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22nd Dec 2017

Your Definitive And Clutter-Free Guide To What’s On TV Over Christmas Week

James Fenton

For all the turkey, presents and general feeling of goodwill, we all know that Christmas is only about one thing. Days on end of rock solid telly.

There’s so much on that it can be a bit overwhelming at times to pick out your favourite movies and TV specials but that’s where we come in.

We’ve sifted through the bullshit to pick out the stuff that’s actually worth watching this year with only two rules…

1) No movie that’s shown multiple times can be mentioned more than once (we’re looking at you, Home Alone).

2) We’re only mentioning TV stations that are generally seen in most households as ‘de normal channels’. No Sky Movies here. 

Get your red pen ready to circle the ones you need to record:

Friday December 22 


1.50pm FILM: You’ve Got Mail – Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan remind us of the courting process in the pre-Tinder days.

9.35pm FILM: The Holiday – Kate Winslet leads an all-star cast in a romcom guaranteed to get you in the Christmas mood.

Midnight FILM: The Full Monty – A load of lads in Sheffield decide that getting in the nip on stage is the way to ease their financial woes.


3.45pm FILM: Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London – A brainless action-comedy romp starring your man from Malcolm In The Middle.

8.40pm Attenborough And The Giant Dinosaur – The man himself digs up a load of bones in the Argentinian desert. 

Midnight FILM: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment – The first of about six million sequels to the 1984 original.


9pm: FILM: Deck The Halls – A 2006 Christmas movie starring Danny Devito. It was universally panned but should be good for a hate-watch.


9.05pm FILM: True Grit – An enjoyable Oscar-nominated effort by the Coen Brothers.

23.35pm Ceol Johnny Cash – A host of Irish talent including Republic of Loose, Fiachna O Braonain and the Hot Sprockets, and Eleanor McEvoy perform renditions of the Man In Black’s classics.


6.55am FILM: The BFG – The original animated version of the Roald Dahl novel.

12.05pm FILM: The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas – Fred and his pals head to a prehistoric version of Sin City. 

11.05pm FILM: Big Momma’s House 2 – Martin Lawrence stars in the awful 2006 crime comedy.


1.45pm FILM: Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade – The third instalment of Steven Spielberg’s classic adventure franchise.

3.40pm FILM: Puss In Boots – A spin-off from the Shrek movies with plenty of gas one-liners for the whole family.

10.40pm The Graham Norton Show – Will Smith and Jamie Oliver join the Corkman on his red sofa.

BBC 2 

3.50pm The Toys That Made Christmas – A nostalgic look at toys of Christmasses gone by hosted by Robert Webb of Peep Show fame.


10.40pm FILM: Bridget Jones’ Diary – You’ve seen it a million times but that won’t stop you taking joy in the misery of the eponymous main character.

Channel 4 

10pm FILM: The Inbetweeners 2 – Any fans of the gross-out sitcom will love this delightful sequel.

Midnight FILM: Kickass 2 – Jim Carrey joins the cast of the original superhero comedy.


8pm FILM: The Hunger Games – Let the games begin.

Sky One 

8pm Michael Buble’s Christmas In New York – The man himself escapes from his cave for the festive season.

10pm FILM: 2012 – An apocalyptic thriller that’s more hilarious than thrilling.

Saturday December 23

RTÉ 1 

1.10pm: FILM: Miracle On 34th Street – The 1994 Christmas movie which teaches us that material things are more important than anything else.

9.45pm FILM: Gone Girl – 2014’s much-acclaimed psychological based on Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name.


4.05pm FILM: Never Say Never Again – The 1984 edition of the James Bond franchise starring Sean Connery as 007. 

9.05pm FILM: Love & Mercy – A 2014 biopic on Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson.


9pm FILM: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – It wouldn’t be Christmas without watching this festive comedy.

11.55pm Tommy Tiernan: Out Of The Whirlwind – The funnyman takes to the stage to tickle our funny bones.


11.55am An Nollaig Fadó – A lookback on past Christmasses in Ireland. 

5.20pm FILM: Monsters Vs. Aliens – A 2009 3D animation with the voice talents of Reese Witherspoon and Seth Rogen. 

10.55pm FILM: Nacho Libre – Jack Black stars in this Mexican-American sports comedy.


5pm: FILM Night At The Museum – Ben Affleck leads an all-star cast in this New York-based fantasy.


1.15pm FILM: Cool Runnings – A much-loved classics of the ’90s which is oft-quoted to this day.

2.50pm FILM: Frozen – The kiddies will go mad for Disney’s most recent mega-hit.

BBC 2 

9.30am FILM: The Muppets – The 2011 edition starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams. 


1.35pm: FILM: Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone – Get your Christmas Hogwarts fix.

4.30pm FILM: Despicable Me – This should keep your little minions entertained.

8pm FILM: The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies – An epic adventure. Essential viewing.

Channel 4 

7.30am FILM: The Rugrats Movie – An early start but worth it for the nostalgia. 

11.20pm  FILM: Gladiator – Are you not entertained?

Sky One

11.30am Live La Liga Football: El Clasico – A festive treat for footy fans as Barcelona play Real Madrid live on ‘de normal telly’.

Sunday December 24


2.10PM FILM: Home Alone – It’s gotta be in there.

00.05am FILM: Thelma & Louise – An oldie but a goldie for the gal pals out there. 


3.45pm FILM: Casablanca – A perfect way to settle in for the afternoon. 

8.40pm Father Ted Christmas Special – YESSSS!


10.30am FILM: The Santa Clause – Tim Allen stars in this ’90s favourite. 

Channel 4 

5.20pm The Snowman – You’ll be walking in the air. 

Monday December 25


2.20pm FILM: Finding Nemo – Standard. 

3.50pm FILM: Big Hero 6 – Bring the tissues. 

5.30pm FILM: Spectre – Another effort from Bond.

9.35pm FILM: Brooklyn – Starring our very own Saoirse Ronan.


4.15pm FILM: E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial – The story of the little guy who died and rose again. Quite apt for the day that’s in it. 

8.05pm All-Ireland Day: The Hurling Final – A behind the scenes look at Croke Park on one of the biggest days of the year. 

10pm FILM: Guardians Of The Galaxy – A superhero movie with an amazing ’80s soundtrack for those who aren’t in to those kind of flicks.  

6.10pm FILM: Babe – Show me a cuter pig. I’ll wait. 

11am A Kylie Christmas – Kylie Minogue, you say? Yes please. 

Tuesday December 26 


9.10am FILM: Shrek 2 – The first sequel to the much-loved animation.

1.35pm FILM: Back To The Future – Should we even explain why it’s important to watch this? 

3.40pm FILM: Raiders Of The Lost Ark – Indiana Jones 

6.35pm FILM: Jurassic World –  A must-see for dino fans


3.30pm FILM: Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets – Harry and the lads again. 

9.30pm FILM: Kingsman: The Secret Service – An enjoyable spoof on the spy genre.


10.45pm Match Of The Day – Gary Lineker presents highlights of the St. Stephens Day Premier League programme- traditionally the most action-packed of the year.

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