Christmas 2014 on Channel 4
Turn on those lights, hang up the mistletoe and mince those pies! Christmas is well and truly round the corner. Here, at Channel 4, we are planning a merry fortnight of programming that will keep you warm throughout the festive period. Joining us for some seasonal greetings this year will be well known faces from Kirstie Allsopp, Jamie Oliver, Jimmy Doherty, Noel Fitzpatrick and many more. From cooking to comedy, sing-alongs to supervets, Channel 4 has Christmas well and truly wrapped this year. See below for a list of festive programming for you to mull over. Please note that we’ll be adding even more programmes as we draw closer to Christmas. So make like Santa and keep checking that list twice. Ho, ho, ho!
Factual Entertainment, Features, Daytime and Music Highlights
Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners Christmas Special, TX: 2 December, 8pm, Channel 4
A Clean House is not Just for Christmas
It’s Christmas so deck the halls with boughs of holly, tis the season to be jolly, unless you are an obsessive compulsive cleaner then it is bleach your baubles with vim and vigour tis the season to be extra vigilant.
Christmas - the season of goodwill, gifts, parties and celebrations. Except if you’re an Obsessive Compulsive Cleaner - where Christmas means clutter and dust.
From bleaching baubles to steam cleaning the Christmas tree our obsessive cleaners will go to almost any length to make sure their homes are immaculate over the festive period.
In this Christmas special three of our cleaners, Lynsey, Mark and Amanda demonstrate their methods for ensuring a cleaner Christmas.
Lynsey, 36, Peterborough, likes to keep a clutter free, immaculately clean house and reveals how she throws away her children’s Christmas cards when they are not looking. She also shows her fellow cleaners her extreme method for cleaning her baubles and her wreath – she submerges them in a bowl of hot water and bleach and gives the mixture a good stir with a wooden spoon to ensure the baubles get a good coating.
Mark, 47, Fleet, likes his decorations evenly spaced on the tree and it can take him ages to make sure it is just so.
Amanda, 31, Essex, buys a new tree and decorations every year as she doesn’t like the thought of them gathering dust. Once the tree is up she steam cleans the whole lot before spraying it with an antibacterial product.
The show also sends cleaners Vinnie (52, Sheffield), Louise (35, Wiltshire), OCD diagnosed Alison and Richard (39, Northampton) back to see some of the most memorable homeowners from series one and two to find out if they have been keeping on top of the housework or have slipped back into their old ways.
Jamie’s Christmas Crackers, TX: 8 December, 8pm, Channel 4
Christmas is the perfect time of year for enjoying delicious and decadent treats with your very favourite people and this year Jamie wants to show you how to wow your friends and families with amazing recipes that will raise your usual Christmas spread to the next level.
Back at home in his Essex kitchen, this special festive show will see Jamie whipping up a selection of his favourite dishes for the entire festive season from family gatherings to party time specials. Including succulent Beef Wellington, indulgent Chocolate and Marmalade Panettone Bread and Butter Tart, juicy Steamed Goose Buns, cheeky Christmas cocktails and the cherry on top of the Christmas cake - proper Roast Goose with all the trimmings.
With brand new recipes and a twist on the best festive traditions, Jamie’s Christmas Crackers will have your taste buds tingling and your seasonal menu all wrapped up.
Kirstie's Handmade Christmas, TX: 9 December, 8pm, Channel 4
Iiiiit’s Christmas and Kirstie Allsopp is back, in a role to rival that of Mother Christmas and at the centre of her own glittering festive grotto located at Blenheim Palace’s magical Christmas fair.
Joined by top crafters from across the UK, the 1x60’ special from Raise the Roof Productions will be a seasonal celebration of classic and contemporary crafts as well as exploring the distinctive traditions of a Scandinavian Christmas that inspire us. Kirstie will be putting her spin on some yuletide favourites and Christmas gets competitive when she sets fellow crafters against each other in everything from a tree decorating competition to a “trendy” festive jumper knit-off. On top of mastering techniques in her home studio and immersing herself in workshops at the fair, to create a dozen unique craft ideas, Kirstie will be heading off to Norway. Once there she’ll be hoping to find out why they provide the Trafalgar Square tree each year as well as being introduced to unique crafts, delicious foods and rich customs that make up a true Scandinavian Christmas.
