We outline the best TV to watch this Christmas 2016 on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky, Virgin and BT Sport. Plus: how to watch TV on your phone, tablet, laptop or PC.

See also: How to track the ISS on Christmas Eve.

The best Christmas TV 2016: Christmas Eve

A Christmas Carol – 11:30am, BBC One

Keep the kids happy (or at bay) early on Christmas Eve with the animated version of Dickens’ classic festive tale 

Despicable Me – 11:20am, ITV 1 

If the little ones prefer a bit of minion action instead of classic literature, then flip over to ITV.

The Muppet Christmas Carol – 5:50pm, ITV 1 

If you missed the animated version earlier in the day, here’s Kermit and Michael Caine in the popular version. 

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – 7:30pm, ITV 1 

Based on the popular children’s book, here is the animated tale. 

Grantchester – 9pm, ITV 1

Hot off the heels of his turn in War & Peace, James Norton dons the dog collar and solves a bit of crime. 

The best Christmas TV 2016: Christmas Day 

The Great British Bake Off – 4:45pm, BBC One 

The last outing for the original gang before their move to Channel 4, eight past contestants battle it out for the crown of cake. Or something. 

Doctor Who – 5:45pm, BBC One 

Doctor Mysterio returns in this festive edition set in New York City

Home Alone – 6pm, Channel 4 

One of the best Christmas films ever on Christmas Day. Sorted.

Call the Midwife – 8pm, BBC One

Christmas special of the popular period drama.

The best Christmas TV 2016: Boxing Day

Outnumbered – 10pm, BBC One

The kids might be grown up but they’re still part of the BBC’s most dysfunctional family. Here’s the Christmas special. 

The Big Fat Quiz of the Year – 9pm, Channel 4

Channel 4’s annual irreverent take on the year’s news is back with Richard Ayoade, Rob Delaney, Mel Giedroyc, Sarah Millican, David Mitchell and Romesh Ranganathan with Jimmy Carr hosting. 

The best Christmas TV 2016: 27 – 30 December

Charlie Brooker’s 2016 Wipe - 9.00pm, BBC Two on 27 December 

It’ll be hilarious but particularly depressing, probably. Mr Brooker breaks down the year like no one else can. 

Robot Wars: Battle of the Stars – 8pm, BBC Two on 28 December

Celebs line up to smash each other up using metal counterparts in a special edition of the popular show. 

The best Christmas TV 2016: New Year’s Eve 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – 9pm, ITV 1 

Say goodbye to Harry and Hogwarts in the dark, ultimate show stopping final part of the film franchise.

Jools’ Annual Hootenanny – 11:20pm, BBC Two

Join everyone’s favourite New Year’s TV host for hits from Chaka Khan, Wizzard, John Cooper Clarke and more to ring in 2017.

The best Christmas TV 2016: New Year’s Day 

ET the Extra-Terrestrial – 4:30pm, ITV 1

Everyone’s favourite alien will make you laugh and then maybe cry in this classic Spielberg film.

Sherlock – 8:30pm, BBC One

First part in the fourth series of the popular drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

How to watch BBC TV on your phone, tablet, laptop or PC

BBC Channels are available on all UK digital, satellite and cable TV systems. You can watch live or catch-up via the BBC iPlayer. iPlayer is available online, or as an app native to most digital TV platforms including Sky TV. You can also use the iPlayer app via games consoles such as the PlayStations 3 and 4, and the Xbox One and Xbox 360.

There are BBC iPlayer apps for iPhone and iPad, as well as many recent Android devices. BBC content is free to view, but UK users must have a valid TV Licence in the house in which they live. (See also: How to watch UK TV when abroad.)

How to watch ITV on your phone, tablet, laptop or PC

ITV channels are available on all UK digital, satellite and cable TV systems. You can watch live or catch-up via the ITV Hub. ITV Hub is available online, or as an app native to most digital TV platforms, including Sky TV.

There are ITV Player apps for iPhone and iPad, as well as many recent Android devices. ITV content is free to view and ad supported, but UK users must have a valid TV License in the house in which they live. (See also: How to connect a laptop to TV with HDMI and more.)

How to watch Channel 4 on your phone, tablet, laptop or PC

Channel 4 is available on all UK digital, satellite and cable TV systems. You can watch live or catch-up via the All4 app. All4 is available online, or as an app native to most digital platforms including Sky TV.

There are All4 apps for iPhone and iPad, as well as many recent Android devices. Channel 4 content is free to view and ad supported, but UK users must have a valid TV Licence in the house in which they live.

See also: Best free Christmas apps for Android

How to watch Channel 5 on your phone, tablet, laptop or PC

Channel 5 is available on all UK digital, satellite and cable TV systems. You can watch live or catch-up via the My5 website. My5 is available online, or as an app native to most digital TV platforms including Sky TV.

There are My5 apps for iPhone and iPad, as well as many recent Android devices. Channel 5 content is free to view and ad supported, but UK users must have a valid TV Licence in the house in which they live. (See also: Do I need a TV Licence?)

Read next: How to make personalised Christmas videos

How to watch Sky TV / Virgin / BT Sport on your phone, tablet, laptop or PC

To watch Sky TV on your television, you need either a cable or satellite system or web-connected set-top box, and you need a subscription to Sky TV or to pay one-off for Sky Now. If you subscribe to BT or Virgin, you van also access some or all of Sky's TV channel via your ISP subscription, depending on who that is with and how much you pay. Content is viewable live or on-demand.

Sky subscribers can also (or instead) watch TV online or on mobile devices via the Sky Go apps, or online. Sky Now allows you to pay for daily or weekly access to Sky programming, viewable online or via mobile device.

To access BT Sport programming, you need a compatible set top box. BT Sport is free to BT broadband subscribers at various tariff options, but requires a monthly subscription for Sky- and Virgin TV subscriber s. BT Sport subscribers can also (or instead) watch TV online or on mobile devices via the BT Sport apps, or online. See also: Best smartphones of 2016.

Here's our guide to BT Sport

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