The Best Book-Related TV This Christmas

Some of the best TV shows are adaptations of books and at Christmas this trend is no different. Every year the UK's top TV channels broadcast a variety of exciting TV specials just for the Christmas and New Year period - and who doesn't love a bit of Christmas telly? This year, we'll be seeing a range of brilliant new TV adaptations, including a new Julia Donaldson show, not one but two new David Walliams TV specials and a gripping crime thriller. Read on to find out which book-related TV shows you can't miss this festive season...

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1. Ratburger - Sky1

David Walliams

David Walliams' Ratburger has become one of his most popular children's books and now Sky1 is having the honour of broadcasting an adaptation of this unusual story. Zoe lives with her lazy stepmother, played by Sheridan Smith, and dancing pet rat Armitage, but things are getting tough for Zoe as Burt from Burt's Burgers, played by David Walliams, is determined to take Armitage and make him into a burger. Funny and quirky, this adaptation will be loved by the whole family.

When's it on?

6pm Christmas Eve (it will also be available on NOW TV at the same time)

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2. The Highway Rat - BBC1

Julia Donaldson

This Christmas day highlight is adapted from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's well-loved picture book. The Highway Rat's title character is voiced by David Tennant and stars a whole host of other stars, including Tom Hollander, Nina Sosanya, Rob Brydon and Frances de la Tour. The Highway Rat steals food from all the other animals that travel along the highway but will his greed be his downfall? This fun, cheeky story follows in the same vein as the BBC's previous Julia Donaldson adaptations, including The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and last year's Stick Man.

When's it on?

4:45pm Christmas Day

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3. Little Women - BBC1

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott's moving story about the four March sisters is coming to the small screen once more in a 3-part adaptation for BBC1. Starring Emily Watson as Marmee and Angela Lansbury as Aunt March, this story is perfect for the festive period as it is all about family.

When's it on?

Part 1 - 8pm Boxing Day

Part 2 - 8pm 27th December

Part 3 - 8:30pm 28th December

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4. The Miniaturist - BBC1

Jessie Burton

Jessie Burton's The Miniaturist was an instant hit when it was published back in 2014, set in Amsterdam in 1686, this unusual book is filled with suspense. Young Nella marries the wealthy but elusive merchant Johannes Brandt and has to face living with his severe sister, Marin. But, things get stranger when Johannes gifts a miniature replica of their house to Nella filled with furnishings by a mysterious miniaturist who seems to be all too aware of the happenings of the Brandt household. The BBC has created a 2-part adaptation of this gorgeous novel to enchant you on Boxing Day. So, once the fun of Christmas day is done, you'll still have this gem to look forward to the next day.

When's it on?

Part 1 - 9pm Boxing Day

Part 2 - 9pm 27th December

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5. Grandpa's Great Escape - BBC1

David Walliams

The BBC's adaptation of David Walliams' charming and cheeky story about Jack and his adventurous Grandpa is sure to be a hit this Christmas. Starring David Walliams, Tom Courtenay and Jennifer Saunders, the story follows Jack and his Grandpa, a former Spitfire pilot with dementia, on a wild journey. Don't miss this hilarious and moving story brought to the small screen this New Year's Day.

When's it on?

6:55pm New Year's Day

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6. McMafia - BBC1

Misha Genny

Journalist Misha Genny has had a truly fascinating career; he has spoken to gangsters and criminals involved in all kinds of organised crime from across the world. His eye-opening non-fiction book looks at the shocking reality of international organised crime. This may not seem to be the most conventional basis for a BBC1 festive drama, but on New Year's Day, you can catch the first part of a gripping crime drama inspired by Misha Genny's book. The BBC's McMafia sees Alex, played by James Norton, grow up in a family with a Mafia past, and, as he tries to give himself a normal life, he is pulled into the world of crime and international intrigue he has tried desperately to steer clear from.

When's it on?

Part 1 - 9pm New Year's Day

Part 2 - 9pm 2nd January

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Celebrate the Christmas season with a whole range of exciting new stories, whether those be on the page or screen. Merry Christmas!

