Christmas crackers! The very best TV to watch this week

Christmas crackers! The very best TV to watch this week

From Mayflies to the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special, here are all the top picks for the festive period

Martin Compston and Tony Curran in Mayflies.
Martin Compston and Tony Curran in Mayflies. Photograph: Jamie Simpson/BBC/© Synchronicity Films

Mayflies
Wednesday, 9pm, BBC One
This beautifully told two-part story is an adaptation of Andrew O’Hagan’s 2020 novel, delicately tackling male friendship, loyalty and grief. When Tully Dawson (Tony Curran) tells his best pal Jimmy (Martin Compston) that he has terminal cancer, the two men reminisce over old times growing up in a working-class coastal town near Glasgow during the 80s. Curran is deeply moving as a man who refuses to let death have the last laugh, with Ashley Jensen as his firecracker wife Anna. With plenty of flashbacks brimming with rebellious teen spirit and a soundtrack of New Order and the Smiths, it’s a nostalgic and poignant watch for the quieter days of the festive period. Hollie Richardson

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