Christmas TV: An alternative guide to what's on the box


Mama June, Miss Fisher, Pat Sharp and rabbit mascot

The festive TV guides are out and you've sat down with a pen to circle the shows you don't want to miss.

Downton Abbey, EastEnders and Strictly Come Dancing are all back this year.

Maybe you're not a fan, or you're just going to catch up after New Year's Eve, when you need your favourite show to cheer you up.

Either way, here's your guide to some of the "alternative" offerings over Christmas from the channels you may not have even considered.

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, 6pm, Alibi, Christmas Eve

Miss Fisher

There's nothing like sitting down in front of a good whodunnit over the Christmas holidays.

If you can't wait for the return of Sherlock on New Year's Day and you've had your fill of Poirot repeats, then Miss Fisher is here to help.

In Murder Under the Misletoe the ever-glamorous Miss Phryne Fisher must solve a suspicious death when a holidaymaker is electrocuted while hanging Christmas lights.

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, 8pm, TLC, Christmas Day

Honey Boo Boo and family

Honey Boo Boo, whose real name is Alana Thompson, is a six-year-old US beauty pageant contestant who lives with her family in rural Georgia.

Her signature drink is "go-go juice" - a mix of energy and fizzy drinks - which her mother, Mama June, gives her before pageants.

This year the family get in the Christmas spirit by going "to the local flea market to find Christmas bargains", while learning about the "joy of re-gifting".

Missionary Positions, 9.40pm, PBS America, Christmas Day

Bunny mascot

Two young pastors from California are on the road to preach to people about the evils of pornography.

Unlike other anti-porn campaigners, this pair have set up their own Christian sex website to deter users.

Other unconventional methods of getting their message across include a giant inflatable penis advertising their goals and a rabbit mascot.

How it's Made double bill, 11pm, Quest, Christmas Day

Wooden shoes

Technically this is not a festive edition of the show.

However, if you're interested in finding out how airline meals, paper cups and trumpets are manufactured, then this is the programme for you.

The second episode will demonstrate how padlocks, hair clippers, wooden shoes and synthetic leather are made.

Quiz debuts, 2pm onwards, Challenge, 28 and 29 December

Pat Sharp with Melanie and Martina

You might feel like it's been on TV forever but Deal or No Deal actually started in 2005.

You can see where it all began when Challenge shows the first episodes of numerous "classic" game shows over one weekend.

Other family favourites you may (or may not) remember include Funhouse (1989) with Pat Sharp (pictured), The Crystal Maze (1990) and Total Wipeout (2009).

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