This week's top TV: 18 - 24 December

This week's top TV: 18 - 24 December

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Michael Buble (Credit: Flickr/Eva Rinaldi)

This week's top television includes plenty of festive cooking, Jamie Oliver travels to Italy while Gordon Ramsey and Gino D'Acampo head to France, we discover Dame Judi Dench's love for trees and it's the series finale of Peaky Blinders. 

Comedy: The League of Gentleman

Monday

10pm, BBC2


This bizarre bunch return for a 20th anniversary special (credit: BBC)

To mark the 20th anniversary of the BBC's cult comedy, Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton and Mark Gatiss return to play the array of bizarre and darkly comic characters who inhabit the fictional town of Royston Vasey in northern England.

Entertainment: The Royal Variety Performance

Tuesday

7.30pm, ITV


Michael Ball, Miranda Hart and Alfie Boe give it their all (credit: ITV)

Miranda Hart steps onstage to host this year's Royal Variety, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in attendance. An array of musical talent on the night promises something for everyone, with performances from The Killers, Louis Tomlinson, Paloma Faith, The Script, Seal, Michael Ball, Leading Ladies and Alfie Boe. The laughs are provided by Jason Manford and Tom Allen, and you can expect plenty more showstoppers and appearances throughout an action packed evening.  

Food: Jamie's Italian Christmas

Tuesday

8pm, Channel 4


Jamie and Gennarro will be cooking up some festive feasts (credit: Channel 4)

Jamie Oliver and his mentor Gennaro Contaldo will be in the snowy Alps of northern Italy cooking up a traditional festive feast with an Italian twist. The menu includes a classic turkey with the local stuffed porchetta, sticky balsamic roast potatoes and a festive tiramisu for dessert.

Documentary: Judi Dench: My Passion for Trees

Wednesday

8pm, BBC One


Oscar-winner Dame Judi Dench is one of Britain's best loved actresses (credit: BBC)

Dame Judi Dench has been fascinated with trees since childhood and, together with her late husband nurtured a very personal collection of them at the bottom of their six-acre Surrey garden. Here, Judi meets experts and historians to discover how embedded trees are in Britain's history and how important they are to its future. 

Drama: Peaky Blinders

Wednesday

9pm, BBC2


It's the series finale and the stakes are high for Tommy Shelby (credit: BBC) 

It's the series finale, a general strike gathers in Tommy Shelby's factories and the New York mafia close in to take revenge. The stakes are high as Tommy takes his place ringside for a big bout between his scrawny fighter and the Goliath that Alfie Solomons has put him up against. As the fight unfolds, the tension builds, and writer Steven Knight prepares to swing a knockout blow of his own. 

Documentary: Joanna and Jennifer: Absolutely Champers

Thursday

9pm, BBC2


Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders (credit: BBC)

In Absolutely Fabulous, they were rarely seen seen without a glass of 'bolly' in their hands. And in real life, Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders love nothing more than getting a  together to share a bottle of something chilled and bubbly. Now, the comedy collaborators and pals are heading across the channel to explore the Champagne region of north-east France to learn how their favorite tipple is made. 

Food: Gordon, Gino and Fred's Great Christmas Roast

Thursday

9pm, ITV


Ramsey, Sirieix and D'Acampo also travel to France in search of the finest booze (credit: ITV)

Gordon Ramsey and Gino D'Acampo compete to create the best Christmas banquet for members of the public and the emergency services who have risked their lives for others in 2017. As things heat up in the kitchen, Fred Sirieix, the maître d' from First Dates will keep the mulled wine flowing front of house at the Merchant Taylors' Hall in London.   

Comedy: The Great Xmas Rant

Thursday

9pm, ITV2


Comedian Ellie Taylor (credit: Channel 4)

A stand-up show in which comedians including Ellie Taylor, Mark Watson, Tom Davis, Stephen Bailey, Darren Harriot, Richard Gadd and many more moan about Christmas, listing the 24 reasons to hate the festive season.

Sport: Liverpool v Arsenal

Friday

7pm, Sky Main Event


Can Mesut Ozil and co stop a rampant Liverpool side? (Credit: Wikimedia)

Arsenal travel to Anfield hoping to enhance their chances of a top four finish. Always a big fixture on the football calender, this match usually treats us to a goal fest. Expect nothing less this time around, both sides have explosive firepower up front but have suffered from defensive lapses on more than one occasion this season, expect goals.

Music: Michael Buble's Christmas in New York

Friday

8pm, Sky 1


Michael Buble (credit: BBC)

Michael Buble returns this Christmas with a fun-filled music concert. He will belt out a variety of Christmas classics and there will be a a star-studded guest list to set the festive atmosphere. Guests include Barbra Streisand, Miss Piggy and Ariana Grande.

Film: The Wolverine

Saturday

9pm, Channel 4

 

An action adventure starring Hugh Jackman. Haunted by the tragic events of his last mission with the X-Men, Logan has withdrawn from society to live in a cave in the Canadian rockies. However, he is lured out of hiding and travels to Japan. He ends up robbed of his powers by a mysterious scientist and is forced to protect the tycoon's Granddaughter from secret assassins. 

Music: All Star Musicals

Sunday

6.40, ITV


Sir Michael Crawford co-hosts with Andrew Flintoff (credit: ITV)

Seven famous faces not known for their musical abilities - Sir Tony Robinson, Denise Lewis, Nicky Campbell, Sally Phillips, Rebecca Front, Corrie's Lucy Fallon and Michael Parr from Emmerdale - compete to show who's best at belting out a showbiz standard. And what better place for the contest than before an audience at the London Palladium.

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