The Supervet: Christmas in the Clinic, TX: 16 December, 8pm, Channel 4
Over the last year we’ve been capturing the highs and lows at Fitzpatrick Referrals as the bionic vet Noel Fitzpatrick and his team attempt to help the country’s hardest-to-cure pets.
In this hour long Christmas special Noel has a new case to challenge his skills - Fieval the Labrador whose hips are so bad he needs a total hip replacement on both sides.
The programme will also catch up with some of the pets and owners who have benefited from Noel’s pioneering techniques and inventions. We’ll find out what happened to Scooby the Labrador cross who lost a leg in his fight against cancer, Jasper the puppy whose legs were so deformed he needed two pioneering operations if he was ever to run free and Pixie the cat who gained a bionic limb to help her survive.
George Clarke's Amazing Christmas Spaces, TX: 18 December, 8pm, Channel 4
George attends a carol service in a 130-year-old flat-pack tin church - one of the earliest examples of flat-pack construction. Will visits a very different chapel that's been meticulously transformed into a luxury home. George and Will help the country's only female ice carver create a winter wonderland themed ice bar in Liverpool. The show catches up with some of George's favourite builds of the year and there's Christmas drinks in the garden of Joel Bird, winner of the Shed of the Year prize.
Come Dine With Me Christmas Special (wt), TX: 30 December, 7:05pm, Channel 4
It's Christmas and time for the Come Dine With Me Celebrity Christmas Special.
First host of the week is ex- Coronation street actress turned model Helen Flanagan who is trying to impress funny man Mark Dolan, TV and radio presenter Kirsten O'Brien and Happy Mondays front man Shaun Ryder. Will Helen's sparkly Christmas party win out or will it end in a traditionally festive soap style bombshell cliffhanger?
Second night sees part Norwegian presenter Kirsten O'Brien go back to her roots by throwing a Scandinavian style Christmas bash. But will the exotic fare be a smorgasbord too far for Helen and what is getting Mark and Shaun all steamed up?
The third festive dinner party of the week sees Mark Dolan take everyone back to Victorian England when he hosts a Dickensian Christmas serving up pea soup, a three bird roast and a very plum duff.
For the last party of the week it's up to Manchester for Shaun's "Madchester" Christmas with melons on the menu and a right festive rave up.
Frozen at Christmas (wt) TX: 25 December, 8pm, Channel 4
Frozen at Christmas (w/t) takes an entertaining and in-depth look at the incredible success of Disney’s Frozen, the most successful animated film of all time. The programme hears from its makers about the film’s creation and production, the writing and performance of its most popular songs, and how ‘just another’ Disney princess movie became the cultural phenomenon of 2014. But this isn’t just a story about a blockbuster film; it’s about the fans and the effect Frozen continues to have on the people of all ages who admit they’re obsessed by it. It’s also about the growing strength of social media to reach out and engage with an ever-younger audience who have been empowered to celebrate and create their own tributes. This one-off special for Channel 4 tells the whole story behind the film and its fans, celebrating its highlights and examining all aspects of the Frozen phenomenon. It hears from film-makers, performers, celebrities, critics and, most of all, from UK fans who have made Frozen such a success. It also looks forward to the future of Frozen and what new Frozen events 2015 might bring.
Rewind It’s Christmas(w/t) TX: 20 December, 8pm Channel 4
With new performances, surprising reunions, candid interviews and stars of Christmases past and present, “Rewind…It’s Christmas” unwraps a musical genre as unpredictable as the British weather.
From the battle between Brummie glam rockers Slade and Wizzard for the 1973 Christmas number one to the secret alchemy involved in choosing the song for the latest John Lewis advert, this ninety-minute festive special uncovers the real stories behind the UK’s favourite Christmas hits.
