ITV jingles charity collecting cans


Text Santa (Friday, December 19, ITV, 8pm)

What’s It All About? In a nutshell, it’s fundraising for this year’s featured charities – Teenage Cancer Trust, Guide Dogs, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Alzheimer’s Society, WellChild and Together for Short Lives – and it would seem that when it comes to charity work, ITV now has its go-to team line-up down to perfection.

So it’s time to wheel them out, all smiles, for the annual Text Santa evening of festivities and fundraising.

While award-hoggers Ant and Dec offer a little light relief to an otherwise serious subject matter, nicer-than-nice Phillip Schofield and Christine Bleakley will use their infectious personalities to keep the momentum going as they encourage people to donate to the great causes.

Meanwhile, Paddy McGuinness and Alesha Dixon will also do their bit and present a section of the show.

Among those getting involved this year are Carey Mulligan, Brenda Blethyn and Simon Cowell, while one of the main highlights will be George Clooney making a surprise visit to Downton Abbey in a mini-episode filmed exclusively for Text Santa. Meanwhile, the residents of Coronation Street appear in a comedy sketch.