From Father Brown and The Darling Buds of May to Downton Abbey and EastEnders, it wouldn’t be Christmas without the surprising moments in television.
But what are the best Christmas TV scenes? Is one Christmas TV scene better than the rest?
Here is a list of the most shocking moments that have been talked about on Christmas TV.
EastEnders – Dirty Den releases Angie at Christmas
The moment Dirty Den stuns wife Angie with divorce papers topped an EastEnders poll of TV’s best Christmas scenes.
A 1986 episode of the long-running BBC series received 32% of the vote in a UKTV drama poll.
“Happy Christmas Ange” will forever remain one of TV’s most memorable performances.
You can watch this moment from one of EastEnders’ most iconic couples who broke up with Angie and Den Watts at Christmas here.
Gavin & Stacey’s Christmas Special – Nessa’s Proposal to Smithy
The Gavin & Stacey Christmas special in 2019 left viewers reeling over Nessa’s shocking proposal to Smithy.
It is the second best Christmas upstart chosen in UKTV’s Drama Channel poll, based on 2,000 viewers.
James Corden has since said he never discussed how Gavin and Stacey’s affair with fellow writer Ruth Jones would be resolved.
Sherlock – Sherlock steps from the roof of the hospital
In third place was the 2012 Christmas episode of Sherlock, in which the detective descends from the roof of a hospital to his apparent death.
The episode “The Reichenbach Fall” saw Moriarty and Sherlock’s final confrontation on the roof of St Barts Hospital.
You can watch the final showdown here.
EastEnders – Stacy and Max’s relationship
Back to watch for another Christmas TV cliffhanger is EastEnders with its 2007 Christmas special.
It is the episode that reveals Stacy and Max’s relationship.
Horrific scenes unfold at the Brannings Hotel after Christmas dinner.
You can watch highlights from the 2007 EastEnders special here.
Downton Abbey – Lady Mary gives birth just as Matthew is killed
A Downton Abbey Christmas episode in 2012 saw viewers shocked by emotional scenes before the credits suddenly started rolling.
Lady Mary gave birth only to have her partner, Matthew, killed in a car crash.
You can watch a heartfelt and tragic cliffhanger unfold here.
In the 1999 Royle Family special, Dennis goes into labor in another memorable Christmas TV scene.
On Christmas Day 1999, Denise went into labor in the bathroom and later gave birth to a baby boy named David Keanu Ronan Best.
Coronation Street – Tram crash
The Christmas episode of Coronation Street in 2010 had the biggest blowout yet.
On the occasion of Coronation Street’s 50th anniversary, a tram fell off the bridge with devastating effects.
You can watch the nail-biting moment as it happened here.
EastEnders – The Return of Frank Butcher
Ranked as the tenth best Christmas episode by drama poll respondents, it is EastEnders’ 1995 Christmas special episode.
With the famous EastEnders theme song playing, many fans of the soap have been left as speechless as Pat Butcher herself.
You can watch the classic EastEnders moment here.
Emma Aish, Director of Drama Channel, said: “These fantastic TV scenes represent some of the most memorable moments in British television history.
“TV has the power to tell stories that grab your attention and hold you, something the whole family can then come together to watch and enjoy.
“We’ve found that people love watching these dramatic moments again, remembering the first time they watched them with their loved ones and forging new family traditions.”
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