Lifestyle

On the BBC over Christmas: A bumper box of yuletide treats

Gavin and Stacey return in a one off Christmas special

aking a welcome return to BBC One on Christmas Day is Gavin & Stacey, from Ruth Jones and James Corden, in which the nation will discover what has been happening to the Shipmans and the Wests in the last ten years, as they all gather in Barry where Uncle Bryn is cooking Christmas dinner for over thirteen people. This one-off special also stars Alison Steadman, Larry Lamb, Rob Brydon, Mathew Horne, Joanna Page, Julia Davis and Adrian Scarborough. And Miranda Hart also returns for a one-off special, Miranda: My Such Fun Celebration, filmed at the London Palladium in which the cast and crew take a fond look back at some of their favourite memories from the past ten years.

Call the Midwife Christmas special

The nuns of Nonnatus House return for a Call The Midwife Christmas Special; and the residents of Albert Square have to cope with secrets and lies in what promises to be an explosive festive episode of EastEnders.

Brand new dramas being shown on BBC One over the festive season include A Christmas Carol with Guy Pearce as Scrooge, and also starring Stephen Graham, Charlotte Riley and Andy Serkis, in a new adaptation from the creator of Peaky Blinders, Steven Knight; Dracula will be brought to life from the pen of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, with award-winning Danish actor Claes Bang in the title role; The Trial Of Christine Keeler, starring James Norton, Ellie Bamber and Emilia Fox, takes a fresh look at one of the biggest political stories of the 20th Century; and the charming The Snail And The Whale, an adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s book, is voiced by Dame Diana Rigg, Sally Hawkins, Cariad Lloyd and Rob Brydon. There will also be a special animated adaptation of Sir Michael Morpurgo’s children’s book Mimi And The Mountain Dragon, with an original score from Oscar winning composer Rachel Portman.

Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show, recorded at the London Palladium, will see global superstar Sharon Osbourne bravely hand over her phone for Send To All and Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood awoken in the middle of the night for a special edition of Midnight Gameshow; and everyone’s favourite Irish mammy will be back for two festive specials in Finglas of Mrs Brown’s Boys in A Wonderful Mammy and Orange Is The New Mammy

From the Mischief Theatre comes The Goes Wrong Show: The Spirit Of Christmas, in which Santa and his elves try to bring happiness to a sad little girl; and Mackenzie Crook writes, directs and stars in a new adaptation of children’s favourite Worzel Gummidge, also starring Zoe Wannamaker, Sir Michael Palin, and Vicki Pepperdine as Aunt Sally.

Jodie Whittaker returns as Dr Who

Doctor Who, starring Jodie Whittaker in the title role alongside Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole, returns with a bang for a 12th series of new monsters and a fantastic line up of guest stars.

Mary Berry caters for a very special party for charity volunteers in A Berry Royal Christmas; and following another glittering series, the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special returns for an all-star episode as six of the most-loved Strictly stars – Debbie McGee, Chizzy Akudolu, Gemma Atkinson, Joe Sugg, Mark Wright and Richard Arnold take to the dancefloor in a one-off spectacular hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman; and Bradley Walsh and Holly Willoughby give members of their audience a chance to win a trip of a lifetime to Lapland in a brand new one off special, Take Off With Bradley And Holly.

During Advent, Songs Of Praise will broadcast two special programmes: in the first, Rev. Kate Bottley will celebrate the Nativity from a Christian-run farm in Devon, and the second will showcase the Christmas Big Sing. The Queen’s Christmas Message will once again be a highlight on BBC One on Christmas Day. On New Year’s Day, The Archbishop of Canterbury’s New Year’s Message will look at the year ahead, and the importance of connecting with people.

Lovers of wildlife programming also have much to look forward to over the festive season, with Liz Bonnin introducing a cast of charismatic animals in Winter Animals (w/t), detailing some of the remarkable strategies they use just to survive, and there will be a special compilation programme of the best bits from Seven Worlds, One Planet. Animal Park will return to Longleat safari park, where the team are hoping there have been enough donations of odd socks to keep the creatures cosy and warm this Christmas.

Mark De-Lisser will explore our modern day crisis in communication in Meet The Street At Christmas; and The Repair Shop At Christmas will use the team’s craft skills to restore some much loved family treasures in time for the festive season.

Dame Edna Rules The Waves, filmed in front of a live studio audience, features special guests Robert Rinder, with music from Niles Rodgers and Chic.

In addition, BBC One will host Christmas specials from some of its best-loved entertainment programmes, including Not Going Out; Still Open All Hours; A Question Of Sport; Celebrity Mastermind; Pointless Celebrities; Would I Lie To You?; The Graham Norton Show; Top Of The Pops; and The Hit List Celebrity Special.

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