Not going out for NYE? The best TV and films YOU can watch instead

Can’t go out for NYE? Here’s what’s on TV! FEMAIL reveals the best viewing options from Spectre to Jools Holland and Disney’s family-friendly Encanto

  • People across the UK are choosing to give New Year’s Eve celebrations a miss
  • If you’re staying home in your pyjamas, here are some of the best things to watch
  • FEMAIL rounds up films and TV shows on BBC, ITV, C4 and streaming services 

People across the UK are preparing to swap their party heels for a pair of slippers as they give traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations a miss in favour of a night in at home. 

Positive Covid tests, the threat of Omicron and nightclub closures in Wales and Scotland means millions will be facing a quiet night in, while Boris Johnson has urged those who are going out to celebrate responsibly. 

While being tucked up in your pyjamas at midnight might not be the most glamorous way to ring in 2022, a blockbuster selection of film and TV shows means there is still plenty to enjoy even if you’re not leaving your sofa. 

Whether you want to hold a living room soiree with Jools’ Annual Hootenanny (11.25pm, BBC2) or are in search of a bit of escapism from the year that has been (Indiana Jones, anyone?), there is something to suit every stay-at-home plan.   

Here, FEMAIL offers up some of the best films and TV programmes on offer across BBC1, ITV, Channel 4 and streaming services so you can find your perfect match this New Year’s Eve.


A QUESTION OF SPORT: Paddy McGuinness hosts the BBC1 quiz show at 8pm tonight



11.25pm, BBC2

Jools Holland welcomes in 2022 with his 29th New Year’s Eve party. Ed Sheeran, Gregory Porter, Lulu, Rag’n’Bone Man and Ruby Turner are among the stars belting out the music, while the Pipes and Drums of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards will make their customary appearance. 


Paddy McGuinness and team captains Sam Quek and Ugo Monye are joined by five-time Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds, multiple Snooker world champion Stephen Hendry, European gold medal-winning sprinter Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and presenter Lee McKenzie.



Five former champions return to the kitchen to compete for the ultimate prize. Facing two demanding challenges set by MasterChef judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace are 2011 champion Tim Anderson, 2014 champion Ping Coombes, 2017 champion Saliha Mahmood-Ahmed, 2018 champion Kenny Tutt and 2019 champion Irini Tzortzoglou. 



Team captains Paul Merton and Ian Hislop are joined by a variety of guest hosts and panellists from the worlds of comedy, journalism and current affairs for a compilation that looks back at the big news of 2021. 

GRAHAM NORTON: The talk show host is joined by celebrities for his annual Hogmanay chat



Graham is joined by Jessica Chastain, Claire Foy, Peter Dinklage, Michael Sheen, Cush Jumbo and Joe Lycett. Music comes from The Divine Comedy. 



Years & Years singer Olly Alexander throws a spectacular New Year’s Eve party as we build up to the midnight moment. Olly performs many of his hits and some surprise cover songs as well as duetting with a special guest, pop superstar Kylie Minogue.


SPECTRE: Daniel Craig is James Bond in this 2015 film, which memorably opens in Mexico City

SPECTRE (2015)


From the exhilarating pre-credits sequence, against the backdrop of the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City, to a spectacular denouement in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament, Spectre is a proper joyride of a James Bond film. ITV is airing it up until 11.45pm – perfect for enjoying with a martini on NYE. 



Start the New Year with this 2012 action thriller. Ryan Reynolds plays a lowly CIA operative keeping a safe house in Cape Town, whose life becomes more interesting with the arrival of a renegade CIA spy (Denzel Washington). 

After the first of many bloodbaths, the duo go on the run. Reynolds tries to keep his superiors informed, until he realises one may be the bad guy.


INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM: Get stuck into the classic starring Harrison Ford

In the mood for something else? Two more must-watch films

Shane (1953) PG 

9.55am, more4 

 In this influential western, Alan Ladd stars as the mystery gunslinger coming to the aid of a beleaguered town. But there’s more to Shane than the hackneyed gunfighter stereotype. 

The Aftermath (2019) 15 

9pm, bbc2 

This elegant if melancholy drama, set in Hamburg in the murky post-war years, follows a forbidden romance in the house of a German architect. Keira Knightley, Alexander Skarsgard and Jason Clarke star.



Harrison Ford returns as the man with a fedora and a whip in Spielberg’s action adventure. Indy heads to India to find a mystical stone that a sinister cult have stolen from a village. 



Adam Hills, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe are joined by a host of celebrity guests as they welcome in a new year.



The celebs hit the couch for some of 2021’s best TV – from Maureen Lipman and Bez to Mo Gilligan and Tom Jones. The shows include Masked Dancer, First Dates, Quizness, Extreme Sisters and Sex / Life. 



Kick off the new year with one of the ultimate rom-coms. Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell star as two people who should obviously be a couple, but only meet at weddings and funerals.  