  • ASYTU
    Julia Donaldson
    • £5.59
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £1.40
    'Give me your buns and your biscuits! Give me your chocolate eclairs! For I am the Rat of the highway, and the Rat Thief never shares!' Life is not safe for the other animals, as the villainous Highway Rat gallops along the highway, stealing their food. Clover from a rabbit; nuts from a squirrel - he even steals his own horse's hay. Will he finally meet his comeuppance, in the form of a cunning duck? A fabulous, rollicking rhyme, in the style of the famous Alfred Noyes poem, 'The Highwayman', from the authors of 'The Gruffalo' and 'Zog'.
  • GPGE 9 years +
    David Walliams
    9 years +
    (2)
    • £6.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £6.00
    David Walliams' novels have had such a huge impact on children's fiction that now many people see the actor, comedian and fundraiser as an author first. Full of heart and humour, his stories look at issues that affect all children and have devilishly Dahl-style anarchy running through them.

    Following the success of Demon Dentist, Mr. Stink and The Boy in the Dress, we're delighted to be offering you his latest bestseller, Grandpa's Great Escape. Jack's Grandpa may wear his slippers to the supermarket and constantly forget Jack's name but he can still take to the skies and save the day.

    With spitfire journeys over London and great escapes through the city, this is an exciting adventure about the bond between grandparent and grandchild. It's also full of Walliams' long-time collaborator Tony Ross' distinctive illustrations.
  • RBG2 9 years +
    David Walliams
    9 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00
    Another fantastically funny book from David Walliams, Ratburger is a touching read full of zany humour, emotion and action and now is finally available in paperback. Sure to appeal to fans of Roald Dahl, especially The Twits, it tells the story of Zoe, a girl for who things are not looking good. Her stepmother Sheila is so lazy that she gets Zoe to pick her nose for her and the school bully Tina Trotts is also making her life a misery. Now, the evil Burt from Burt's Burgers is determined to get her pet rat - and guess what he wants to do with it? The clue's in the title of the book. After the success of The Boy in the Dress, Mr Stink, Billionaire Boy and Gangsta Granny, this is Walliams' fifth children's novel and, at Red House, we believe it could well be his best yet...

    This children's book has been hand-picked for you by Red House.
  • LWN2 9 years +
    Louisa May Alcott
    9 years +
    (1)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00
    Little Women is the warm and touching tale of the four March sisters: sensible Meg, tomboy Jo, shy Beth and fiery Amy and the trials they face struggling to make ends meet while their father is away from home. This classic tale is perfect for reading aloud to youngsters or ideal for confident young readers aged 9+ to tackle independently.

    Little Women is narrated by Jo, who is fiercely independent and desperate to become a writer, but she and her sisters' ambitions are frustrated by lack of money and a series of misfortunes.

    Absorbing and inspiring, Little Women is a must-read classic that is guaranteed to make you laugh and cry.
  • ALZRL
    Jessie Burton
    (2)
    • £7.19
    • RRP £8.99
    • Save £1.80
    THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed ...On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways ...Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall? Beautiful, intoxicating and filled with heart-pounding suspense, Jessie Burton's magnificent debut novel The Miniaturist is a story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.
  • AACPT
    Misha Glenny
    • £9.39
    • RRP £10.99
    • Save £1.60
    In this powerful and groundbreaking book, Misha Glenny takes us on a journey through the new world of international organised crime. For three years, he has been recording the stories of gun runners in Ukraine, money launderers in Dubai, drug syndicates in Canada, cyber criminals in Brazil, racketeers in Japan and many more. During his investigation of the dark side, he has spoken to countless gangsters, policemen and victims of organised crime while also exploring the ferocious consumer demand for drugs, trafficked women, illegal labour and arms across five continents. The journey begins with an appalling and inexplicable murder in England's stockbroker belt and continues with stories that are often horrifying, sometimes inspiring, usually bizarre and occasionally funny. But together they build a breathtaking picture of the shadow economy that has grown so fast that it may now account for about 20% of the world's GDP.Usually the preserve of sensationalist reporting in the tabloid press, organised crime has seeped into our lives in so many ways and often without our knowledge. This consistently riveting account unveils the nature of crime in today's world but it also offers profound insights into the pitfalls of a globalisation where the rules dividing the legal from the illegal are often far from clear. "McMafia" unpicks the nexus of crime, politics and money worldwide which have become entangled and interdependent in entirely novel forms since the 1980s. It argues that conventional policing methods are no longer appropriate to deal with a problem whose roots lie in global poverty and the ever widening divisions between rich and poor.