THE festive period has given us some of the most memorable television moments of all time.
From record-breaking explosive episodes of some of our favourite soaps to the raciest scenes on TV – some dramatic Christmas moments have become timeless classics.
EastEnders has been known to produce some of the most explosive Christmas storylinesCredit: BBC supplied by Pixel8000 07917221968
Only Fools and Horses’ Christmas specials drew in huge viewing figuresCredit: BBC
Although 2020 has been a difficult year for TV bosses, they are sure to have some big moments lined up for this year’s festivities.
But before then, we are giving you the opportunity to vote for the best Christmas moments on the small screen…
Best soap moment
EastEnders: Dirty Den’s Christmas surprise for Angie (1986)
It was undoubtedly one of the most iconic episodes of the BBC One soap.
A whopping 29,550,000 tuned in to see Den reveal to his lying wife that he was aware she had been deceptive about her “illness”.
EastEnders’ 1986 Christmas episode was watched by half the countryCredit: BBC
Stunned viewers watched as Den presented her a shock Christmas present – divorce papers.
To this day, this episode remains a classic for many fans of EastEnders during one of the soap’s golden eras.
And it remains the single most watched episode of the Walford drama to this day.
Coronation Street: Cilla blows up Mr Wong’s chippy (2005)
As far as tragic characters go, few can compare to Coronation Street’s Cilla Battersby-Brown.
During her time on the show, she pulled off incredible scams and managed to rub her neighbours up the wrong way every chance she got.
Cilla was known for making a string of bad decisions on Coronation Street
Played by Wendi Peters, Cilla had some of the soap’s most dramatic moments.
In 2005, she had the genius idea to deep fry a turkey at the chippy where she worked.
She soon learned it was the wrong move when Mr Wong’s business exploded.
Hollyoaks: Evil Clare’s deadly strike (2006)
The year 2006 was absolutely massive for Hollyoaks.
Hollyoaks gripped viewers with a dark Christmas episode where evil Clare Devine killed husband Max
Viewers got a dark Christmas treat when Max discovered that his supervillain wife Clare was trying to poison him to death.
After Clare realised she had been busted, she hatched a cold plan which involved throwing Max’s son Tom’s jacket in an icy lake and making her husband jump in to save the boy.
Luckily, Max survives, and he sees Clare’s true colours for the first time.
Emmerdale: Airliner crashes into Beckindale (1993)
This is the year Emmerdale made headlines for its extravagant Christmas storyline.
Four of the ITV show’s most loved characters were killed off when a passenger jet breaks up in the skies over Beckindale, with flaming debris raining down on the sleepy village.
Emmerdale’s 1993 Christmas episode marked a turning point for the soap which was not taken as seriously as others at the timeCredit: ITV
The episode was watched by 18million people – its highest ever viewership to date.
EastEnders: Stacey and Max are busted (2007)
The Brannings took centre stage this episode as Stacey’s affair with her husband Bradley’s father, Max, was finally revealed.
Stacey and Max’s indiscretion was outed when the family decided to watch Lauren’s home video which had captured an intimate moment between them right before her wedding day.
EastEnders’ Max (Jake Wood) and Stacey (Lacey Turner) had a memorable Christmas in 2007
It would set the tone for explosive events to come years later and is still referenced to this day.
The episode which was watched by 14million viewers was named as the most explosive EastEnders Christmas showing since Den and Angie’s divorce papers by Radio Times.
Best comedy moment
Only Fools and Horses – Batman and Robin (1996)
This classic episode sees Del Boy and Rodney dress up as comic characters Batman and Robin thinking they are attending a fancy-dress party.
The pair are left red-faced when they get to the event only to discover that it is actually a wake.
Del Boy and Rodney dressed up for a fancy dress party only to find out it was actually a wake. Credit: BBC
As the thirteenth Christmas special of Only Fools and Horses, it brought in a record-setting 21.3million viewers.
The Royle Family: Special Christmas delivery (1999)
In this Christmas special, the Royles reluctantly enjoy dinner made by Denise, although they don’t seem too excited about her turkey.
Later, Denise’s water unexpectedly breaks and she has a Christmas baby three weeks early.
Denise’s water broke three weeks early as she welcomed a Christmas baby
Meanwhile, Jim is overcome with emotion as he recalls Denise as a baby.
The popularity of the special was enough for BBC producers to bring it back on screen in 2000.
Gavin and Stacey: Gavin’s shocking news (2008)
In this hilarious classic, the Wests and Nessa have been invited to spend Christmas with the Shipmans.
Mick decides to prepare a fancy Christmas feast for all of them.
Gavin dropped a bombshell on the family when he revealed he was moving to WalesCredit: BBC
Gavin makes a much-welcomed announcement about his promotion but he startles his family when he reveals he has to move to Wales.
The episode managed to pull in 7.2million viewers.