BEING THE RICARDOS: Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem play Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz

Fun for the whole family! Films and TV to enjoy with the kids 

Encanto (2021) PG


There are no baddies in Disney’s warm hug of animation, about a girl without special powers in a family who all have them. The songs come from Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, currently the hardest-working man in show business. From Christmas Eve.

Far From The Tree


Sweet, dialogue-free Disney short that was shown with Encanto in cinemas, and tells a tale of parenting through a raccoon’s fortunes. 

Mary Poppins Returns 

BBC iPlayer 

The Banks children, Michael and Jane, are all grown up in this sequel to the superb 1964 original. When trouble looms for widower Michael and his three youngsters, guess who stops by with spoonfuls of wisdom and joy? Emily Blunt is perfectly delightful as the magical Ms Poppins, with Ben Whishaw as Michael and Emily Mortimer as Jane.


BBC iPlayer

Superworm is a long, strong worm with amazing skills and a big heart, who keeps on saving the day. But what happens when he gets too full of himself and starts to ignore his friends? 

The Very Small Creatures 


Sweet and short claymation series from Aardman (Wallace & Gromit).


Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem play Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in Aaron Sorkin’s feast of a film, which digs into their fiery relationship during one particularly tense week of filming on I Love Lucy – in which she was accused of being a Communist, and he of being unfaithful. 

There are clunky lines as it gets going, but the cast is so full of powerhouse performers, and Sorkin is such a master of behind-the-scenes drama (The Newsroom, The West Wing, etc), that you’re never less than riveted. 

A great spectacle from start to finish.


The second in what could become a tradition from Amazon, in which female comic performers gather to eulogise the year just gone. This time, they include Jane Fonda and Chelsea Peretti (Brooklyn Nine-Nine). 


Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling front a starry, offbeat dramatisation of the build-up to the financial crisis of 2007-08. 


Spencer (2021) 12 

(BT Film Store, Sky Store, Virgin)

Kristen Stewart is superb as Princess Diana  in this highly stylised, fictionalised and borderline horrific portrait of a Windsor family Christmas at Sandringham in 1991. It’s from the director of Jackie, and hinges around Diana’s decision to leave the royal family.

Candyman (2021) 15 

(BT Film Store, Sky Store, Virgin)

Christmas is traditionally a time for creepy stories and this stylish, stand-alone sequel to the urban legend movies is certainly unsettling. Jordan Peele (Get Out) produces a socially conscious take on the horror of a man who murders people after they repeat his name in a mirror. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II stars.

Mothering Sunday (2021) 15 

(BT Film Store, Sky Store, Virgin)

Rich and romantic drama about a writer’s awakening, based on Graham Swift’s novel set in the 1920s. The cast, led by Odessa Young and including Olivia Colman and Colin Firth, is top-drawer. 


QUEER EYE: The boys are back for another season of makeovers – this time in Texas

Queer Eye (Season 6) 

The life makeover gurus bring their heartfelt advice to the state of Texas for this new series. Expect tears of joy and sadness from those they help and, probably, plenty of cowboy attire on the boys – it is Texas, after all.

Jimmy Carr: His Dark Material 

The comedian pulls no punches in this stand-up special, in which he tackles vaccines and mansplaining, and delivers jokes he describes as ‘career-enders’. Carr (left) spares no blushes with his language, either, so it would be wise to keep young ears out of the room.

Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer 

The gritty true-crime show profiles convicted US serial killer Richard Cottingham, who is known to have killed 11 people between 1967 and 1980 – but claims to have murdered up to 100.

Stay Close (All eight parts) 

STAY CLOSE: This adaptation of the Harlan Coben novel has plenty of twists and turns

Seemingly happy people with dark pasts are a mainstay of Harlan Coben thrillers, and this latest example is no exception. Cush Jumbo stars as a working mum with a secret, James Nesbitt is a detective after a missing man, and Richard Armitage is a photographer with unsettling images. Strap in for the twists. 

The Lost Daughter (2021)

DON’T LOOK UP: Meryl, Leo and Jennifer Lawrence star in this A-List Adam McKay film 

Maggie Gyllenhaal’s writer-director debut is dark and sublime, and a big Oscar hope for Netflix. Olivia Colman stars as a prickly mum with a sad past; Jessie Buckley plays her in the flashbacks that explain why, and does so seamlessly – despite looking little like Colman.

Don’t Look Up (2021) 

A comedy about how people will do anything to ignore bad news, in which two scientists (Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio, looking as drab as is possible) try to tell everyone that the end is nigh. Meryl Streep’s US President is one unwilling ear.  

Emily In Paris

This breezy US drama about an American abroad is sneered at by some, but it’s also hugely popular, and makes for cosy viewing. In the new season, Emily (Lily Collins) makes more of an effort to understand the French – and French – and has a new love interest.

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