What to watch on TV this Christmas

From Christmas Eve through to New Year’s Day, there’s a feast of Puffin book adaptations on television this Christmas. To help you plan your viewing time, we’ve trawled through the television guide and put together the ultimate list of the best TV programmes to enjoy together this Christmas. Now you can watch all your favourite new and classic Puffin stories from the comfort of your sofa.

Christmas Eve

08:05 – Father Christmas (Channel 4)

Classic animation based on Raymond Briggs’ book, Father Christmas. What does Father Christmas do with himself for the other 364 days of the year? Here’s a chance to find out!


12.30 – Stuart Little (Channel 4)

Charming part-animated family fantasy about the adventures of a talking mouse who is adopted as a son by a human family. With Hugh Laurie, Geena Davis and the voice of Michael J Fox, and based on the Puffin Modern Classic Stuart Little by E. B. White.


16:55 – The Snowman (Channel 4)

Raymond Briggs’ classic animated tale of a little boy’s snowman that comes to life and whisks him off to the North Pole for an adventure. Read the book that inspired the film, The Snowman!


17:20 – The Further Adventures of Professor Branestawm (BBC1)

The original mad professor (played by Harry Hill) is back with this adaptation by our very own author Charlie HigsProfessorBranestawn_HarryHill.jpgon! Set in the quintessential English village of Great Pagwell, the hour-long special sees Branestawm face money troubles when his bills are literally out of control. In order to try and pay off his debts, Connie suggests he enter the town’s best inventing competition to win a cash prize of £1,854 and a thruppeny bit – enough money to pay off his tax bill. But can he out invent the self-professed greatest inventor in the world, Professor Algebrain? Read the book that inspired the film, The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm by Norman Hunter!


17:25 – The Snowman and The Snowdog (Channel 4)

The Snowman and the Snowdog is the charming animated sequel to Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman. When a young boy and his mother move house, he builds a Snowman and a Snowdog who magically come to life.


Christmas Day

13:45 – The Muppet Christmas Carol (Channel 4)

Michael Caine stars as Scrooge, with Kermit and Miss Piggy as Mr and Mrs Bob Cratchit and Gonzo as Dickens in this musical Muppet take on the classic story, A Christmas Story.


15:10 – The Wizard of Oz (Channel 5)

Dorothy is whisked over the rainbow by a tornado into the magical land of Oz, where she inadvertently kills a wicked witch – incurring the wrath of another. Setting out to find the wizard who can show her a way home, she is joined on her journey by a scarecrow, a tin man and a cowardly lion, who all hope their own wishes will be granted. Starring Judy Garland and based on The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.


17:15 – Doctor Who (BBC1)

The Doctor finds himself recruited by River Song and hurled into a chase across the galaxy in ‘The Husbands of River Song.’ For more Doctor Who fun, check out Doctor Who: The Colouring Book.


Boxing Day

14:25 – A Grand Night In: The Story of Aardman (BBC1)

The team behind this Christmas’s The Farmer’s Llamas and Shaun the Sheep also created the new app Roald Dahl’s Twit or Miss. Inspired by Mr Twit’s filthy eating habits they’ve invented a game where you have to stop Mr Twit’s dinner hitting Mrs Twit. Intrigued? You can get it for free from the Google Play or Apple app store. Read more about the classic book The Twits by Roald Dahl.



18:40 – Alice in Wonderland (Disney)

Tumble down the rabbit hole with Alice for a fantastical adventure from Walt Disney Pictures and Tim Burton. Inviting and magical, Alice In Wonderland is an imaginative new twist on one of the most beloved stories of all time, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.


18:30 – Britain’s Favourite Children’s Books with David Walliams (Channel 4)

A celebration of both the old and new, the programme will be presented by Britain’s best-selling children’s author, David Walliams, who will count down through a list specially compiled by the Sunday Times children’s books Editor, Nicolette Jones. As the list unfolds, David will also be profiling some of his own personal favourite books and interviewing some of his favourite children’s authors and illustrators including Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Julia Donaldson, Michael Bond, Judith Kerr, Michael Morpurgo and Sir Quentin Blake. The programme will also feature extracts read aloud by acclaimed and much-loved actors such as Julie Walters and Martin Freeman. But, not forgetting the most important critics of all, we’ll be hearing from children themselves on their analysis and comments on the books on the list. The programme will feature bespoke illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake.

Get a sneak peek at David (dressed up and reading Roald Dahl’s classic, The BFG) before the show:


27th December

08:00 – Treasure Island (Sky1)

Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver are forced to choose between the elusive treasure and their lives, as danger lurks behind every corner on their quest to reach the loot. Swashbuckling adventure, starring Eddie Izzard, Elijah Wood and Donald Sutherland, and based on the book, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.


18:00 – Fungus The Bogeyman (Sky1)

A Christmas treat for all the family, Fungus the Bogeyman is the tale of darkness-dwelling Fungus, his wife Mildew and his son Mould’s struggle to fit in among the ‘Drycleaners’ of Daventry. It’s a story of slimy monsters, dangerous humans and what happens when The Things That Go Bump in the Night suddenly move in next door inspired by Raymond Briggs’ much-loved tale Fungus the Bogeyman.

Watch the trailer:

And enter to be in with a chance of winning Sky’s top TV package for a year! Together with Waterstone’s, Sky is celebrating Raymond Briggs’ classic family story by giving one lucky winner the chance to win Sky TV for a whole year, plus an iPad, LG 42 inch TV and a copy of Fungus the Bogeyman. Plus 4 runners up will also win a copy of the book.


29th December

06:45 – Dr Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts (Channel 4)

Dr Dolittle’s daughter, Maya, is lured away from her plans to study as a vet when she’s presented with a chance to front a Hollywood TV show about animals. For more, read The Story Of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting.


17:55 – Finding Neverland (BBC2)

London, 1903. After his latest play flops, JM Barrie finds distraction when he befriends the Llewelyn Davies family – four young boys and their widowed mother Sylvia. His relationship with them results in the creation of the book Peter Pan.


30th December


12:30 – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (ITV)

Fantasy based on the classic children’s book by Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder. Most children, at one hungry time or another, dream of visiting a chocolate factory. For young Charlie Bucket the fantasy comes true when he finds a golden ticket in a candy bar: an invitation to tour the giant factory of eccentric sweet tycoon Willy Wonka.


New Year’s Eve


19:30 – Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot (BBC1)

Retired bachelor Mr Hoppy is hopelessly in love with his neighbour Mrs Silver, but she is only interested in her pet tortoise Alfie – until Mr Hoppy hatches an audacious plan to win her love. Based on the book Esio Trot by Roald Dahl.


New Year’s Day


12:45 – Little Women (BBC2)

An adaptation of the classic story Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The March sisters live and grow in post-Civil War America. While their father away fighting in the Civil War, Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy grow up with their mother in somewhat reduced circumstances. They are a close family who inevitably have their squabbles and tragedies but their bond sustains them even when, later, male friends start to become a part of the household.

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