Revealing more about the state of the nation than the Queen’s speech, a Christmas hit can - if you get it right – be the gift that keeps on giving, earning you legendary status and a pension for life. But if you get it wrong, you’ll be joining a long list of Christmas chart casualties.
From The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York” to Boney M’s calypso disco hit “Mary’s Boy Child”; from novelty hits like Mr Blobby’s imaginatively-titled hit “Mr Blobby” to ad-driven cover versions, what does Britain's annual festive identity crisis tell us about who we are?
“Rewind… It’s Christmas” features a host of celebrity crackers, including…
Mel C explaining how The Spice Girls equalled The Beatles’ hat trick of Christmas number ones during the second wave of Cool Britannia.
Midge Ure offering an exclusive insight into the making of the 2014 Band Aid song, whilst Status Quo and Heaven 17 reveal the mind-bending chaos of the original Band Aid recording .
Slade and The Darkness performing together and explaining why glam rock offers the perfect form of escapism during troubled times.
Tony Mortimer revealing the family tragedy behind East 17’s enduring love song, “Stay Another Day”, as divine disco diva Reverend Richard Coles reflects on the sadder side of Santa.
St Winifred’s School Choir reforming for the first time on TV to investigate why grandmas were 1980’s flavour of the merry month, as comedian Mark Steele reveals his lifelong obsession with the choir.
Jona Lewie explaining how his record label turned his anti-nuclear hit “Stop The Cavalry” into a Christmas song behind his back.
X-Factor winner Joe McElderry and Facebook’s Rage Against The Machine campaigners reliving the moment Britain fell out of love with Simon Cowell.
Shane MacGowan, The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s family explaining what “Fairytale of New York” was really about. Fans at the annual “Kirsty Day” reflect on the enchanting power of a blazing row between a pair of besotted drunks.
Mr Blobby’s creator, Mike Leggo, apologising to the nation, as comedian Eddie Caddie and DJ Chris Stark confess that Mr Blobby changed their lives. We meet an intrepid artist who broke into the ruined Blobbyland Theme Park to steal Mr Blobby’s toilet seat.
The John Lewis ad-makers revealing the marketing power of tears. Sixties icon Sandie Shaw explains how selling out has become cool and comedian Keith Allen reflects on how his daughter Lily’s Keane cover helped re-launch her career.
And cartoonist Gerald Scarfe showing how his animated hammers and homicidal teachers helped make Pink Floyd’s angry rock anthem, “Another Brick In The Wall” a festive favourite back in the days when the Iron Lady first started her leadership of Britain.
Comedy and Entertainment Highlights
The British Comedy Awards: Nomination Show, TX: 9 December, 11.05pm, Channel 4
Showcasing the official nominees in each category of this year's British Comedy Awards along with some great comedy clips and exclusive interviews with some of the biggest names in comedy, including: Greg Davies, Stewart Lee, Matt Berry, Aisling Bea, Joe Wilkinson, Ian Hislop, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith.
Black Mirror: White Christmas, TX: 16 December, 9pm, Channel 4
Charlie Brooker reunites with Channel 4 to bring viewers a very special techno nightmare before Christmas. The Emmy-winning 'Twilight Zone for the modern age', returns in the form of a feature-length film with three interwoven stories of Yuletide techno-paranoia resulting in the most chilling and mind-bending Black Mirror yet.
The British Comedy Awards 2014, TX: 17 December, 9pm, Channel 4
Hosted by Jonathan Ross, this marks the 25th year of the awards that continue to celebrate the absolute best and brightest in British Comedy. With nominations including Matt Berry, Harry Enfield, Katherine Parkinson and Graham Norton alongside nominations for shows such as The Wrong Mans, Would I Lie To You? and Monty Python Live (mostly) In this anniversary year, expect the unexpected, the unplanned and the unruly as the stars of British Comedy accept their awards.
