those deadly Home Alone booby traps are put to the test

The unofficial science of Home Alone

21:00, SkyMax

Would the Wet Bandits have survived those Home Alone traps in real life? They’re 10/10 lethal, says engineer and scientist Dr Zoe Laughlin, who proves her point by helping James Acaster and Guz Khan recreate stunts like a blowtorch to the head (this time on a turkey in a wool hat) and cans of face paint. Holly Richardson

Mary Berry’s Last Christmas

8pm, BBC One

Twice-roasted potatoes, cheese scones, and a trifle made with canned pears? Mary Berry is back with this warm embrace of a festive cooking show. In addition to showing us how to crumble her easy (sort of) recipes, make pumpkin tortelli with Angela Hartnett, take Rylan on a brussel sprout hunt (the TV duo we never knew we needed), and try Monica’s traditional Galetti Samoan dish palusami, which promises to “blow off the Christmas gloves”. Human resources


9pm, BBC Two

Gyles Brandreth holds a mangled teddy bear and Chris McCausland strokes a toy turkey – it’s Christmas, IQ style. Sandi Toksvig holds it all together, with Alan Davies and Aisling Bea also in the house. Brandreth shows up with Fozzie Bear and lots of facts, but the other guests bring lots of comic clippings. Hannah Verdier

Live at the Apollo Christmas Special

9.45pm, BBC Two

“Merry fucking Christmas! I am your merry Christmas tree! Rosie Jones, in her multi-colored, tiered dress, is the host’s top pick for this standup show holiday special. Onstage after Jones’ warm-up: Cally Beaton tackles cost-of-living crisis as a single parent, then Eshaan Akbar talks deafness, public transport and supermarket Christmas ads. All good things, then. Human resources

Christmas college challenge

8.30pm, BBC Two

The annual Christmas quiz kicks off with Soas University of London versus Balliol, Oxford, in another round of the long-running quiz that can make one feel infinitely superior, therefore incredibly bloodless, in the space of seconds. It includes questions (“comfortably difficult, though I’d say easier than in the student series,” Paxo withers) about Alan Turing, Tchaikovsky, and the Crab Nebula. Ali Catterall

Five Star Christmas: Inside Corinthia

20:00, Channel 4

The pressure is on as the expensive London hotel prepares for a festive season that will be its biggest earner of the year, but if all isn’t perfect, some of those wealthy clients won’t be returning next Christmas. In the restaurant, Tom Kerridge’s new menu calls for the best British beef and exquisite trimmings, with a nervous launch night in sight; a large corporate party, meanwhile, must amaze guests as well as pamper them. Jack Seal

Film choice

Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis, 1985) 2.45pm, ITV1
Fire up the DeLorean and whip out your best Chuck Berry mix, Marty McFly is back with the greatest time-travel comedy of the ’80s (and its sequels, Tuesday & Wednesday). Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd make a great comedy team, as 1985 Marty (Fox) travels back to 1955 – courtesy of a time machine invented by Doc (Lloyd) – and inadvertently interferes with his parents’ (Crispin Glover) courtship. and Leah Thompson). A witty twist on the high school movie, with a heavy dose of 1950s nostalgia and a star turn from the affable Fox. Simon Wardell

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