BBC reveal festive highlights

‘Ding dong, ding dong, gotta lotta things on…’ as the beeb’s festive jingle once said.

“Once again this year, Christmas promises to be a very special time on the BBC. We’ve got a wonderful array of stars to keep everyone entertained, with the very best in drama, entertainment, comedy and documentaries over the festive period. There is something for everyone and I know our audiences will enjoy the fantastic range of magical treats on offer across the BBC.” – Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content

There will be programmes for every member of the family and the chance to enjoy some special moments together, the Beeb promise this Christmastime, in the company of some well-loved performers.

Bringing explosive drama and intrigue to BBC One the channel will air Luther, an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders, plus a six-part drama adaptation of 19th century classic Les Misérables.

Sticking with grim EastEnders will be hoping for a viewing boost; currently lagging at the bottom of the Barb Top 20 ratings with Emmerdale and Coronation Street thrashing it in the viewing log for across ‘four screen’ figures (TV, Computer, Tablet and moblie). Christmas is rarely a quiet time in Albert Square and this year is no exception when at least one person is left with blood on their hands. New Year kicks off in dramatic style for Mel and Ray as their wedding day arrives but what does Mel have in store for her deceitful groom? As the bride-to-be puts the final pieces of her plan into place, she comes to a disturbing realisation.

EastEnders will be hoping for a ratings boost this Christmas Day.

After being driven to levels of depression only EastEnders can inflict, cheer up with some music. Take That mark their 30th anniversary with a special one off programme for BBC One and also on a more perky level a mix of animated adventures and family fun with Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Zog and David Walliams’ The Midnight Gang, as well as the more moving interpretation of Richard Adams’ bestselling novel Watership Down. Dead rabbits at Christmas. Lovely.

Other specials lined up include Call The Midwife, Doctor Who, Mrs Brown’s Boys, Hold the Sunset, Still Open All Hours and Strictly Come Dancing, plus a live special of  Not Going Out and brand new comedy Click & Collect; and celebrating 20 years, the stars of Goodness Gracious Me alongside celebrity fans of the hit BBC Two series discuss some of the award-winning show’s most memorable sketches.

In documentary, the illustrious careers of comedian Billy Connolly, writer Andrew Davies and storyteller Raymond Briggs are explored; and natural history programming includes frozen action Spy In The Snow, Gordon Buchanan’s Grizzly Bear Cubs and Me, Christmas Sky with Chris and Michaela and Snow-Wolf. Amongst a raft of comedy and entertainment specials, Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show returns once more stuffed with big stars, big laughs and big surprises and entertainment show All Together Now is back, with a star-studded celebrity special set to get the nation joining in.

BBC Two will be found three sheets to the wind, Two Doors Down.

There’s plenty more comedy on BBC Two with a fourth series of Two Doors Down, as well as festive specials from Upstart Crow, QI, Mock the Week and Live at the Apollo. For music lovers, Fleetwood Mac: A Musical History on BBC Four celebrates the iconic band, while Bros: After the Screaming Stops offers a fascinating insight into one of pop’s original boy bands. Plus, there are four Top of the Pops specials including the traditional Christmas Day and New Year’s Day editions on BBC One as well as The Story of Top of the Pops 1987 over on BBC Four.

Over on BBC Two, Gregory Porter and friends enjoy a seasonal cocktail of music and song in Merry Christmas Baby, while Petroc Trelawny hosts the traditional New Year’s Day Concert from Vienna. On BBC One, Aled Jones celebrates Christmas in Edinburgh with a thousand Songs of Praise viewers in the McEwan Hall and My Faith And Me sees four public figures explore their relationships with religion and faith.

The Queen’s Christmas Message will as ever be a highlight of Christmas Day. And this year Christmas worship on BBC One will broadcast live from two glorious settings: Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve from Buckfast Abbey in Devon and Christmas Morning Live from Oldham Parish. BBC Two celebrates the festive season with the return of much-loved Christmas Eve tradition, Carols From King’s, as well as Christmas At St Paul’s, with unprecedented access to the iconic cathedral.

Will Mrs Brown be falling off her Christmas tree for the third time this festive season?
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