BBC announces Christmas schedule

BBC announces Christmas schedule

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(Credit: BBC)
(Credit: BBC)

The BBC has announced its Christmas 2018 TV highlights, which include new dramas and comedies as well as returning shows.

John Malkovich will play Hercule Poirot alongside Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint as Inspector Crome in the BBC’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders.

Set in 1933, the crime drama follows Poirot as he pursues a methodical serial killer who travels across the nation through the railway, and leaves a copy of the ABC railway guide at each crime scene. 

Also airing this Christmas is BBC One’s Watership Down, featuring the voices of James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, John Boyega, Olivia Colman and Daniel Kaluuya. The adaptation consist of two special feature-length episodes and follows a group of rabbits as they flee the destruction of their home, and encounter a series of dangerous situations along the way.


Watership Down (Credit: BBC)

Andrew Davies' six-part adaptation of Les Misérables will star David Oyelowo as Jean Valjean and Lily Collins as Fantine.

Meanwhile, Idris Elba returns in Luther for the sixth series, and will be joined by Wunmi Mosaku (The End of the F***ing World) as D.S. Catherine Halliday. Tackling seemingly indiscriminate killings, the pair are lead down a complex tangle of leads as Luther is once again forced to face his own demons. 

Special episodes of Call The Midwife, Strictly Come Dancing, Mrs Brown’s Boys and Top of the Pops will also return this Christmas.

The Doctor Who special has been moved from Christmas Day to the new year, as the Doctor and her team return to save the Earth from a terrifying new evil.

Stephen Merchant’s new Christmas comedy Click & Collect and a three-part adaptation of Andrea Levy’s novel The Long Song will also air this Christmas.

Two lost episodes of Morecambe and Wise, found in an old cinema in Sierra Leone, will show on BBC Two, along with food specials from Great British Bake Off’s Nadiya Hussain and Mary Berry.

Comedian Romesh Ranganathan explores the Canadian artic in Xmas Misadventure for BBC Two. 

Also airing on BBC Two this Christmas is Ben Wheatley's dark comedy Happy New Year, Colin Burstead. 

Following the tradition of Christmas ghost stories, Mark Gatiss directs Simon Callow, and Anjili Mohindra (Bodyguard) in The Dead Room for BBC Four.

Musical programmes scheduled for Christmas include a Tops of the Pops special, a celebration of the musical history of Fleetwood Mac, and a seasonal mix of performances in Merry Christmas Baby - Gregory Porter & Friends. Carols from King's will return to celebrate Christmas in the Chapel of King's College, Cambridge. 

Can't get enough of Christmas TV? The RTS event A TV Christmas Carol will look at the historical impact of TV on the British Christmas, and asks when the future of Christmas TV will look like. 

Chaired by Anita Sing, Arts and Entertainment Editor at the Daily Telegraph, the panel features Lorde Grade, Kate Phillips (Controller of Entertainment, BBC), Kate Russell (BBC Click Presenter). 

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The BBC has announced its Christmas 2018 TV highlights, which include new dramas and comedies as well as returning shows.