Telly Today: Christmas time, mistletoe and wine… your festive highlights for December 23rd.

Today’s soap opera highlights can be found over in Pick of the Plots.

ONE TO WATCH: CHRISTMAS ROADTRIP: THREE UNWISE MEN, ITV, STV and UTV at 9pm

After their hilarious European adventures Gordon, Gino and Fred are in the desert, searching for the spirit of the festive season in Morocco… a land of snakes, saffron… and camels!

Gino wanted to take the boys to Jerusalem, but his cousin got a cheap deal on flights. They landed 6,000 miles short in Marrakesh where culturally they don’t celebrate Christmas. But the foodie friends, always hungry to experience different cultures, food, drink and opportunities for adventure, are determined to make it an incredible culinary road trip.

They find themselves on the back of three camels in the middle of the Agafay desert but Three Wise Men they are not. They’re searching out the hospitality of a local Arabic desert dwelling family who will show them the delights of eating their mutton nose to tail. Literally. But not before they are expected to put up their own tent for the night and get stuck in.

Their beloved RV from the adventures in Europe is back but this time she’s had a touch of Christmas sprinkled all over her. But how on earth will the boys cope with driving in the utter chaos that is the Medina in Marrakesh? Before they take on the complete pandemonium that is the marketplace and the souks. It isn’t going to make for a relaxing advent….

It happens that the boys have landed in Morocco for the few days that mark the exclusive saffron picking season and would never miss the opportunity to get grabbing one of the most expensive commodities in the world whilst they are there. And between goat herding, adventures in motorbikes with sidecars, fishing in wooden boats and rides in donkey carts they might just make it back to the city alive.

The end of the trip sees them back in the city walls immersing themselves in a bit of luxury as they bed down in a classic Moroccan riad. Although their visit to the local hammam for a traditional massage is anything but luxurious! To finish their Xmas break they will come together to cook themselves a Christmas feast like no other – inspired by their travels, the people and the experiences they have had. Will it be a Nightmare before Christmas or a Wonderful Life?

THE GOES WRONG SHOW: THE SPRIT OF CHRISTMAS, BBC ONE at 7.30pm

Every week, the well-meaning amateurs of the Cornley Dramatic Society perform a half-hour play: a horror story, a wartime drama, a legal thriller, a period romance, a deep south melodrama and a Christmas fable. And every week, the performance goes terribly, terribly wrong. Sets collapse, special effects fail, actors dry – life, limb and the studio audience are threatened. But the show must go on… from the creators of The Play That Goes Wrong and Peter Pan Goes Wrong.

A joyful Christmas tale as the Cornley Drama Society present the story of Santa and his elves trying to bring festive happiness to a sad little girl and her constantly-fighting parents. Can the magical toy machine restore her Christmas cheer? Or perhaps Mr Snowman and his enchanting dance will raise her spirits? We’ll never know, as an already surly Santa indulges in too much Christmas sherry and contrives to ruin everything.

Crackers explode, an elf is trapped in a confined space for the duration of the show and the toy machine attempts to eat the snowman alive. Also, there are songs, and these don’t go well.

THE SECRET WORLD OF TOYS AT CHRISTMAS, CHANNEL 4 at 7pm

Every year, by 25th December, Santa has delivered billions of gifts and UK parents will have spent an average of more than £300 on toys per child.

How does the toy business meet the demand at Christmas? This one-off documentary gets inside some of the world’s biggest names in children’s toys, to find out. At the FAO Schwarz toy store in New York, the customer experience is king.

Recently returned after financial woes, FAO Schwarz prepares to launch a new outlet at London’s Selfridges. At the colourful Crayola factory in Pennsylvania, the story of the world’s largest children’s art supplier is explored as the firm turns out 12 million crayons a day. Back in Britain, there’s also a visit to Top Trumps, to learn the secret to their scoring system and find out how they went from retro card game to million-selling stocking filler.

And German toy company Steiff, who may have actually invented the teddy bear, prepare to produce their limited edition Christmas bear for 2019.

SID AND JUDY, SKY ARTS at 9pm

A revealing new look at legendary entertainer Judy Garland fifty years after her tragic, untimely death.

Fusing the unpublished recollections of producer, manager and third husband, Sid Luft, with film clips, rare concert footage and Judy’s own inimitable words.

What emerges is a complex portrait of a woman whose vulnerabilities were exploited by an industry she helped to build but whose resilience and extraordinary talent made her the quintessential icon.

RIVER CITY, BBC SCOTLAND CHANNEL at 10pm

Determined to make Christmas perfect for Isobel, Kim is buzzing with excitement at bringing all the family together. But when she Bob starts acting suspiciously, she decides to follows him – and is stunned to see her husband giving Nicole a gift of sexy lingerie and kissing her passionately.

Kim tries to hold it together, despite Bob adding insult to injury by giving her pyjamas for Christmas. Seeing how much Isobel is enjoying the day, Kim hides her emotions – but is tested to the limit when Suzie and Nicole arrive for Christmas dinner. Kim spots Nicole and Bob sending secret messages to each other, which leads to a shocking Christmas confession and a day that no one will forget.

Elsewhere, Ruby leads the McLean family on a Christmas treasure hunt arranged by her new boyfriend, Dylan. As Ruby reconnects with Caitlin, their happy family is rocked when she spots Joe lurking in the background. Joe lures Ruby away, determined to win back her affections. Initially angry, Ruby soon softens and admits she doesn’t want Dylan – she still loves Joe.

A lonely Lenny arrives at the hospital to be with Alex. Despite their differences, father and son begin to bond again. And over at the Christie’s, Eve and Sonny join forces to cheer up a lonely Lou.

Outside of Scotland River City can be viewed on the iPlayer.

Just over a year after the wedding things are going wayward for Bob and Kim in River City.


Share Button