christmas airs on Sunday December 17 on Channel 5 at 8pm.

The Masked Singer Christmas Special - ITV1 and ITVX

The Masked Singer will be returning this Christmas with a one-off special episode. Whilst details on what to expect are not yet available, we do know judges Mo Gilligan, Davina McCall, Joel Dommett, Rita Ora and Jonathan Ross will be in attendance.

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