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ITV reveal Christmas highlights for 2023


ITV reveal Christmas highlights for 2023

There’s everything from Barry Humphries to Noele Gordon this festive season on ITV1 and STV.

In entertainment Britain Get Singing returns as a new cast of stars from TV’s biggest shows take to the stage before the studio audience and Super Panel. Going head-to-head in a speculator sing-off, the groups will each aim to deliver a showstopping performance in a bid to claim the top spot. In 2022, Loose Women were declared champions with their rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water, but who has what it takes to impress this year and walk away victorious?

The Real Full Monty returns this Christmas for a sparkling stripping spectacular. There will be jingle bells and baubles galore as the presenting duo of Ashley Banjo and Coleen Nolan are back to take a new troupe of brave celebrities by the hand and put them through their paces as they prepare to take to the stage for an exciting and glittering festive dance extravaganza which will see them bare all to raise awareness of life-saving cancer checks.

Hitting the dance floor this year will be TV presenter Julia Bradbury, actress Sherrie Hewson, TV personality Gemma Collins, Dancing on Ice pro skater Vanessa Bauer, Corrie and Death in Paradise’s Victoria Ekanoye, former royal butler Paul Burrell, footballer and TV personality Ashley Cain, ex-England rugby international Ben Cohen, actor Nick Collier – better known as Ella Vaday – from RuPaul’s Drag Race, and TOWIE star Pete Wicks.

There’s plenty of Christmas cheer as four famous faces hide behind some festively flamboyant costumes in The Masked Singer Christmas Special. Host Joel Dommett will be joined by his Christmas helpers Jonathan Ross, Rita Ora, Davina McCall and Mo Gilligan as they hope that they can unwrap the famous faces masquerading behind the masks. While Bradley Walsh oversees proceedings on the world’s longest-running entertainment show with The Royal Variety Performance this year at the magnificent Royal Albert Hall in London for a spectacular evening in the presence of members of the royal family.

Bradley Walsh hosts the 2023 Royal Variety Performance

Music comes courtesy of The National Lottery’s New Year’s Eve Big Bash – a one-off spectacular celebrating 2023’s most memorable moments and hosted by Alesha Dixon and Jason Manford. Recorded at the OVO Arena Wembley some of the biggest stars in showbiz unite for a party like no other to send off 2023 in style while recognising extraordinary people and organisations and the difference National Lottery players make when they buy their tickets. Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball – the UK’s biggest Christmas party will return later this year with the highlights airing in an entertainment special hosted by Roman Kemp.

Documentary programming sees ITV and STV look back on the career of Dame Edna Everage creator Barry Humphries in Barry Humphries: The Last Laugh. The film will relive classic moments from signature characters Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson and uncover gems from the many interviews Barry gave as himself that were often illuminating and equally hilarious. The programme is an insight into Barry’s complexities which saw him encounter challenges in his personal life and public controversies throughout his career, during which his immense talent and quick wits propelled him to enormous success in the UK, his homeland, Australia and in the US.

In The Real Nolly the life and times of television pioneer Noele Gordon is looked upon. From launching ITV in London and the Midlands to creating the first ITV Daytime programme the career of Noele was filled with many firsts. In the sixties, she became the Queen of British Soap winning endless awards and becoming much-loved by viewers to her daily soap, Crossroads.

Inside M&S at Christmas returns as it gives full access to go behind the scenes with colleagues and suppliers once again. Nobody does Christmas food like Marks & Spencer – it’s been at the heart of British Christmas across the whole country for 138 years, delighting customers with delicious and great value festive favourites. The programme offers unprecedented access to every element of the Marks & Spencer food operation as it strives to make this Christmas the most magical and delicious festive period in its 138-year history.

Creator name Matt Frost Copyright © Sky UK Limited

The life of Humphries is celebrated

Drama on ITV1 and STV this Christmas sees a thrilling tale of psychological fear and suspense that employs the world of sound to tell the story of Canadian couple Jo and Farid, who delve into the gruesome 1980s slaughter of a family of five for the latest series of their true crime podcast in Something Undone. While The Winter King is set in the fifth century in a brutal land of warring factions and tribes where lives were often fleeting and follows Arthur Pendragon as he evolves from being an outcast to become a legendary warrior and leader.

Jasmine Jobson takes the lead role of Lisa in the gripping psychological thriller Platform 7. A haunting thriller following the central character Lisa who, after witnessing a cataclysmic event on Platform 7 of a railway station, finds her own fragmented memory jogged to reveal a connection between her own life and that of the event she has just witnessed. Supernatural elements combine with contemporary realism. Detective series Vera returns with a thrilling feature-length episode drawing inspiration from Ann Cleeves’ 11th best-selling novel. This latest episode thrusts DCI Vera Stanhope into the chilling depths of a treacherous investigation where she must untangle a web of deceit before yet another tragedy unfolds.

Mrs. Bates Vs. The Post Office is a four-part series written by acclaimed screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes tells the story of one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in British legal history. Hundreds of innocent subpostmasters and postmistresses were wrongly accused of theft, fraud and false accounting due to a defective IT system – many of the wronged workers were prosecuted, some of whom were imprisoned for crimes they never committed, and their lives were irreparably ruined by the scandal.

Nolly sees BAFTA-winning actor Helena Bonham Carter take on the persona of telly legend Noele Gordon. As flame-haired widow Meg Richardson in the long-running soap opera Crossroads, Nolly was one of the most famous people in Britain – however, in 1981, at the height of the show’s success and the peak of Nolly’s fame, she was axed without ceremony, without warning and with no explanation.

And there’s a host of game shows over the festive period with Password, The 1% Club, Deal or No Deal, Tipping Point All Stars and Celebrity Catchphrase all making merry in December.

Helena Bonham Carter brings Noele Gordon to life in Nolly

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