Telly Today: Boxing Day 2019 brings us a new look Worzel Gummidge, more Freddie Mercury, Carry On titters and quiz shows.
One to Watch: Worzel Gummidge, BBC One at 6.20pm
You probably know the story, you probably remember the great late Jon Pertwee’s version of Worzel for ITV. Now its time for a darker, more sinister looking Worzel courtesy of BBC One.
Siblings Susan and John arrive at Scatterbrook Farm, home of the Braithwaites, to little fanfare. It’s been a poor harvest and their hosts aren’t thrilled to have two amateur farmhands around the place during such lean times. No-one on Scatterbrook Farm is more troubled by the late harvest than walking, talking scarecrow Worzel Gummidge. Worzel is strictly forbidden from talking to humans, but after mistaking John and Susan for fellow scarecrows, his game is up.
Worzel realises he will only save the day by going against some of his better instincts. He draws on the youthful exuberance of John and Susan, seeks the wisdom of his long-estranged Aunt Sally, and negotiates a testy deal with the frightful rooks and crows of Scatterbrook. With the help of the mystical Tree of Tree and his pet robin, Winter George, Worzel orchestrates a gathering of his fellow scarecrows on the night of the next harvest moon. Can he save the day?
Other BBC highlights
Paddington: The Man Behind the Bear is the story of the unassuming man whose greatest creation, Paddington Bear, became one of the nation’s best loved characters. Now an international phenomenon, the little bear from Peru was the product of a very particular post-war world. Michael Bond drew on his wartime memories of evacuee children to shape Paddington’s personality, and his literary agent, from a Jewish family who fled the Nazis, inspired Paddington’s kindly friend Mr Gruber. Join the story tonight at 9pm on BBC Two.
A special animated adaptation of Sir Michael Morpurgo’s children’s book Mimi And The Mountain Dragon comes to BBC One at 3.20pm Its the story about a village that quakes in feature of the mighty Mountain Dragon. One winter, a shy little girl called Mimi finds a baby dragon asleep in her family woodshed. Mimi takes the perilous journey through the blizzard and darkness to return the baby dragon to her mother, whom all the villagers fear.
There’s also a documentary looking at sixty years of British sitcom. A look at the social and political context from which some of the UK’s favourite sitcoms grew. We enjoy a trip through the comedy archive in the company of the people who made some of the very best British sitcoms. From The Likely Lads to I’m Alan Partridge. British Sitcom: 60 Years of Laughing at Ourselves, BBC Four at 10.35pm
Paul O’Grady returns once again to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home for The Love of Dogs. This year, Paul’s enlisted to help dogs with behavioural problems. There’s a reclusive mongrel called Misty who refuses to leave her kennel, a grumpy Yorkshire terrier called Teddy who refuses to walk and an American bulldog who’s lost her mojo after years enjoying pub life. On top of all this, Paul’s back with the street vet team to bring festive joy to London’s homeless and their dogs. Paul has a very busy Christmas ahead. ITV, STV and UTV at 6pm
In an original idea, its a rarely seen thing on ITV this festive period, a celebrity version of a daytime gameshow. The originality pouring from the talent at Independent Television is astounding. Now taking my tongue out of my cheek lets see what they’ve celebrity filled today… Tenable All Stars sees recently Strictly Come Dancing Christmas winner Debbie McGee appear alongside Louie Spence, Paul Elliott (aka Paul Chuckle), Paul Zerdin and Rustie Lee in a ‘panto stars special’. ITV, STV and UTV at 4pm
ITV3 are, just like yesterday, giving us saucy laughs with a day of Carry On… movie classics. Today’s highlights include Carry On Loving, Carry On Behind, Carry On Up The Jungle, Carry On Dick and Carry On Follow That Camel. Join all the old gang including Kenneth Williams, Barbara Windsor and Sid James as they titter through toilet factories, sandy deserts and historic highwaymen.
Babs and Sid, in Carry On Dick.
BEST OF THE REST
Channel 4: What meal did Donald Trump serve a visiting football team at the White House? Who is Andy King and what is he now known as? What did rapper Cardi B fail to trademark and how did Jennifer Aniston break the internet in 2019? All of these questions and more will be answered in the biggest, fattest quiz of the year. Big Fat Quiz of the Year at 9pm
Channel 5: This drama is and adaptation of the author’s novel The Small Hand, starring Douglas Henshall as Adam Snow, an antique book dealer who finds himself haunted by the ghost of a young boy. Susan Hill’s Ghost Story at 9pm.
Pick TV: The Freddie Mercury celebration continues at Sky with their Pick TV showing at 9pm Queen: Live at Wembley, produced by the team at Tyne Tees Television behind cult music show The Tube, this live set brings us some of the band’s biggest hits. It’s followed at 10.15pm by Freddie Mercury: The Tribute Concert. In 1992 a celebration of Queen frontman Freddie is held at Wembley following his death in November the previous year. Stars such as David Bowie, Annie Lennox and George Michael pay tribute with their take on Queen hits.
Netflix: A new animated series, Fast and Furious: Spy Racers, sees teenager Tony Toretto follows in the footsteps of his cousin Dom when he and his friends are recruited by a government agency to infiltrate an elite racing league serving as a front for a nefarious crime organization bent on world domination. The programmes streams from today.