TV Guide 2018-12-15

New shows include Big Star's Bigger Star (ITV, Sat), embarrassing celebrities. First in a new series of Insert Name Here (BBC2, Wed) and of Sam and Mark's Big Friday Windup (CBBC, Fri), both confusing us with a Christmas episode. WIQ is a one-off quiz for the Women's Institute (R4, Mon).

It's the final of Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1, Sat). Also in championship mode: Masterchef The Professionals (BBC2, Thu), Countdown and Fifteen-to-One (C4, Fri)

Christmas specials are in full flow, with The Chase (ITV, Sun), Love Island (ITV2, Mon), Only Connect (2) (BBC2, Tue-Thu), Portrait Artist of the Year (Artsworld, Tue), QI (BBC2, Tue), Top Class (CBBC, Wed), A League of Their Own (The Satellite Channel, Thu), The Big Quiz (2) (ITV, Fri), and Mock the Week (BBC2, Fri). And Celebrity Mastermind kicks off its season (BBC1, Fri).

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Schedules are accurate at the time of publication; check against EPG for late changes.


Saturday 15 December

  • Fighting Talk (Radio 5, 11am).
  • Catchphrase (ITV, 1.45), Tenable (ITV, 2.30), Tipping Point (ITV, 3.30), The Chase (ITV, 4.30). The Chase appears to be a new episode.
  • Mastermind (BBC2 NI 5pm, Wales 6.30); House of Games (BBC2 Wales, 6pm) Seen elsewhere last night.
  • Keep Dancing: 14 Years of Strictly Magic (C5, 5.05) A cheeky documentary, repeated from earlier in the year.


  • Big Star's Bigger Star (ITV, 5.30) Adam Thomas, Frankie Bridge, and Joel Dommett are joined by their parents who will tell embarrassing stories.
  • Pointless Celebrities (BBC1, 5.40) A repeat of 2017 with Sam and Mark.
  • Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1, 6.30) The grand final features a performance from Michael Bublé.
  • Got What it Takes? The Winner's Story (CBBC, 6.05) Another chance to see Rio at June's concerts.
  • India's Got Talent (Colors, 10pm).

Weekend repeats

Shows seen earlier in the week


  • Quote... Unquote (Radio 4, 11pm) From Monday.


  • I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue (Radio 4, 12.04) From Monday.
  • Big Star's Bigger Star (ITV, 1pm) From last night.
  • Match of the Day Can You Kick It (CBBC, 1.55pm) All five episodes in one big block.
  • Beat the Internet with John Robins (Dave, 3pm) From Thursday.

Sunday 16 December - Gaudete Sunday

  • Spy School (CITV and ITV Breakfast Broadcasting, 8.30am) Operation Mummy's Boy. Last in the present half-series.
  • Bargain Hunt (BBC1, 12.30).
  • Catchphrase (ITV, 2pm), The Chase (ITV, 2.45), Tenable (ITV, 3.45).
  • Ronnie Corbett's Small Talk (Challenge, 4pm) Three episodes.
  • Celebrity Mastermind (BBC1 Wales, 4.35) A repeat from last year, before the rights expire.
  • Tipping Point Lucky Stars (ITV, 5pm) Sam Bailey.


  • The Chase Christmas Special (ITV, 8pm) John Inverdale, Judy Murray, Bernard Cribbins, Scarlett Moffatt.
  • QI (BBC2, 9.45; not NI).
  • 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (C4, 10.55).

Weekday Daytimes

  • Bargain Hunt (BBC1, 12.15).
  • Countdown (C4, 2.10) Finals Week is with Phill Jupitus.
  • Dickinson's Real Deal (ITV, 3pm) Compilations.
  • Fifteen-to-One (C4, 3pm) The grand final is on Friday.
  • Tipping Point (ITV, 4pm) Repeats.
  • Eggheads (BBC2, 4.45) Repeats.
  • The Chase (ITV, 5pm) Repeats.
  • Pointless (BBC1, 5.15) Repeats.
  • World's Strongest Man Giants Live (C5, 7pm; not Fr) Pre-recorded heats for the looming finals.
  • Christmas University Challenge (BBC4, 7pm) Repeats of last year's festive specials.

Monday 17 December

  • Football Genius (ITV, 12.40am) Arsenal and Liverpool; the pilot episode with some Early Instalment Weirdness.
  • Just a Minute (Radio 4 Extra, 9am and 4pm).
  • WIQ (R4, 3pm) A one-off where Jo Brand asks questions of the Women's Institute.
  • I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue (Radio 4, 6.30) Susan Calman and Rob Brydon in Llandudno.
  • Only Connect (BBC2, 8pm) Hotpots v Durhamites in the first-and-a-halfth round.
  • University Connect (BBC2, 8.30) Second round 5.
  • Love Island the Christmas Reunion (ITV2, 9pm Mon) A Christmas special of the summer's massive hit. Has Gareth forgiven Zlatko for being Marianne's pick?
  • Would I Lie to You (BBC1, 9.30; not Scot) A classic episode with Warwick Davis.
  • Have I Got a Bit More News for You (BBC1 10.45, Wales 11.40) Extended repeat from Friday.

