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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

The BBC today released information for what to expect on your television screens this Christmas. From dramas to entertainments, documentaries to films; it looks like our schedules will be incredibly full. We may not even have time to open up our Christmas presents by the looks of it.

The highlight of any Whovian is the Christmas special of Doctor Who. During the fundraising showbiz extravaganza Children in Need, the title of this year’s special has been announced as The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe. It will star Matt Smith as The Doctor and a stellar cast including Bill Bailey, Claire Skinner, Arabella Weir and Alexander Armstrong.


An animation of The Gruffalo’s Child will be shown and it is featured by an impressive cast of Shirley Henderson, Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Brydon, James Corden, Robbie Coltrane, John Hurt and Tom Wilkinson.

An adaptation of Mary Norton’s classic children’s books will be brought to the 21st Century with The Borrowers. The television film will feature Stephen Fry, Christopher Eccleston and Victoria Wood.


As well as dramas, the BBC has a vast amount of comedy for the festive period. Absolutely Fabulous will return with two new episodes. Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley will reprise their roles as Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone. They will be joined by the original cast of Julia Sawalha as Saffy, June Whitfield as mother and Jane Horrocks as Bubble.

We will see the return of Sir David Jason in his first comedy role for 20 years in The Royal Bodyguard. As revealed in a previous news piece, Sue Johnson will star in a heart-warming comedy called Lapland.

The BBC has also announced a new comedy in their press release:

“Leading the laughs on BBC Two this yuletide will be brand-new four-part comedy adventure series The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff. Kicking off the series there will be a one-hour Christmas special featuring an impressive cast of Robert Webb, Katherine Parkinson, Stephen Fry, David Mitchell, Celia Imrie, Pauline McLynn and Johnny Vegas.”


The much awaited Michael McIntyre Christmas Special will air with Christmas editions of Mrs Brown’s Boys, Rev, Outnumbered, John Bishop’s Britain, Have I Got News For You and The Graham Norton Show.
Top Gear intends to outdo last year’s specials with a trip to India to boost the British economy. Messrs Clarkson, Hammond and May are equipped with three old British cars and a range of uniquely British products and they will endure a road trip around India.

George Entwistle, director of BBC Vision, said:

“At the heart of our 2011 Christmas offering, we have a number of programmes inspired by the work and life of one of Britain’s greatest writers, Charles Dickens. From a bold adaptation of Great Expectations to a brilliant new comedy The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff, and high-quality documentaries from Armando Iannucci and Sue Perkins, we have something to keep every member of the family entertained over the festive period.

“With the return to our screens of Absolutely Fabulous and Sir David Jason, with the Royal Bodyguard, it will be truly unmissable television here on the BBC this Christmas.”


For more information about television over the festive period on the BBC, read the press release here

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