THE ten shows you must see...
DOCTOR WHO: Christmas Day, BBC1, 6.50pm
Just when you thought there was only room for Rose Tyler in the Doctor's Tardis, along comes that pop pipsqueak Kylie to squeeze herself in for the one-off Christmas special before Billie Piper reprises her role as David Tennant's right-hand woman next year. Earlier this year, TV critic Caitlin Moran referred to Doctor Who as "quintessential to being British", and few who have witnessed the hype and anticipation ahead of this transmission could argue with that sentiment.
Minogue and Tennant are both aboard the Titanic for this 'Voyage Of The Damned' episode. And it's merely a matter of time before 'the Hosts', those eerie-looking beggars you've probably seen in some of the publicity shots, turn decidedly inhospitable.
If you didn't already know that Minogue's Astrid and the Doctor find their lips locking, then you certainly do now – let's just hope Russell T Davies hasn't let his fondness for flamboyant monsters get completely out of hand and put Celine Dion on to the soundtrack.
HARRY HILL'S TV BURP: Christmas Day, STV, 8pm
Doctor Who aside, there's just not enough well-crafted daft nonsense on our screens these days. There's certainly nowhere near enough Harry Hill. Bizarrely ITV seem to treat this show as 'seasonal' with the promise of another run in the spring and then one in autumn 2008. But I guess it's a start. Hill manages to combine an "all these people are morons" presenting attitude towards the current crop of soap stars, with a charming fondness for throwing in the odd loopy skit of his own. With Corrie and EastEnders offering festive plot lines that take the sex lives of neighbours to farcical proportions, he should be like a kid in candy shop.
JK ROWLING: A YEAR IN THE LIFE: December 30, STV, 5pm
"Dear Diary… bit of a quiet one this year really. Stopped the world in its tracks with the final publicity stunt, ahem, I mean publishing event for my old mucker Harry Potter as I finally unveiled The Deathly Hallows to the public.
What to do now, what to do? Well, I can live quite happily on the proceeds of my boy wonder's success, and we all know that the best kind of consumers, I mean audiences, are the hungry minds of babes, so I shall continue to fuel their obsession with all things Hogwarts by hypothesising about the sexual orientation of my main characters here, and indeed, whether there is life beyond Hogwarts for my splendid little creation there. What wizard fun."
WHEN JOSEPH MET MARIA: Christmas Eve, BBC1, 7pm
One person's idea of televisual torture is another's notion of a great night in front of the box.
Connie Fisher and Leah Mead perform a duet together, but wait for it, Denise Van Outen and John Barrowman are up there too, with the losers – sorry, runners-up – from the original two competitions. For those of you still unconvinced that Andrew Lloyd Webber deserves your adulation for this specimen, I'm sure his forthcoming cameo in Hollyoaks will win you over.
TO THE MANOR BORN: Christmas Day, BBC1, 9.30pm
Twenty-six years on from when Audrey and Richard finally tied the knot, will the 18 million who tuned in to see said event be replicated by this return to Grantleigh manor? It's hard to think so, but there is still a place for the likes of Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles to at least make an attempt at restoking an old British fascination with class and money. Oh, and that really old-fashioned notion of love, too.
BALLET SHOES: Boxing Day, BBC1, 8.30pm
Never mind JK Rowling's year, what about Emma Watson's? From elfin swot Hermione Granger in the Potter films, to suddenly hanging out with Kate Moss and Kylie backstage at fashion shows and becoming the new face of Chanel. Here she stars alongside Victoria Wood and Emilia Fox in the adaptation of Noel Streatfeild's classic book.
EASTENDERS: Christmas Day, BBC1, 6.20pm and 8pm
Stacey has been trying her best since marrying Bradley to sell the whole square the idea that once a Slater not always a Slater. Max Brannen has similarly been trying to convince his wife, who has given birth to his child, that once a cheating love rat not always a cheating love rat. Shame Stacey and Max slept with each other then ain't it, and that the video evidence is perilously close to the TV on Christmas Day. Woopsie!
THE SHADOW IN THE NORTH: December 30, BBC1, 8.55pm
Billie Piper has thankfully hung up her call girl knickers, and returned to the role in which she has most excelled of late, that of Sally Lockhart in this sequel to Philip Pullman's Ruby In The Smoke.
The Victorian supersleuth has grown up, and is now running her own financial consulting agency. All is calm until one of her clients loses all their money.
EXTRAS: Thursday, BBC1, 9pm
Gervais and Merchant's swansong for struggling actor Andy, starring George Michael, Clive Owen, David Tennant, Hale & Pace, Gordon Ramsay and, of course, Ashley Jensen.
TOP GEAR NIGHT IN: Tonight, BBC2, 4.15pm
Jeremy Clarkson and Co ram-raid the schedules and (road) hog the Sunday before Christmas. In My Sisters' Top Toys, James May puts down his Matchbox models and Corgi collectibles long enough to investigate the strange delights of girls' playtime. Fuzzy Felt? Dollies that talked and cried? Nurses' outfits? Can't see Clarkson allowing all that to pass without smirkful comment.
The themed night continues with the last Top Gear of the series where David Tennant is the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. But the real coup, and a poignant one, is Richard Hammond Meets Evel Knievel. The stunt legend was the presenter's hero as a boy and in the summer Hammond got the chance to meet him.
The Evel Knievel Days comprised a weekend of motorcycle madness in Bute, Montana, and as well as talking to the daredevil and trading stories of death-defying drives – in his career Knievel broke a total of 40 bones – Hammond sought the views of his family and former staff.
Sadly there will be no more Evel Knievel Days. He died last month of lung cancer.