What to watch on Christmas Day can cause as many family arguments as who gets the last roast potato.
And with a captive audience of millions to capitalise on, television channels are pulling out the stops in the traditional battle for viewers.
So with a schedule of Christmas classics, eagerly anticipated one-off specials and plenty of soap drama, there’s sure to be a row over the remote in many homes across Northern Ireland on the big day.
Christmas Day sees a battle between the cosy period drama and the soap giants as BBC and ITV go head to head in their annual primetime ratings war, while Channel Four and Channel 5 stick largely to the classics.
BBC1’s Eastenders will be screened at 8.45pm tonight, taking on ITV’s ratings hit Downton Abbey, while Coronation Street at 7.30pm while be running alongside BBC1’s hugely popular Call the Midwife.
Downton fans may be disappointed with the lack of seasonal spirit in this one-off special, however, as it catches up with the Crawleys who are on their summer holidays. But, at two hours long and with the masters of the house out of the country, fans are hoping captivating drama is bound to ensue.
Call the Midwife appears to have the monopoly on Christmas spirit with a tale of generosity towards an abandoned baby. The lavish production, which stars Miranda Harte as one of the postwar midwives, has been described in early reviews as a genuine festive treat.
Meanwhile, Eastenders’ long-running explosive storylines come to a head tonight with the Branning family taking centre stage.
Marriage and murder are expected to be on the cards, in perhaps a not-so-festive offering.
Elsewhere, Coronation Street is also laying on the drama in a bid to bring in viewers, offering up infidelity and a tense love triangle in its Christmas Day special.
In another of the BBC’s big festive weapons, Matt Smith returns in a Doctor Who Christmas special. Fans are said to be particularly excited about the Doctor finally kissing his new assistant, Jenna-Louise Coleman, in the Medieval-themed episode, which also has killer snowmen and Richard E Grant in a starring role.
Last year it was one of the most watched Christmas Day specials and it’s seen as one of the most formidable offerings again this Christmas.
For those looking for an excuse not to talk to their family for at least three hours, the first Lord of the Rings film, The Fellowship of The Ring, is showing on Channel 4 at 5.40pm.
And if you’re not yet sick of the cha-cha-chas and tangos from this year’s series, celebrities including Sheila Hancock and Katy Brand take to the floor for Strictly Come Dancing at 6.15pm on BBC1.
Classic viewing includes Gone With the Wind on Channel 5 at 9am and Singin’ in the Rain at 1.35pm on BBC2 — two timeless films that prove they just don’t make them quite like they used to.