Izzie Nicholds reflects on some of Britain’s best TV Christmas specials.

Written by Izzie
Last updated
Images by BBC

5. Miranda 

We all have a love-hate relationship with this show and for me, it holds so much relevance with my everyday life that I can’t help but love it. As the show follows the exaggerated life of Miranda Hart, we see her go through the ups and downs of being a single late 30-year-old something. But it 2014, when she finally got, not one but two men, she had to make the ultimate choice – which one will she marry? The two-part special, with the first one being Christmas Day was the icing on the cake for all those die-hard Miranda fans. I think everyone can agree that it was only fair to the nation’s own sanity that Miranda chose Gary, the handsome chef who is possibly a bit out of her league; but at least she embraces it. Even though Miranda has come to a close, I certainly enjoyed laughing at the stupidity and awkwardness of our favourite 6’1 comic leading lady.


4. Strictly Come Dancing

'There is something about shimmying and sequins that brings everyone around the sofas on Christmas Day.'

There is something about shimmying and sequins that brings everyone around the sofas on Christmas Day. They have been running since 2004, which may seem like a long time, so it’s easy to see why it’s become an established favourite. Whether it’s the awful dancing of someone like Katy Brand and Rufus Hound, or the opportunity to gaze at the stunning professionals, Strictly will always be a timeless classic. Every year, they bring a new bunch of celebs who would never properly do the show, to dance their socks off in the Christmas spirit. I know for a fact that it offers some lighthearted entertainment after the shocking events of our day-time soaps, because who doesn’t want to see Bruce Forsyth every now and again…

3. Downton Abbey 

One of the more obvious choices, after the Christmas special in 2012, the nation were left reeling in shock as the producers continued to kill off one of the main and most beloved characters in the show, Matthew Crawley. Some people, like me, decided enough was enough and didn’t bother again. However, it has proved that Downton has become a Christmas favourite, with viewers peaking every year. There is something quite comforting about seeing how the other half live, especially during a time when the aristocracy were facing financial and social barriers. Accompanying the grand music, the cinematography of the house, grounds and surrounding area, especially at Christmas, give Downton the wow factor it deserves.

2. Outnumbered 

'In the numerous specials they have done, each one gives another infuriating aspect of the stressful holiday where both parents are at their wit's end...'

Coming from a functional dysfunctional family myself, I feel like I can relate to Outnumbered on a regular basis, especially at Christmas. In the numerous specials they have done, each one gives another infuriating aspect of the stressful holiday where both parents are at their wits end. All three kids in the show are in their own ways, hilarious; they never cease to bring out one-liners or sarcastic comments just as the right moment. A smash-hit with most, I feel like everyone sees a bit of themselves in the Brockman family, as they all represent parts of our own character that we didn’t realise could be funny. Whether it be a burnt turkey or an outspoken relative, Outnumbered truly know how to make Christmas a family affair.

1. Doctor Who 

Last but not least, Doctor Who is with no doubt a Christmas special not to be reckoned with. It has become somewhat tradition for the special to signify major plot changes for the upcoming reason; this is partly why it is so popular. With a combination of sci-fi, fantasy, romance, action and adventure; Doctor Who is truly a show for everyone. Each year, we see either a new Doctor, a new companion or a new enemy. All three of these are hugely exciting as the Great British audience are introduced to a new character which they will grow to love. This was certainly the case with me and Matt Smith, who burst onto the scene with a “Geronimo!” following an emotional goodbye from David Tennant the special of 2010. At the time, it seemed ludicrous but what it has actually gone to prove is that no matter how wacky or obscure Doctor Who is, it will remain one of the nation’s favourite shows and Christmas specials of all time.

doctor who christmas carol