ABC: 2020 Christmas highlights

Specials from Hard Quiz, Mad as Hell, The Yearly, Spicks & Specks, Bluey & Doctor Who coming.

ABC has announced its highlights for the weeks running up to Christmas which include festive specials for Hard Quiz, Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell, Gardening Australia, Bluey, annual specials from Sammy J, The Weekly (as The Yearly), the Spicks & Specks special on the music of the past decade plus Call the Midwife, Royal Variety Performance and Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks.

Australia’s favourite Blue Heeler family is kicking off the gift giving with Christmas Swim, a brand new Yuletide episode of Bluey, premiering on ABC Kids on Tuesday 1 December at 8am (with an encore screening on ABC on Christmas Eve ahead of the 7pm News). When the Heelers gather for a classic Aussie Christmas, Bluey gets a new teddy and introduces him to the whole family. But the family play too rough with him and now he wants to go home, until Frisky convinces him to stay. The fun continues on ABC Kids with Play School’s Our Celebrations on Monday 14 December at 9am. Our Celebrations features different festivals and joyous moments celebrated in multicultural Australia.

Crowd pleasers Gardening Australia and Spicks and Specks return for specials, with episodes on Friday 18 December at 7.30pm and Sunday 20th at 7.40pm, respectively. Lockdowns and isolation have brought more people to gardening than ever before, keeping us healthy in both mind and body, entertained and fed. Gardening Australia meets some ‘Covid gardeners’, visits a cherry farm and indulges in some garden-inspired Christmas craft; while the Spicks and Specks crew Adam, Myf and Alan are joined by musicians Kate Miller Heidke and Vance Joy and comedians Claire Hooper and Luke McGregor as they relive the music of the 2010s – the decade that finally managed to convince kids that flossing was cool.

Australia’s second favourite news satire show explores and analyses the meaning and significance of the happiest day of the year in Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell – Pagan Holiday Special on Sunday 20 December at 8:35pm on ABC. Join Micallef and his team as they take audiences on a journey through the miracle of the world’s most beloved holiday eve, without once mentioning the word ‘Christmas’.

Has Tom Gleeson finally met his match in this year’s Hard Quiz Christmas Special? Airing on Wednesday 23 December at 7.30pm, four contestants aged between 10 and 12 years old will try to prove they’re the smartest kids in the room and may even knock Tom off his high horse while they’re at it. This is followed by Charlie Pickering and The Weekly team who emerge from their plague bunker at 8pm to wrap 2020. Was it the worst year ever? Have you washed your hands? Can we even remember what happened in January? All will be revealed in The Yearly…from a safe distance.

The laughs continue on ABC COMEDY with ‘12 Days of Christmas’, commencing with Sammy J’s 2020 Dumpster Fire Spectacular on Sunday 13 December at 9.10pm. From the Ballad of Dunny Roll to the Government Coach’s historic address on the essential nature of hairdressers, join Sammy J and friends as they look back on an objectively dreadful 12 months. Other highlights include new Christmas episodes of Live At The Apollo on Saturday, 19th December at 9.30pm and Would I Lie To You? on Wednesday, 23rd December at 9.20pm.

On Tuesday, 8 December at 9.30pm a line-up of seasoned storytellers, including Richard Glover, Benjamin Law, Dr Norman Swan, Blak Douglas and Di Morrisey bring us That Christmas – eleven poignant, funny and powerful festive tales about past Christmas experiences like no other.

Also coming to ABC this December will be a new series from culinary queen Nigella Lawson, Nigella’s Cook, Eat, Repeat, the much-revered Royal Variety Performance and Christmas specials from popular dramas Call the Midwife and Doctor Who (airdates for all four programs are yet to be confirmed).

Ever-popular cook Nigella Lawson returns to share the rhythms and rituals of her kitchen, introducing viewers to a number of delicious new recipes made with her favourite ingredients. Follow the prolific chef as she crafts some mouth-watering dishes for Christmas in a special episode.

Multi-award-winning drama series Call the Midwife is back for festive fun. This year the medics and midwives of Nonnatus embark on a trip to the remote yet idyllic Scottish island, where residents have a desperate need of their services. Exposed to the elements, they operate in bleak conditions with limited access to water and electricity to help their patients, just in time to reconvene in Poplar for Christmas.

Doctor Who’s biggest and most feared enemies the Daleks return in Revolution of the Daleks. The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) is locked away in a high-security alien prison. Isolated, alone, with no hope of escape. Far away, on Earth, her best friends, Yaz, Ryan, and Graham have to pick up their lives without her. But it’s not easy. Old habits die hard. Especially when they discover a disturbing plan forming. A plan which involves a Dalek. How can you fight a Dalek, without the Doctor?

One Response

  1. One thing they do in the UK is show ghost stories for Christmas. I’d love it if the ABC commissioned a local ghost story for Christmas Eve. What would a ghost story written by a First Nations author be like? It’s something that should be considered for the future.

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