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On the box

What's on? Christmas TV for every mood’s roundup of what’s on the box today (even if you’re feeling more Bah! Humbug! than Ho!Ho!Ho!

FROM JUSTIN BIEBER to Donny Osmond and James Bond to Santa Claus, there really is something for everyone (and every mood) on television over the next three days.

We’ve trawled through the television guides for you so break open the tin of Roses (or Quality Street), sit back and enjoy some of the best programmes and films the small screen has to offer today.

For those who want to laugh…

Mr. Bean (RTE Two, 1.25pm)

-Indulge in the wonderfully stupid comedic genius of Rowan Atkinson.

Father Ted Christmas Special (RTE Two, 9.20pm and Channel 4, 11.55pm)

-Christmas would not be Christmas without Ted, Dougal and Jack and their ridiculous antics.

Outnumbered – The Christmas Special (BBC One, 9.20pm)

-If you have never witnessed the Brockmans in action, today is the perfect time for the best laugh you’ll get all year. The sitcom features three of the best child actors in Britain in Tyger Drew-Honey, Daniel Roche and Ramona Marquez who all semi-improvise their way through the script.

The Only Way Is EsseXmas (3e, 1am)

-The show’s title says it all.

For those feeling nostalgic…

The Waltons (RTE One, 6am)

-Start the day with a wholesome dose of John-Boy and Mary Ellen.

Those Were The Days Christmas Special (BBC2, 5.15pm)

-The programme unveils festive moments from the BBC archives highlighting the changing face of Christmas in Northern Ireland. Among the celluloid stocking fillers are toys, tinsel and visits to Santa Claus.

The John Craven Years (BBC2, 7pm)

-The BBC journalist look back at some key moments during his 40 years on Newsround and Countryfile.

Morecambe and Wise (BBC2, 8pm)

-The BBC once more delves into its archives for some wonderful moments from the comedic pair.

Piers Morgan’s Life Stories: Donny Osmond (UTV, 10pm)

-The one-time teen idol looks back at his career.

For those who want to reflect…

The Nativity (BBC One, 9am)

-An hour-long look at the story of Christmas.

Dublin Airport: Coming Home for Christmas (TV3, 3.40pm)

-With emigration hitting such high levels and Dublin Airport expecting more than 620,000 passengers to come through its doors this week, there’s sure to be a few tears shed in the arrivals hall today.

Ireland’s Christmas Wishes (TV3, 8pm)

-In another tear-jerker, Martin King meets some of Ireland’s bravest children.

Text Santa (UTV, 7.30pm)

-Join ever-present hosts Ant & Dec and Holly Willoughby as they raise money and awareness for those in more vulnerable positions this Christmas. Plenty of special guests in what looks set to be an entertaining, festive telethon.

Midnight Mass (RTE One, 11.15pm)

-Live Christmas Eve service from Rathmines, Dublin.

For those who want to sing-along…

Tosca from the Royal Opera House (BBC2, 2.35pm)

-The Royal Opera ends its season with a revival of Puccini’s score.

Carols From the Castle (RTE One, 6.25pm)

-An early Christmas present for many as Daniel O’Donnell performs with the RTE Concert Orchestra.

This Is Justin Bieber (TV3, 6.15pm)

-An alternative to Daniel and a must-watch if you are a girl under the age of 18. The indestructible teen idol takes to the stage to delight his Beliebers with such hits as “Baby” and “Mistletoe”.

Na Casaidigh (TG4, 8.15pm)

-A look at the career of the traditional Irish group, including its performances for two US Presidents.

Michael Bublé: Home for Christmas (TV3, 9m)

-The Canadian crooner usually works overtime in December but this year he’s brought his work home to his luxury chalet.

For those who cannot get enough of festive movies…

Santa Claus: The Movie (UTV, 9.25am)

-The 1985 film starring Dudley Moore as Patch the Elf and John Lithgow as the evil toy maker B.Z. is a must-see over the holiday period no matter what your age.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (RTE One, 1.15pm)

-Arguably the best film of the series (helped mightily by the presence of Brenda Fricker), young Kevin finds himself on his own (again) but this time he has to navigate the mean streets of Manhattan.

Scrooge (3e, 2pm)

-The 1970 musical with Albert Finney as Ebenezer.

ET The Extra-Terrestrial (UTV, 3.35pm)

-Although it’s not strictly a Christmas movie, it usually is broken out during the holiday season.

For those feeling more Bah! Humbug than Ho!Ho!Ho!…

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (RTE Two, 6.35pm)

-Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf work to save the plant from evil robot The Fallen. Not very Christmas-y then.

Quantum of Solace (RTE One, 9.20pm)

-Daniel Craig as James Bond should keep the festive spirit at bay if that’s what you’re after.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand (TV3, 1am)

-A late night battle between Spartacus and Crixus.

For those with subscriptions to digital services, other programmes and movies will be available throughout the day but for the purpose of this roundup we stuck to cable channels but feel free to discuss any other favourites in the comments section.

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