THE BBC have announced details of their Christmas schedule for the 2016 festive season with more treats being packed onto our TV screens than could fill an entire department store worth of stockings.
Auntie Beeb is promising a winning collection of drama, comedy, variety shows, fan favourites and exciting new productions as part of the annual Xmas scheduling that will see us into 2017.
“We’ve pulled out all the stops this Christmas to bring the nation together with a sparkling line-up of family favourites, brand new treats and festive specials on BBC Television,” the Director of BBC Content, Charlotte Moore, gleefully gushed in a statement.
“We are showcasing an unrivalled range of top quality comedy, drama, entertainment, factual and religious programmes across our channels that promise to deliver something for everyone!” she assured.
But what exactly will be on? Why, all your favourites of course!
The star cast of the Great British Bake Off will be together one final time before the hit cookery show jumps to Channel 4 after the new year.
Judges Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, and comedy genius hostesses Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins will be sifting through icing sugar and innuendo-drenched puns to find a master baker by bringing back familiar faces from the past seven series to crown one the ultimate Christmas 2016 winner.
Meanwhile the floorboards of the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom will be decked with holly as the show returns, fresh from crowning the 2016 winner, for a festive special.
Tinged with a bittersweet edge, this will also mark the final time Len Goodman will be on the panel as a main judge after he revealed he will retire from the show by the end of the year – and in tribute, a special documentary, Strictly Len Goodman, is also set to air over Christmas.
Science Fiction fans will be thrilled to hear the wailing of the Tardis once more as children’s TV favourite, Doctor Who, returns for the first time in a year with Peter Capaldi back at the helm of the long-running space/time travelling show. He will be seen heading to New York City to join forces with a journalist and a superhero in an episode titled Dr Who The Return of Mysterio.
Newly appointed Hollywood A List star Benedict Cumberbatch will return to screens as iconic Detective Holmes as Sherlock is back on screens for the start of the fourth series – of course, not without trusty sidekick Doctor John Watson (played by Martin Freeman).
For those with a thirst for even more mystery, Jonathan Creek will be back with a new “macabre” conundrum to solve bringing Alan Davies and Sarah Alexander back to screens again as the titular Jonathan and Polly Creek.
If all that mystery sounds a little miserable then there are plenty of comedy shows being lined up to bring loads of laughs between servings of Christmas Turkey.
Recently appointed “best sitcom of the 21st century”, Mrs. Brown’s Boys will be back for not one, but TWO undoubtedly side-splitting instalments as Brendan O’Carroll’s Agnes Brown turns Scrooge and refuses to erect a Christmas tree at this most sacred time of year.
Meanwhile the cast of Outnumbered will be back – all grown up – for a festive outing featuring the Brockman family.
More comedy arrives in the form of multi-guest featuring variety shows including Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show (set to feature Catherine Tate and Harry Enfield) and David Walliams’ Walliams & Friend (featuring family man Hugh Bonneville) while Mr Khan will enjoy a festive trip of discovery in It’s a Khanderful Life, and Sir David Jason returning for another series of Still Open All Hours.
Tribute shows will be screened to celebrate three icons – with David Walliams Celebrates Dame Shirley Bassey featuring performances from the music legend, Dame Judi Dench – All The World’s Her Stage sending up the former Bond star, and a BAFTA tribute being aired for one of Britain’s finest comedians with Sir Lenny Henry: A Life On Screen.
Other highlights include the return of Call The Midwife with the staff of Nonnatus House decamping to South Africa to rescue a mission hospital, Roald Dahl’s iconic Revolting Rhymes being brought to life in six animated episodes with the voices of Dominic West, Rob Brydon and Tamsin Greig (among others), and an all new animated special from Raymond “The Snowman” Briggs’ titled Ethel and Ernest featuring the voices of Brenda Blethyn and Jim Broadbent.
All this plus annual staples like Top of the Pops and Jools Holland special episodes – plus explosive drama for the residents of Albert Square in gripping soap EastEnders which (most shocking of all) might have a happy result.
A full break down of exact timings and dates for all shows is due from the BBC soon.
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