The best Christmas television for little bookworms 2018

One of my favourite things about the Christmas break is having the luxury of time to read and time to hunker down in front of the telly.

This year’s bumper Radio Times celebrates the 40th birthday of The Snowman of its cover and the animated version on the Raymond Briggs book gets top billing on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

To save you the time and effort of studying the listings in your copy, we’ve picked out some of the best classic and new adaptations of children’s books to watch and record this year, along with a must see documentary about The Snowman author himself and a new animated version of Zog.

Happy viewing!

Saturday 22 December

2.50pm, ITV2 – Peter Pan

4.25pm, BBC2 – Finding Neverland – Film about the making of Peter Pan

7pm, BBC1 – Watership Down (Episode 1 of 2) – New animated version voiced by James McAvoy

Sunday 23 December

3pm, BBC1 – Room on the Broom

5.20pm, BBC2 – Alice in Wonderland – Film version directed by Tim Burton

7pm, ITV2 – The Grinch – Starring Jim Carrey

7.20pm, BB1 – Watership Down (Episode 2 of 2)

Christmas Eve (Monday 24 December)

12.55pm, ITV – The Grinch – as above)

4.10pm, Channel 4 – We’re Going On A Bear Hunt

4.40pm, Channel 4 – The Snowman

5pm, BBC1 – Mary Poppins – Starring Julie Andrews

5.10pm, Channel 4 – The Snowman and the Snowdog

6.15pm, Sky Premiere – Peter Rabbit – Animated version starring James Corden, also showing on Sky Family at 8pm

Christmas Day (Tuesday 25 December)

9am, BBC1 – The Gruffalo

9.25am, BBC1 – The Gruffalo’s Child

11.30am, Channel 4 – We’re Going On A Bear Hunt

12.05pm, Channel 4 – Father Christmas – Animated version of the Raymond Briggs book

12.40pm, Channel 4 – The Snowman

1.15pm, Channel 4 – The Snowman and the Snowdog

3.10pm, BBC1 – The Jungle Book – The 2016 animated version voiced by Idris Elba and Bill Murray

4.50pm, BBC1 – Zog – Brand new animated version of the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler story

Boxing Day (Wednesday 26 December)

11.05am, Channel 4 – The Witches

3.15pm, BBC1 – The Highway Rat

5.40pm, BBC1 – The BFG

Thursday 27 December

3.20pm, BBC1 – Revolting Rhymes – Animated adaptations of Roald Dahl’s gruesome reworkings of fairytales. Second part at 3.50pm.

6.40pm, ITV2 – The Golden Compass

Friday 28 December

8.40am, Channel 4 – The Snowman

9.10am, Channel 4 – The Snowman and the Snowdog

9.40am, Channel 4 – We’re Going On A Bear Hunt

12.35pm, ITV2 – Dr Seuss’ The Lorax

3.15pm, BBC1 – Stick Man

3.40pm, BBC 1 – Zog

Saturday 29 December

6pm, Sky Premiere – Ferdinand – Animated version of the 1936 story about a bull with a big heart. Also on Sky Family at 8pm

Sunday 30 December

10.45am, BBC1 – The BFG

4.05pm, BBC1 – How To Train Your Dragon 2

5pm, Channel 5 – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – The 1971 film version with Gene Wilder

5.40pm, Channel 4 – Paddington

10.50pm, ITV – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – The first film in the Tolkien trilogy

New Year’s Eve (Monday 31 December)

5.50pm, Channel 5 – Pan – Fantasy adventure starring Hugh Jackman, based on the Peter Pan story

7.30pm, BBC2 – Ethel & Ernest – Animated version of Raymond Brigg’s picture book about his parents

9pm, BBC2 – Raymond Briggs: Snowmen, Bogeymen and Milkmen – A new profile of the 84-year-old author, whose iconic Snowman story turned 40 this year

New Year’s Day (Tuesday 1 January)

8.10am, Channel 4 – Diary of a Wimpy Kid

10.15am, BBC1 – Home – Film adaptation of children’s novel The True Meaning of Smekday

3.45pm, BBC1 – The Jungle Book – The classic Disney version

3.45pm, ITV2 – Nanny McPhee – Film based

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