The British Comedy Awards: Even More Awards, TX: 17 December, 11.05pm, E4
It’s the biggest night of the year for comedy and The British Comedy Awards’ host, Jonathan Ross, continues to hand out the coveted comedy gongs. We’ll have exclusive interviews with the winners of the night, chats with the biggest stars of British Comedy and all the juicy backstage gossip.
Celeb Fifteen To One, TX: 23 December, 8pm, Channel 4
Legendary day time quiz show, Fifteen To One, returns for a celebrity special hosted by Adam Hills.
Big Fat Quiz of the Year, TX: 26 December, 9pm, Channel 4
Jimmy Carr puts a panel of A-list celebrities to the test as they battle it out to see who remembers most about the events of the year.
Man Down Christmas Special, TX: 23 December, 10pm, Channel 4
Christmas is coming, the turkey is getting fat… and, in this case, alarmingly aggressive. GREG DAVIES, acclaimed stand-up comedian, Mr Gilbert in the hit TV series and films The Inbetweeners, and BAFTA-nominated star of Cuckoo, writes and stars in a seasonal special of his critically acclaimed sitcom. After a difficult year Dan is convinced he has turned his life around only to meet a Christmas thorn in his side in the shape of his aunt Nesta (STEPHANIE COLE OBE). He and his two faithful friends quickly discover that a farm is not their natural habitat. Also featuring Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer winner, ROISIN CONATY, Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee, MIKE WOZNIAK and GWYNETH POWELL (Grange Hill). Will this childish idiot’s life finally get onto an upward trajectory… or will an unwanted teaching job and some uniquely dysfunctional friends conspire to keep this Man Down?
Man Down is an Avalon Television production commissioned by PHIL CLARKE, C4's Head of Comedy. The series is produced by SPENCER MILLMAN (TV Burp, Inbetweeners 2 movie), directed by AL CAMPBELL (Bad Education), while the Executive Producers are JAMES TAYLOR, RICHARD ALLEN-TURNER, and JON THODAY.
Alan Carr: Chatty Man Christmas Special, TX: 25 December, 9pm, Channel 4
Turn on the fairy lights, get the mistletoe ready and settle down with a large glass of Egg Nog as Alan Carr kicks off his 2 hour long Christmas special with a whole host of fabulous guests. Viewers can expect an evening filled with festive fun and frolics - plus the usual cheeky chat and top musical performances.
Derek Special, TX: 22 December, 10pm, Channel 4
Derek, the award winning bittersweet comedy drama returns for a one-off Special to air on C4 this December.
8 Out Of 10 Cats Christmas Special, TX: 23 December, Channel 4
The ever popular panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats returns for an hour-long Christmas Special. Stand-up comic and presenter Jimmy Carr oversees proceedings, while comedians Sean Lock and Jon Richardson head up the teams, joined by famous faces from the worlds of comedy, entertainment and showbiz - including some very special Christmas guests.
The Big Fat Anniversary Quiz, TX: 2 January, 9pm, Channel 4
The Big Fat Anniversary Quiz, will celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the show, hosted by Jimmy Carr who will put a panel of A list celebrities to the test in a one-off, Christmas cracker of an episode following the traditional end of year quiz festivities.
Alan Carr’s New Year Specstacular, TX: 31 December, 9pm, Channel 4
Pour yourself a large glass of your finest bubbles and see in the new year with Alan as he invites some very special guests round for a fun-filled Alan Carr Chatty Man NYE special. Viewers can expect more unashamedly addictive celeb fuelled antics, mischievous chat, plus top musical performances, as Alan is joined by an array of fabulous guests for an evening of festive fun and frolics.
8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown Christmas Special, TX: 29 December, 9pm, Channel 4
The ever popular panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats returns for an hour-long Countdown Christmas Special. Stand-up comic and presenter Jimmy Carr oversees proceedings, while comedians Sean Lock and Jon Richardson head up the teams, joined by famous faces from the worlds of comedy, entertainment and showbiz - including some very special Christmas guests.
The Last Leg of the Year, TX: 2 January, 11:05pm Channel 4
Adam Hills and co-hosts Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker provide fresh, offbeat commentary on the significant moments of the year .
