As 2021 comes to an end, the ABC is reaching into Santa’s sack to deliver the best festive stories for the whole family to enjoy.
On ABC Kids, the little ones will be able to enjoy a Christmas episode, from all their favourite shows every evening at 5:55pm, starting with the premiere of The Adventures of Paddington: The Lost Letter on Wednesday 1 December. Then on Monday 13 December we premiere a special Peppa Pig “Aussie Christmas” episode, and on Saturday 4 December don’t miss the premiere of the beautifully illustrated Quentin Blake’s Clown narrated by Helena Bonham Carter.
We have a huge stack of holiday movies on ABC ME including; Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon , Saving Santa , Elliot the Littlest Reindeer , Spirit Riding Free: Spirit of Christmas as well as much loved favourites Midnight Gang , Dr. Suess’ The Grinch Musical and the Wallace and Gromit films. On Christmas Eve on ABC TV, then encoring on ABC ME, is the premiere special Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas .
For the (very) big kids, we kick off with Would I Lie To You? At Christmas on Thursday 9 December at 9pm on ABC TV Plus. Rob Brydon hosts an entertaining episode of the award-winning comedy panel show Would I Lie to You? Jo Brand, Joe Swash, Joe Lycett and Ruth Madeley join Lee Mack and David Mitchell to sort the festive facts from the fibs.
It’s been another year of political scandals, pandemic restrictions, and interstate rivalries - but thankfully Sammy J and his team of troublemakers were there to lighten the load. From the Peter Allen inspired “I Can’t Call Australia Home”, to SJ Paterson’s “Ballad of Locky D”, we look back on the sketches that touched a nation. Or, at the very least, made them chuckle for three minutes every week. Catch Sammy J’s Christmas Special on Thursday 16 December at 9pm on ABC TV Plus.
After a bumper year in the garden, Gardening Australia has a very special final episode to celebrate the year and look forward to the holiday season ahead. The team visit the first family of rock, and roses, Jimmy and Jane Barnes, create some delicious homegrown snacks, and get stuck into some creative summer projects. Flowers, fragrance and fun – dig in on Friday 17 December at 7:30pm on ABC TV.
Christine Anu celebrates Christmas with a special episode of Compass . Christine explores how Australia’s melting pot of traditions, cultures and faiths not only sparks festive joy, but rejoices in the kindness and resilience of Australians on Tuesday 21 December at 8:30pm on ABC TV.
On Wednesday 22 December at 8pm on ABC TV, Tom Gleeson brings his unique Grinch style to the merry season with HARD QUIZ: Has Beens . Tom quizzes four people he believes have left their best days behind them; Tim Rogers, Rhonda Burchmore, Tony Armstrong and Ann-Maree Biggar.
Following at 8:30pm is Charlie Pickering with The Yearly 2021 – G’Déjà vu! Join The Weekly team as they wrap up the year in style. And, if 2021 felt a bit like 2020, let Charlie and a cavalcade of guest stars lead you through a riotous game of spot the difference! Now with added earthquake …
On Thursdays at 8pm throughout December and January, there will be back to back, brand new seasons of in-depth interview series One Plus One with Barrie Cassidy (December) and Kurt Fearnley (January) returning to their hosting roles. Guests across the summer will include veteran radio presenter Fran Kelly, Masterchef host Melissa Leong and Paralympic swimmer Ellie Cole to name a few.
Much-loved series Back Roads returns on Monday 3 January at 8pm on ABC TV, travelling to more of Australia’s most remote regions and towns including the stunning Eyre Peninsula (SA), the wilds of Cradle Mountain (TAS) and outback life in Charleville (QLD). So, embrace your spirit of adventure and join Heather Ewart and Joe O’Brien, Paul West, and Kristy O’Brien, as they discover the amazing people living life just off the back roads of Australia.
Following Back Roads, at 8:30pm we take an in-depth look at China with The China Century , an exploration of the forces that have shaped China’s tumultuous history and powered its phenomenal rise. Using the ABC’s own rich archive and interviews with China experts from around the world, this 5-part series weaves together dramatic and revealing stories of the revolutions, empires, business deals and power plays, and the people that have made modern China. The whole world is in the grips of The China Century. How did we get here? Where is it taking us?
Finally, there’s Australia Remastered: Forces of Nature - a wonderful four-part series that explores the ferocious elemental forces that nature inflicts upon the Australian continent, both enriching, challenging and defining the landscape and its hardy inhabitants. Join proud Arrenente and Arabana man, Aaron Pedersen on location on Sunday 30 January at 6pm.
So tune in to the ABC and ABC iview this holiday season. There’s plenty to be jolly about!