Seasonal treats you won't want to miss out on
F ROM traditional favourites like Doctor Who and Downton Abbey to sparkling new additions such as Call the Midwife, the schedules are packed with seasonal treats this Christmas.
And you won't miss a minute thanks to our handy guide to all the best programmes.
Grab a cup of tea and keep a pen handy so that you can circle your own favourites.
Start proceedings off by finding out who the fearsome Lord Alan Sugar picks as his Young Apprentice (tonight, BBC1, 8pm) or join cuddly Chris Packham as he celebrates one of the cutest animals around in Springwatch Guide to Otters (tonight, BBC2, 8pm).
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Prepare to give generously with the return of the charity telethon Text Santa (Friday, ITV1, 8pm) – featuring a host of stars including Gary Barlow, Dawn French and regulars from favourite shows like Emmerdale and Whitechapel.
It's time to pick your winner on Strictly Come Dancing (Saturday, BBC1, from 6.30pm) – with the four surviving couples strutting their stuff for the final time.
And celebrate the golden era of Hollywood as Arena: Screen Goddesses (Saturday, BBC4, 9pm) profiles Louise Brooks, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe, to name but a few.
A stellar cast including Hugh Bonneville, Sheridan Smith and Johnny Vegas bring to life children's favourite Mr Stink (Sunday, BBC1, 6.30pm), written by comedian David Walliams (who also appears).
Don't miss the much loved Victoria Wood's new drama Loving Miss Hatto (Sunday, BBC1, 8.30pm), starring Francesca Annis and Alfred Molina in a comic tale based on a famous real-life hoax.
The nation's favourite big kid celebrates his love affair with model planes in James May's Toy Stories: Flight Club (Sunday, BBC2, 9.30pm). And secure yourself to the edge of your seat with the season finale of Homeland (Sunday, C4, 9pm).
Settle down with the whole family for a range of goodies on Christmas Eve, starting off with the long-awaited sequel to one of the best-loved films of all time – The Snowman and The Snowdog (C4, 8pm) – made entirely with creator Raymond Briggs' blessing.
Wipe the tears from your eyes as we say goodbye to a modern hero in the last ever episode of Merlin (BBC1, 8.15pm), then it's time to catch up with the chaotic Brockman family in a festive edition of Outnumbered (BBC1, 9.35pm).
Alternatively, get nostalgic with a look back at the glory days of Girl Power in Spice Girls' Story: Viva Forever! (ITV1, 8.30pm).
Christmas Day itself will see the big battle of TV period dramas Call the Midwife (BBC1, 7.30pm) and Downton Abbey (ITV1, 8.45pm) – both competing to attract the biggest audience. But which is better? There's only one way to find out...
But before that, don't miss one of the treats of the whole season in the shape of gorgeous animated tale Room on the Broom (BBC1, 4.35pm) based on Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson's magical book.
And there's more enchantment in Doctor Who: The Snowmen (BBC1, 5.15pm), starring Jenna Louise Coleman as Victorian governess Clara, who's set to become the Time Lord's new companion.
Elsewhere, Gareth Malone will take us through a hectic last 12 months in The Choir: A Year with the Military Wives (BBC2, 8.45pm), while it's time to catch up with The Royle Family (BBC1, 9.45pm).
You'll just about have time to recover in time for a host of Boxing Day treats, including the return of the wonderful Miranda (BBC1, 9pm). There's also a good-looking new drama based on an Ian Rankin novel, with Stephen Fry, Douglas Henshall and Lenora Crichlow in the crime caper Doors Open (ITV1, 9pm).
Meanwhile, fans of the legendary director Alfred Hitchcock will be ecstatic with an entire evening devoted to his life and work – starting with new drama The Girl (BBC2, 9pm) starring Toby Jones and Sienna Miller as the great man and his muse, Tippi Hedren.