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TV tonight: our highlights for Wednesday 23rd December

Ghosts Christmas special

Ghosts Christmas special is just one of the festive gems on TV tonight...

Ghosts is back with a festive special, Mary Berry single-handedly prevents Christmas cooking disasters and Motherland favourites are feeling frazzled this festive season. Here's what you shouldn’t miss tonight. 

  • Our hand-selected recommendations for what's on TV tonight include three TV shows, a film, live sport and the latest trending need-to-binge-on-now box set 
  • Keep up to date with the latest soap spoiler storylines on TV tonight with our daily soap synopsis 
  • For more information about what’s on TV tonight see our TV Guide 

What's on TV tonight 

Our expert TV journalists have picked the best things on TV tonight... 

Best TV shows on TV tonight

Ghosts Christmas special, 8.30pm, BBC1

Alison and ghosts in the Ghosts Christmas special

The ghostly gang are back for a festive special (Picture: BBC/Monumental Television/Guido Mandozzi) (Image credit: BBC/Monumental Television/Guido Mandozzi)

Spooky stories at Christmas are always a winner, so we’re thrilled the doors of Button House are creaking open for the festivities. Mike panics as his family is due and he wants to prove he’s all grown up by organising the whole shebang. Meanwhile, Alison tries to bring seasonal cheer to her ghostly pals who are missing the traditions they once enjoyed. But as we glimpse the wild Christmases roguish MP Julian used to indulge in, he’s given pause for thought… ★★★★★ CC

Motherland Christmas Special, 9pm, BBC2

Despite the comfort and joy, Christmas can also be fraught, as Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) learns first hand in the festive return of the parenting comedy. Hacked off at waiting on her visiting in-laws, Julia is tempted by a swanky seasonal soirée, even if it is hosted by the obnoxious Amanda. But after Julia, Kevin and Liz wangle their way into the gathering with uber-cool Meg, snooty guests and strict rules prevent everyone from letting their hair down. ★★★★ CC

Mary Berry Saves Christmas, 6.30pm, BBC1 

Mary Berry's Christmas Party

Mary Berry is here to save all your Christmas cooking disasters (Picture: BBC/Sidney Street) (Image credit: BBC/Sidney Street)

For some of us, the approach of Christmas Day brings a sense of dread: not about presents or novelty jumpers, but the pressure of serving up a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for the whole family. If you’re not a naturally gifted cook, it’s an intimidating prospect, but fear not: Mary is here to show three non-cooks the secret to preparing a fuss-free feast, with the help of three celeb sous-chefs – Tom Allen, Angela Scanlon and Jay Blades. Give Mary an hour, and we guarantee she’ll have cured your turkeyphobia… ★★★★ SP

Best box set to watch on TV tonight

Call the Midwife, BBC iPlayer, series 1 to 9

TV Tonight, Call the Midwife

Catch up on all the drama from Poplar before the Christmas special (Picture: BBC/Neal Street Productions/Soph) (Image credit: BBC/Neal Street Productions/Soph)

Call the Midwife is back on BBC1 for a Christmas special, so why not binge watch the entire nine series before tuning in on Christmas Day? Or, if you're new to Call the Midwife, now is your chance to catch up on all the drama from Poplar. Based on the best-selling memoirs of Jennifer Worth, Call the Midwife follows a group of midwifes in the poverty-stricken East End of London in the 1950s. 

Best film to watch on TV tonight

Phantom Thread, 10pm, BBC2 

Amid the elegance and glacial beauty of Paul Thomas Anderson’s movie, there are streaks of cruelty and dark humour. Sir Daniel Day-Lewis plays a fastidious fashion designer in 1950s London who takes a demure waitress as his muse. As she slowly begins to gain power over a man who thought he was in control, this unfolds as a subtly forceful tale of how love can be expressed and twisted. ★★★★★ NP

Live sport

  • League Cup quarter final: Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur, 5pm (k-o 5.30pm), Sky Sports
  • League Cup quarter final: Everton v Manchester United, 7.30pm, (k-o 8pm), Sky Sports

Soaps on TV tonight

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight… 

Don't miss Mary Berry showing you how to serve up a Christmas dinner to remember.

Not found anything you want to watch on TV tonight? Check out our TV Guide. 

Happy viewing!