Christmas 2010: Pick of the best family television


Here’s our pick of the best family-friendly television this festive season. For each day from Saturday 18th December right through to New Year’s Eve, we’ll recommend the best film of the day, plus the pick of the rest.

This is far from an exhaustive list, and don’t forget that many of your child’s favourite programmes are still being broadcast, some with Christmas specials, on Freeview channels such as CBBC and CBeebies.

Saturday 18th December


Film: Dr Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! (4.30pm C4)

  • Charlie and Lola (5pm CBeebies)
  • Family Films of the Decade (6pm ITV1)
  • Strictly Come Dancing Final (7pm. 9.05pm BBC1)

Sunday 19th December

Film: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (6.30pm ITV1)

  • A Muppet’s Christmas: Letters to Santa (3.45pm Five)
  • 100 Greatest Toys (6pm C4)

Monday 20th December

Film: Baby’s Day Out (12.15pm C4)

  • Yellowstone (starts 7pm BBC2)

Tuesday 21st December

Film: Spirited Away (10.40am BBC2)

  • George of the Jungle (3.45pm BBC1)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (12.40pm BBC2)

Wednesday 22nd December

Film: Barnyard (12.45pm C4)

  • Jimmy’s Food Factory (8pm BBC1)

Thursday 23rd December

Film: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (3.50pm BBC1)

  • The Santa Clause (11.30am BBC1)

Friday: Christmas Eve

Film: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (5.15pm BBC1)



  • The Fox and the Child (10am BBC2)
  • Casper (10.40am, ITV1)
  • Cars (3.05pm, BBC1)
  • Scrooge (4pm, Five)
  • Shrek the Halls (4.55pm, BBC1)
  • Carols from King’s (6.45pm, BBC2)
  • Nanny McPhee (7pm ITV2)

Saturday: Christmas Day

Film: Shrek the Third (3.10pm BBC1)

  • The Little Polar Bear (8.05am ITV1)
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol (8.50am, C4)
  • The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (11am, BBC1)
  • The Polar Express (1.10pm, ITV1)
  • The Grinch (3.10pm, ITV1)
  • The Gruffalo (4.30pm, BBC1)
  • Doctor Who (6pm, BBC1)
  • Carols for Christmas Day (6pm, BBC2)
  • Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special (7pm, BBC1)

Sunday: Boxing Day

Film: The Railway Children (12.15pm ITV1)

  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit (9.45am BBC1)
  • SPYkids (11.25am BBC1)
  • Enchanted (3.25pm BBC1)
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (4.10pm ITV1)

Monday 27th December

Film: March of the Penguins (3pm ITV1)

  • SPYkids 2: the Island of Lost Dreams (10am BBC1)
  • The Incredibles (3.25pm BBC1)
  • Happy Feet (4.35pm ITV1)
  • James May’s Top Toys (5.45pm BBC2)
  • Halcyon River Diaries (6.10pm BBC1)

Tuesday 28th December

Film: Chicken Run (3.10pm BBC1)

  • Just William (starts 12.30pm BBC1)
  • Robots (4.50pm ITV1)
  • The Grinch (6pm ITV2)
  • The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (starts 8pm BBC4)

Wednesday 29th December

Film: Mary Poppins (4.05pm BBC1)

  • Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave (1.05pm BBC1)
  • Springwatch/Autumnwatch Chriatmas Special (6.30pm BBC2)
  • Polar Bear: Spy on the Ice (8pm BBC1)

Thursday 30th December

Film: Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (4.45pm BBC1)

  • Antz (10am, BBC1)
  • Bridge to Terabithia (11.20am, BBC1)

Friday: New Year’s Eve

Film: Piglet’s Big Movie (9.50am BBC1)

  • The Sound of Music (3.30pm BBC1)
  • James May: My Sisters’ Top Toys (5.30pm BBC2)

Join the discussion! Talk about BBC children’s programmes on our forum.