The Vicar of Dibley: Hilarious nativity play (1999)
Geraldine decides to celebrate the festive period by putting on a nativity play in front of the church.
Hugo and a pregnant Alice step into the role of Joseph and Mary and even show off their Hebrew speaking skills.
The nativity play episode of The Vicar of Dibley is a fan favourite to this dayCredit: .
During the play, however, Alice’s water breaks and she goes into labour and gives birth on stage.
An audience member then exclaims that it is the most realistic nativity play she has ever seen.
The Office: Tim and Dawn finally get together (2003)
After three years, the BBC documentary crew are back at the office for one last visit.
The finale of the show saw former receptionist Dawn and Tim finally share a kiss after a long drawn out will-they-won’t-they spanning two series.
Dawn and Tim finally shared a kiss in the last ever episode of The Office
Last year, it was voted as the greatest Christmas episode of a sitcom by the readers of Radio Times.
Co-creator Ricky Gervais said the episode was a way to “repay the viewing public for sitting through the bleakness and tragedy of the previous six hours of David Brent.”
Best drama moment
Doctor Who: First ever Christmas special (2005)
Viewers saw the first full episode of David Tennant as the tenth Doctor 15 years ago.
In the episode, called The Christmas Invasion, the human race is threatened by the evil Sycorax.
Fans saw David Tennant’s full episode debut as the tenth doctor in the 2005 Christmas specialCredit: BBC
The Doctor is the only one who can stop them but he is in a coma with post-regenerating trauma.
This marked the first Christmas special in the show’s history, with the format going on to become a staple of the festive broadcasting schedule.
Downton Abbey: Happy arrivals and tragic exits (2012)
This Christmas cracker saw the early return of Lady Mary from Scotland to deliver her baby.
An overjoyed Matthew rushes to the hospital to meet his new heir but tragedy strikes when on his way back to Downton Abbey when he is killed in a car accident.
Matthew was unexpectedly killed off after Lady Mary gave birth to their baby
The episode was viewed by millions of fans who were left speechless by the surprise twist.
Last yea Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew, said he still has to apologise to fans about his decision to quit the show.
Sherlock : The jump (2012)
Moriarty tells Sherlock that to save the lives of Watson and Mrs Hudson, he must take his own life.
Viewers were stunned when Moriarty even appeared to shoot himself as Sherlock dramatically jumps off a roof to his death.
A bloodied Sherlock Holmes, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, after jumping off a roof Credit: BBC
The episode was able to pull in an audience of over nine million.
And it sent viewers into a frenzy as they questioned whether Sherlock had actually died and what that would mean for the show going forward.
Victoria: Ice queen (2017)
The series debuted in 2016 and immediately built a strong fan base.
It told the story of Queen Victoria’s balance of family life and service to the country.
Prince Albert, played by Tom Hughes, moment before his perilous skating accident
In this special, there is panic when Queen Victoria goes in search of Prince Albert and sees him skating on a frozen lake at Buckingham Palace.
She is terrified when the ice breaks and he falls into the water as she desperately rushes to save his life.
The Snowman: Magic melts away (1982)
Based on Raymond Briggs’ 1978 book of the same name, The Snowman became an instant success upon release.
It tells the story of a boy who builds a large snowman and is elated when it magically comes to life.
The Snowman has a heartbreaking ending – but one that fans love anyway
They go on an adventurous journey and even meet Father Christmas along the way.
The morning after the journey home, there is heartbreak when the sun comes out and the boy wakes up to find that the Snowman has melted.
The film was nominated for an Oscar award and won a Bafta.
Racy Ann Summers advert (2012)
The original cut of Ann Summers’ advert Christmas for Grownups was considered too hot for TV and had to have some strict restrictions put in.
It shows two models writhing together on a bed in their underwear while the rest of the house covered in Christmas decorations is desserted.
The advert was enough to heat up the cold winter in 2012
Poor Auntie Ethel even calls on a mobile phone to wish a Merry Christmas but the pair are unwilling to break up the hot action.
It was billed as the sexiest Christmas advert ever when it was first released in 2012.
Holly Willoughby on Ministry of Mayhem (2004/05)
This Morning Presenter Holly Willoughby has won critical acclaim for her role on the daytime TV show.
Before then, however, she donned this sexy outfit complete with over the knee boots for an episode of Ministry of Mayhem.
Holly Willoughby sent pulses racing as she hosted children TV Ministry of Mayhem
Alison Brie in Community (2011)
Alison Brie donned a sexy Santa outfit as she performed a seductive routine for her co-star.
Her look is completed with knee-high black stockings and an off the shoulder mini dress.
Alison Brie gave a rousing performance in this sexy Christmas number
In the course of the performance, she even briefly gives a lap dance and lifts her miniskirt to show off her underwear.
That’s a lot of Christmas cheer to be thankful for.
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