Sit back and relax this festive season with our guide on the best TV and radio airing over Christmas 2019.
Best TV to watch in Christmas 2019
Airs Sunday 22nd December, 19:00
It’s Christmas! For Countryfile’s annual special, held last year in Northumberland, the team toasts the season in the historic surrounds of the National Trust’s Tyntesfield, a Victorian Gothic masterpiece in North Somerset.
It’s nearly Christmas!
John Craven and the team are at Tyntesfield in Somerset, a stately pile that celebrates Christmas in high Victorian style. John meets the staff getting the place spruced up, and he gets measured up for his own Victorian outfit. Anita Rani tries her hand at making eco Christmas cards.
Airs: 22nd-24th December, 21:00
This Christmas classic has been adapted from the original take on Dickens’s iconic ghost story from the creator of Peaky Blinders.
Misanthropic businessman Ebenezer Scrooge refuses to treat Christmas as different to any other day, much to Bob Cratchit’s chagrin, as he is desperate to leave work and get home to his family on Christmas Eve.
Scrooge’s dead former business partner Jacob Marley begs for peace in his coffin. Although he has repented, the Spirits have news for him. He will linger in purgatory until Scrooge repents, something Marley knows he will never do.
BBC Four: Martin’s Close
Very delighted to say I have another Christmas Ghost Story coming to @BBCFOUR A personal favourite: M.R. James' 'Martin's Close'. Starring Peter Capaldi, Sara Crowe, Simon Williams, Fisayo Akinade, Elliot Levey, James Holmes, Wilf Scolding and Jessica Temple. pic.twitter.com/81Li25pBc6
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) August 21, 2019
Airs Christmas Eve – Tuesday, 24th December, 22:00
The standalone 30-minute drama is based on M.R. James’ chilling ghost story of the same name, and is adapted and directed by Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, The League Of Gentlemen, Doctor Who).
There’s something about a ghost story on a winter’s night… MR James’ creepy yarn is set in 1684 and stars Peter Capaldi as the prosecutor in a court case with a supernatural bent. Directed by Mark Gatiss, the tale follows the trial of a Devon man accused of murdering a local girl, who has been seen after her death…
Airs: Boxing Day – Thursday 26th December, 18:20
The famous scruffy scarecrow returns in two hour-long adaptations by Mackenzie Crook. Young Susan and John arrive in Scatterbrook village and soon meet Worzel Gummidge (Crook). Magic and mayhem ensue, as well as a hotly contested scarecrow competition and a visit from the venerable Green Man (Michael Palin). Full of humour and good-natured adventure, this is ideal viewing for all the family.
Best films to watch in Christmas 2019
Nationwide, The Biggest Little Farm
Released: Friday 29th November
This award-winning documentary follows a couple creating a sustainable farm on a patch of desolate land. John and Molly Chester gave up city jobs to focus on producing nutritious food while restoring a healthy ecosystem with rich soil and abundant wildlife. Although the film is set in California, its uplifting message will appeal to nature lovers everywhere. biggestlittlefarmmovie.com
Best radio to listen to in Christmas 2019
BBC Radio Four, Vegan World
Airs: Tuesday, 26th November, 15:30 (Available on catch-up)
What would our countryside look like if, as urged by many climate change campaigners, we all became vegan? Can British soils grow enough protein crops, such as peas and beans, to keep us healthy? Do we need animal manure to grow leeks and potatoes? Would we miss our sheep-dotted hillsides? Tom Heap investigates.