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Cult Tube Talk

Tube Talk's Christmas Crackers 2009

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What's the best thing about Christmas? Is it the presents, the union of families up and down the land, or the celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ? Of course not! Christmas is about one thing and one thing only - TV!

This year there's a heap of festive treats on offer from the big broadcasters (erm, well.. the BBC) - from the final journey of an endangered Time Lord to the enlightenment of a miserable OAP and the rise of a bunch of killer plants. Tube Talk has sifted through the schedules and selected nine Christmas crackers for your viewing pleasure. And behold, here they are:


Doctor Who: The End Of Time

You'd be forgiven for not knowing about this already. I mean, it's not like we've given it much coverage on Tube Talk lately... ARE YOU KIDDING?!? This is the television event of the year, the moment we've all been waiting for: David Tennant's final Doctor Who adventure, the return of The Master and the arrival of Matt Smith. If you watch only one thing this Christmas, make it The Queen's speech this is it.

Airs: Christmas Day at 6pm and New Year's Day at 6.40pm on BBC One.


Gavin & Stacey

Get the tissues at the ready because we're bidding another goodbye this festive season. After three series and a Christmas special, it's time to wave off Gavin, Stacey, Nessa, Smithy, Pam, Mick, Bryn, Gwen, Dawn, Pete, Doris, Dave Coaches and... Noel From Hear'Say?! The final episode is set in Barry on the day of Nessa's wedding to Dave Coaches. But will all run smoothly? We defy you not to have a big old cry by the time the credits roll.

Airs: Christmas Day at 10pm and New Year's Day at 9pm on BBC One.


Day of the Triffids

A remake of the classic TV series/radio series/novel, Day of the Triffids is a two-part drama about a bunch of killer plants (called The Triffids) which could bring about the end of mankind. The cast is stellar - Dougray Scott, Joely Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave, Eddie Izzard, Brian Cox - and the plot ludicrously appealing. Put a blanket over the Christmas tree and prepare to be terrorised.

Airs: December 28 at 9pm on BBC One.


Merlin

The Great Dragon aka John Hurt is finally set free in the climax to series two - and good lord, he's angry. Camelot is being systematically destroyed and the castle is in ruins. Only a Dragonlord can save the day, but that moronic King Uther executed all of them way back when. Or did he? A third series has already been commissioned, so watch easy in the knowledge that our titular hero will live to fight another day.

Airs: December 19 at 5.45pm on BBC One.


Ant & Dec's Christmas Special

Save for the soaps, ITV traditionally doesn't make too much of an effort at Christmas (after all, it's a commercial broadcaster and advertisers spend all of their money on programmes before Christmas) but this year there is a small Ant & Dec-shaped token on offer. This festive special, set inside 'Santa's Cabin', features a mix of comedy sketches, music performances and party games. Guests include Piers Morgan, Amanda Holden, The Saturdays, Robbie Williams and Alexandra Burke.

Airs: December 26 at 7.30pm on ITV1.


Cranford

Of the many, many bonnet dramas to have invaded our screens over the last decade, Cranford was undoubtedly the best. This Christmas it's back for two new 90-minute episodes, charting the period from August to December 1844. The cast remains unbeatable: Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, Imelda Staunton, Julia McKenzie, Francesca Annis and Lesley Sharp, to name but a few of the Cranford ladies. The show's only mistake? The premature slaying of Eileen Atkins in the first run.

Airs: December 20 at 9pm and December 27 at 9pm on BBC One.


Wife Swap: The Last Episode


It will be with heavy heart that we witness the passing of one of the reality genre's most innovative and pioneering shows this Christmas. After 83 episodes, Channel 4 is undertaking its last ever Wife Swap, featuring a lady-of-leisure from Kent and a mum-of-seven from Hull. Rebroadcasts of the classic Celebrity Wife Swap between Sam Fox and Freddie Star, as well as the first ever episode, follow.

Airs: December 19 from 9pm on Channel 4.


Catherine Tate: Nan's Christmas Carol


There's one very big reason why we're recommending this. Let's see if you can guess! Catherine Tate's Nan is the subject of a large dose of self-reflection in a retelling of Charles Dickens' classic festive tale A Christmas Carol. Ben Miller stars as the ghost of Christmas past, Roger Lloyd Pack appears as the ghost of Christmas future, and the ghost of Christmas present is... oh yes, David Tennant.

Airs: Christmas Day at 10.30pm on BBC One.


Celebrity Big Brother

Channel 4 continues its relentless genocide of reality TV shows by broadcasting the final series of Celebrity Big Brother in January. Over the years, the 'sleb version has given us many memorable moments: Vanessa Feltz's breakdown in series one, Les Dennis's breakdown the following year, the entrance of "Yeah, Jackie" Stallone, the inescapable misogyny of John McCririck, Michael Barrymore, George "do you want me... to be the cat?" Galloway, Shilpagate and the surprise victory of Ulrika-ka-ka-ka. CBB, we'll miss you.

Airs: January 3 at 9pm on Channel 4.


Which shows are you most looking forward to this Christmas? Add your comments to this entry below!

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