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Christmas Eve TV Guide: What to watch

There are tons of shows and films on TV this Christmas to keep you and your family entertained.

We’ve listed what’s showing on RTÉ, Virgin Media Television, ITV, BBC and Channel 4 on Christmas Eve.

Take a look:


  • Adam Saves Christmas – A brand new animated short film from Toy Show star Adam King will premiere on RTÉ Jnr at 12pm Christmas Eve. Ryan Turbidy will voice Santa in this special.
  • ET: The Extra-Terrestrial – On RTÉ 1 at 1:10pm is ET. In this film, a lonely young boy befriends an alien. The pair develop a psychic connection but his time on earth is making the alien sick and on top of that, the Government are after him.
  • Casa Blanca – On RTÉ 1, Casablanca airs at 9:45am. This classic is the perfect sit down film for parents to watch after they’ve put the little ones to bed. Set during the Second World War, Moroccan nightclub is reunited with his old lover as they try to escape the Nazis.
  • Kung Fu Panda –  Don’t miss Kung Fu Panda on RTÉ 2 at 2pm on Christmas Eve. A lazy panda must step up to protect his village from attack by a vicious snow leopard.
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – Another great watch on RTÉ 2 at 6:15pm. Three years after the destruction of Jurassic World, the dinosaurs left resident at the park need to be saved from an active volcano. When Owen Grady and Claire Dearing return to the park, they discover a secret that could change everything.

Virgin Media 

  • Madagascar Escape 2 Africa – At 4:05pm on Virgin Media Two, catch the second instalment of the Madagascar films. The animals decide they’ve had enough of Zoo life and decide to make a break for Africa.
  • The Celebrity Chase Christmas Special starts at 6pm on Virgin Media One, followed by The Cube Celebrity Special at 7:30pm and Alan Carr’s Epic Game Show Christmas Special at 9pm.
  • Dirty Dancing –  At 10:35pm on Virgin Media One you can watch this classic film. A dance instructors career hangs in the balance when his dance partner drops out of a competition last minute. Luckily a young teenager is on hand and is more than happy to step in.


  • Nativity Rocks – Mr Poppy causes chaos at St Bernadette’s Primary School when the school decide to enter spectacular rock musical competition. Can they win and make it the best Christmas ever? Find out at 11am on ITV.
  • Michael Bublé Christmas in the City – It wouldn’t be Christmas without Micahel Bublé, so tune in to his Christmas special at 2:30pm. He’ll celebrate the 10th anniversary of his hit Christmas album.
  • Shrek The Halls – A great watch for the whole family at 3:25pm on ITV. Donkey causes chaos with a party that ruins Shrek’s plans for a quiet Christmas with Fiona and the babies. Don’t miss this short animated film!
  • Gino’s Italian Family Adventure: A Festive Feast – At 6:30pm on Christmas Eve, join Gino as he whips up a festive feast for his wife, his children and his in-laws, after a boat trip to the Maddalena islands for lunch.
  • Royal Carols: Together at Christmas – At 7:30pm join the Royal Family for a carol service hosted by Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and performed by the Westminster Abbey choir.


  • Brave – At 11:40am, catch this tale of a stubborn Princess who goes against her mother’s wishes of marrying an ally. She seeks help from a witch and a magical potion, but things take a terrible twist.
  • Frozen – At 2pm, re-watch one of your favourites with the whole family. Join Anna as she tries to find her sister Elsa and change the fate of their Kingdom before it’s too late. A great sing-along for the whole family.
  • Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas – Shaun the Sheep causes chaos at 6pm. His cousin Timmy heads off to the market to try and find bigger Christmas stockings, but Shaun must save him before he ends up a Christmas present himself.
  • Top Gear: Driving Home For Christmas – Chris Harris, Paddy McGuiness and Freddie Flintoff are on screen at 8:30pm with a Christmas special. The trio will choose cars for each other and set off on their journey from the Welsh village of Bethlehem.

Channel 4

  • Christmas Encore – Bright and early at 9:30 am don’t miss Christmas Encore. While playing a lead role in a Christmas Carol, an actress finds herself falling for her director.
  • Father Christmas-  Based on the book by Raymond Briggs, catch Father Christmas at 12:30pm. In the animation children will get a glimpse of what Santa does for the rest of the year before his big night of delivering presents on Christmas Eve.
  • It’s a Wonderful Life – A classic to enjoy at 2pm. After a business man tries to commit suicide, a guardian angel visits him to show him the good in life and his purpose.
  • The Snowman – A young boy’s snowman comes to life in this festive animation at 5pm on Christmas Eve. The snowman whisks him off to the North Pole, featuring the famous soundtrack Walking In The Air.
  • Home Alone – A must watch for the entire family at 6pm on Christmas Eve. In this family favourite an 8-year-old boy accidentally gets left behind when his family head off for a Christmas Break. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he’s under attack from burglars who want to rob the house while the family are away.

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