Tonight on TV: Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones return in the Detectorists special

private detectors

9pm, BBC Two

The greatest Christmas gift that this year’s holiday tables have provided is surely the return of this one-time hit comedy. Lance (Toby Jones) turns heads with a sensational discovery and breaks his detection protocols in a way that jeopardizes his friendship with Mackenzie Crook’s Andy. And as scouts have always shown us, for all the time-traveling finds waiting to be found in the fields of England, friendship is the greatest treasure of them all. As always, a small but perfectly formed nugget of redeeming and gently wonderful TV gold. Phil Harrison

The greatest snowman

7.30pm, Channel 4

Please TV gods, let this snowman-building contest show become an inveterate festive item. After his triumph as last year’s contestant, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen is back – this time to judge the creations of other celebrities. Gemma “The GC” Collins, bandleader Gareth Malone, The Inbetweeners star Joe Thomas and DJ Yinka Bokinni get into the deep snow while completing assignments at their alpine resort. Joining Llewelyn-Bowen on judging assignments is British sculptor Taslim Martin and Swedish artist sisters Sara and Emilie Steele. Let the lighthearted fun begin. Holly Richardson

Christmas repair shop

8 p.m., BBC One

Crafty… Jay Blades at their Christmas repair shop. Photo: Sarah Weil/BBC/Ricochet Ltd

A show that might have been designed with festive vibes in mind. This year, Jay Blades and his gang of crafty experts will be reviving an aged tree that has been at the heart of family Christmases for many years. They’ll also revive a damaged trombone and adjust the projector — which, of course, means they can see footage of their dearly departed loved ones. Cute, redeeming and totally cuddly. PH

2022 Big Fat Competition

9 p.m., Channel 4

Jimmy Carr hosts the annual Keep Your News Quiz, with the platinum jubilee and drawn-out controversy over the Don’t Worry Darling publicity tour likely to feature heavily. He answers questions from veteran BFQs Richard Ayoade, Jonathan Ross, and Kathryn Ryan, plus Rose Matafio, Maisie Adam, and Stephen Merchant. Jack Sale

Royal Institution Christmas Lecture

8pm, BBC Four

Did you know that the ear bone can tell you where your mother lived when she was pregnant? This is just one of the fascinating facts revealed by forensic anthropologist Professor Sue Black and her glamorous assistant, TV-savvy Emilia Fox (who definitely knows a thing or two about anatomy from her time on Silent Witness). They will perform an autopsy on a 1,000-year-old skeleton in the first episode of 2022 of this long-running science lecture series. Ellen E. Jones

Robbie Coltrane at the BBC

9pm, BBC Four

From maverick psychologist to magical gamekeeper, Robbie Coltrane’s onscreen career has certainly been eclectic. Narrated twice by star Celia Imrie, this soulful show takes on his early days as a stand-up comedian before celebrating his television success and eventual catapult to Hollywood’s big league, courtesy of two huge movie franchises – Harry Potter and James Bond. Katie Rosinski

Movie selection

Dick Van Dyke shows his sidewalk graffiti of Julie Andrews, Karen Dotrice, and Matthew Garber in Mary Poppins.
Dick Van Dyke, Julie Andrews, Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber in Mary Poppins. Photo: Walt Disney Productions/Allstar

Mary Poppins (Robert Stephenson, 1964), 2.25pm, BBC One
Apparently, Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers hated the songs, the animation, and the dilution of the main character in the 1964 Disney adaptation. She also didn’t want Dick Van Dyke as Bert, which is understandable, but in the first three points it’s hard to be disappointed with the movie. Final. The visual effects may be outdated but the click rate is high on the number of songs; Julie Andrews is strict enough as the magical nanny; A “worst cockney ever,” Van Dyke is great when he’s limited to singing and dancing. Simon Wardle

The Mitchells Vs the Machines (Michael Ryanda, 2021), 3.45pm, ITV1
It’s tough when you’re a budding filmmaker in the social media zeitgeist, and your dad can’t even get his laptop working. Then there are the digital gadgets that have just taken over the world… Michael Ryanda and Jeff Rowe’s brilliantly animated adventure weaves questions about growing up and parental relationships into a bustling, clever disaster plot, as teen Katie (Broad City’s Abbie Jacobson) uses her tech skills to defeat an evil smartphone Olivia Colman — but ultimately still needs the DIY abilities of her awkward father, Rick (Danny McBride), to win the day. Southwest

Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990) 10.15pm, BBC Two
Martin Scorsese’s crime drama The Godfather gives it a run for its money as the biggest gangster movie of all time. Ray Liotta (another one at the 2023 anniversary Oscars) has never looked better as Henry Hill, a real-life character drawn into the machinations of the Brooklyn mafia and into the orbit of two malevolent and sometimes terrifying mobsters: Jimmy the Gent ( Robert De Niro) and Tommy (Joe Pesci). The 30 years of their engagement are told in depth and style – the single continuing image of Henry and his girl as they arrive at the club is a doozy – and features a select soundtrack of period songs. Southwest

live sport

Premier League: Brentford-Tottenham, 12:30pm, Prime Video The First Division resumes, with Crystal Palace – Fulham, Everton – Wolves, Leicester – Newcastle, Southampton – Brighton at 3 pm, then Aston Villa – Liverpool at 5:30 pm, and Arsenal – West Ham at 8 pm.

The Race: Kempton, 12:30pm, ITV Including the King George VI Chase at 2:30 p.m.

#Tonight #Mackenzie #Crook #Toby #Jones #return #Detectorists #special

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