BBC Three: What makes a great Christmas special?

We all have our own sign for when the Christmas period has begun. For some people, it is when Mariah Carey does her yearly November 1 post. For others, it is the first day they see the “Holidays are Coming” Coke ad.

For the directors and actors of Christmas TV specials, this time comes much earlier than most of us – in August, when most festive television is created.

Getting into the Christmas spirit during the heat of summer is just one of the things discussed into my deep dive into the making of Christmas specials, published on the BBC Three site in December 2022. Click below to read it.

For the article, I spoke to:

The result is one of my personal favourite pieces I have ever written. Did you know, for example, that you rarely see people eat Christmas dinner in these specials because it’s such a continuity nightmare to keep resetting the turkey? Or that James Corden is “one of the great cold actors.” All this and more is revealed in the piece.

Published by Samuel Spencer

Journalist at BBC Three. Deputy Culture Editor at Newsweek. Formerly at, Press Association, ARTINFO. Lover of film, TV and the actresses it they give work to. Contact me

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