The new series starts in January.
Liberty of London, Episode 4, TX: 3 December, 9pm, Channel 4
It's Christmas time at Liberty as the staff prepare for the busiest time in retail, particularly as they gear up to the launch of the Liberty Christmas shop. New staff have to be interviewed, 200,000 baubles have to be unpacked and a polar bear has to be sold. With Liberty relying on the income from the Christmas store to hit their targets there's a lot of pressure on the new recruits to make this the most successful Christmas ever. It's Head of Visual Merchandising Liz Silvester's first Christmas at Liberty and the pressure is on for everything to look perfect. This year, Christmas preparations start in July with the biggest press launch of the year. Inspired by the fact that the Liberty building was constructed from the timbers of HMS Hindustan and HMS Impregnable, Liz and her team decide the festive theme should be based on ships. On Liz's Christmas to-do list are: design and build the ship-themed Christmas windows, erect a 16-metre mast in the central atrium and make sure the Christmas launch goes with a bang. Unfortunately a last-minute date change means the big Christmas reveal is anything but plain sailing. This episode also peeks into the private world of the VIPs, meeting personal shoppers and seeing the private suites that only celebrities, VIPs and Liberty's most loyal customers have access to. Supersmooth salesman Stelios from vintage designerwear has decided to put on an exhibition of vintage Hermes handbags for his VIP customers. He has to convince Ed that's there's a financial benefit to a show that centres around Jane Birkin's original Birkin bag. And a day trip to Paris allows the team to see some jaw-dropping vintage leather; and that's just Stelios's jumpsuit.
Posh Pawn at Christmas, TX: 17 December, 8pm, Channel 4
In this Christmas Special, James shocks the team by offering free valuations for charity which sees model and entrepreneur Caprice selling a designer dress for a worthy cause, a French mum of two is shocked when she learns more about a sparkling diamond incrusted necklace she wants to sell to raise £20k for Christmas, Lawrence gets excited when a doting grandfather of four turns up with a signed Mannie Pacquiao boxing glove wanting money to buy his grandchildren festive presents and the staff get ready for their Christmas party with a surprise visit from a Secret Santa…
Food Unwrapped's Christmas Dinner, TX: 22 December, 9pm, Channel 4
Jimmy Doherty, Kate Quilton and Matt Tebbutt are back with a special festive edition of the food programme that uncovers the science behind the meals we eat. Over the past 12 months Jimmy, Kate and Matt have been travelling across the globe exploring some of our favourite Christmas food. Why is farmed Salmon Pink? Do they colour the fish? Can you grow a Chicken as big as a Turkey? Is the Gold in my drink real Gold? Is frankincense edible? How do they make wafer thin after dinner mints? And do Cranberries actually grow on water? To find all this out the team have travelled to Norway, USA, Oman, Germany, and France visiting the factories, farmers, and producers who make the ingredients for our Christmas Dinners.
Gogglebox: Best Bits, TX: 24 December, 9:30pm, Channel 4
A chance to see some of the best moments of the past year of Gogglebox – 2014 in review from the country’s best loved households. Revisiting the funniest comments from the loveable Leon and June, Steph and Dom the posh couple who like a tipple, hairdressers Christopher and Stephen, and Brixton’s own Sandy and Sandra. From Saturday night entertainment juggernauts to the week’s big soap storylines, from hard hitting documentary series to gritty drama, the Gogglebox households will deliver sharp, insightful, passionate and sometimes emotional critiques of the week’s popular and topical TV shows, sparking debates and giving the audience the chance to share those ‘we said that!’ moments.
The Alternative Christmas Message, TX: 25 December, 1:50pm, Channel 4
First airing in 1993, the Alternative Christmas Message has previously featured an illustrious and varied selection of presenters, including the whistleblower Edward Snowden President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Afghan war veteran Major Andrew Stockton, Adam Hills, Katie Piper, Quentin Crisp, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Doreen and Neville Lawrence, The Simpsons, and 9/11 survivor Genelle Guzman.