Alan Dee’s guide to the pick of the week’s TV
Text Santa (ITV, 7.30pm)
Ant and Dec may have the jokey, comedy duo presenting act down to a T, but when it comes to the more serious stuff, the cheeky pair can be relied on to step forward and do their bit. The lads, joined by Holly Willoughby, will be aiming to raise as much money as possible for those who are vulnerable during the Christmas season. Proceeds will be split between a number of charities, including Yorkhill Children’s Foundation, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Samaritans, Crisis and Carers UK.
Doctor Who (BBC One, 7pm)
This time he’s all on his lonesome - there’s no Rory, Amy or even River to accompany him. Instead, the Doctor tries to create the perfect Christmas for two children who’ve been evacuated to Dorset with their mother during the Second World War.
But the present he gives them transports them to a magical forest with dark undercurrents.
Claire Skinner plays mum, who’s been forcibly separated from her husband, portrayed by Alexander Armstrong, who’s an RAF pilot.
Bill Bailey, Arabella Weir and Paul Bazely pop up as a trio of intergalactic park rangers everyone meets during their jaunt into the other world.
The Borrowers (BBC One, 7.30pm)
Over the years, there’s been no shortage of adaptations of the Mary Norton classic and chances are that, for whatever reason, it will hold a dear place in your heart.
The cast list for this latest version reads like a who’s who of the bigwigs of the showbiz world. Christopher Eccleston is joined by Stephen Fry and Victoria Wood, with rising star Aisling Loftus picking up the reins as the young Arriety Clock.
Fast Freddie, The Widow And Me (ITV1, 9pm)
Festivities, a man in need of redemption and the threat of tragedy - yes, all the right ingredients are there for the perfect Christmas drama.
Laurence Fox stars as wealthy, brash luxury car dealer Jonathan Donald, who’s brought back down to earth with an almighty bump when he’s found guilty of drink-driving and ordered to do community service at The Moonbeam Club, a support organisation for young adults with social and behavioural difficulties, run by the recently widowed Laura (Sarah Smart).
Felix and Murdo (Channel 4, 10.35pm)
Comedy duo Armstrong and Miller team up again for a comedy pilot set in Edwardian London.
Paddy’s 2011 Show and Telly (ITV1, 9pm)
This panel game hosted by Paddy McGuinness sees four pairs of celebrities answering questions about the year’s television shows.
Contestants face a series of three elimination rounds before they reach the grand finale and the chance to win up to £20,000 for their charity of choice.
A Royal Year to Remember (ITV1, 9pm)
Alan Titchmarsh helms a documentary looking back at a very special a banner year for the Royal Family, which arguably finds them more popular than at any time during the previous two decades.