Tuesday 18 December

  • All the Way from Memphis (Radio 4 Extra, 4pm) From 2004.
  • Prosiect Z (S4C, 5.30) Ysgol Boderden. Ooh, shiny tinsel.
  • Only Connect (BBC2, 7.30) In a special match, the Europhiles (champions, series 9, 2013) play the String Section (champions, series 11, 2015).
  • Masterchef The Professionals (BBC2, 8pm) Finals week begins at the chef's table.
  • Celebrity Portrait Artist of the Year (Artsworld, 8pm) With stars such as Vic Reeves, Joe Lycett, and Maureen Lipman.
  • QI (BBC2, 10pm; NI 11.15 Wed) Pubs A Christmas Special, with Cariad Lloyd, Josh Widdicombe, Noel Fielding.

Wednesday 19 December

  • Top Class Christmas Special (CBBC, 5.30) Jaymi Hensley, Richard Wisker, Kimberley Wyatt, Kevin Adams take on Sam and Mark, Sophia Grace, Jonny Nelson.
  • Only Connect (BBC2, 7.30) In a special "sports" match, the Footballers play the Korfballers.
  • Masterchef The Professionals (BBC2, 8pm) Dishes from special places.
  • Your Face or Mine (Comedy Central, 8pm) Charlotte and Matt from Ex on the Beach.
  • Celwydd Noeth (S4C, 8.25).
  • Mark Pougatch's The World Cup (ITV, 9pm) A Christmas special of the summer's massive ratings hit. Remember when Dani and Josh went to penalties?
  • Insert Name Here (BBC2, 10pm) Chris Packham, Suzannah Lipscomb, Carol Vorderman, and James Acaster kick off the new series with a Christmas special.
  • Free Thinking (Radio 3, 10pm) Bobby Seagull talks about the value of play and competitiveness.
  • Dianc! (S4C, 10.15) Trey and Cerys. We'll have a review on Sunday.

Thursday 20 December

  • The Dog Ate My Homework Christmas Special (CBBC, 4.30) Repeat with Hacker T Dog, Ashleigh and Pudsey, Alex Riley, Pippa Evans.
  • Only Connect (BBC2, 7.30) In a special "families" match, the Lasletts and Meeples meet.
  • Masterchef The Professionals (BBC2, 8pm) The grand final.
  • Beat the Internet with John Robins (Dave, 8pm) Two episodes.
  • Takeshi's Castle (Comedy Central, 8pm).
  • A League of Their Own Christmas Party (The Satellite Channel, 9pm) Kriss Akabusi rocks up with a surprise, it says here.
  • Celebrity Juice Ten Years of Best Bits (ITV2, 10pm) Highlights from the last ten years of good-natured nonsense.
  • I'll Get This (BBC2, 11.15) Three episodes repeated.

Friday 21 December

  • Guess What? (Radio 4 Extra, 9am and 4pm) From 1998.
  • Breaking the News (Radio Scotland, 1.30).
  • Countdown (C4, 2.10); Fifteen-to-One (C4, 3pm) Double finals day.
  • Sam and Mark's Big Christmas Wind Up (CBBC, 6pm) It's Game for a Laugh for our days.
  • Christmas University Challenge (BBC4, 7pm) Another chance to see last year's final. Wonder if Reading will do any better this time...
  • A Question of Sport (BBC1 7.30, Wales 9.30, NI 11.55).
  • Mastermind (BBC2, 8pm) Gerhard Richter, 44 Scotland Street novels, Alexander Hamilton, Emma Lady Hamilton.
  • Celebrity Mastermind (BBC1, 8.30) With Amol Rajan (Shane Warne), Richard Coles (operas of Wagner), Courtney Act (Spice Girls), and Mark Lane (Piet Mondrian).
  • The Big Quiz (2) (ITV, 9pm) The annual clash between Coronation Street and Emmerdale.
  • Mock the Week (BBC2, 10pm) Christmas special, the best of the year so far.
  • I'll Get This (BBC2, 11.35) Another three episodes repeated.

Sign language interpretation

  • Family Cooking Showdown (BBC2, 7.30am Mo).
  • Match of the Day Can You Kick It? (CBBC, 1.55 weekdays).
  • Masterchef The Professionals (BBC2, 8am Tu, Th).
  • Great Local Menu (BBC2, 6am We).
  • Lego Masters (C4, 1.35am Fr).
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