Friday 3 December 2010, 11:50
You will probably already have seen details of some of the great programmes we have coming up this Christmas across all of BBC television. This week we published our final schedules for Christmas and last night we gave a sneak preview of our festive highlights to the press, and I though it would be nice to share the film with everyone here too.
For me, Christmas and the holiday season is all about spending time with friends and families, board games, presents, carols, food and outdoor rambles to try and walk off the food, and of course tuning in to lots of great television. Every year at the BBC we aim to put on a great range of programmes that unite friends and family as well as appealing to a whole range of tastes.
This year there are an enormous amount of original commissions - from comedy and entertainment to music and children's drama - more than any other broadcaster. In fact this year there are no repeats in prime time on BBC One between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, and repeats on BBC Two have gone down again.
To see whether this year's schedule holds up against our ambition of appealing to all tastes I decided to do a quick (although not very scientific) survey of my own extended family to see what they are likely to be watching over the holidays.
My son is a keen Top Gear fan so he will be switching on to see Jeremy, Richard and James as they set out across the Middle East, following the route of the three wise men (although they'll be doing so in wholly unsuitable sports cars rather than on camels, of course) and asking the question 'what exactly is myrrh and where do you buy it?'
In the film here you will see the hair-raising moment when the boys first touch down and realise exactly what lies ahead for them.
Luckily for me my husband is a keen and talented chef, so he is sure to feast on Toast, the drama based on Nigel Slater's memoirs starring the wonderful Helena Bonham Carter. My sisters (one a literary expert, the other an artist) are both fans of BBC Four, so Dirk Gently, the Douglas Adams' adaptation with Stephen Mangan is a must, plus Jools' Annual Hootenany and the Live Aid drama, When Harvey Met Bob, because they were there!
My sisters-in law and brothers-in-law are all accomplished classical musicians and will definitely be tuning in to see Jonathan Kent's new production of Don Giovanni from Glyndebourne on BBC Two and on BBC Four, and Simon Russell Beale's joyous Sacred Music featuring composers including Bach, Mendelssohn and Handel.
Christmas every year means all of us watching Carols From Kings as well as wall-to-wall BBC One from EastEnders to the big films. Doctor Who is a huge event for us, and has opera diva Katherine Jenkins taking on her first acting role with the marvellous Sir Michael Gambon.
Ronnie Corbett has a new all-star sketch show, The One Ronnie, and then there's the welcome return of Matt Lucas and David Walliams to BBC One in their airport mockumentary Come Fly With Me. You'll get to see just a few of their comic characters here in the film including the check-in girl Melody and Taaj, one of the airport ground staff.
Across the whole festive season, I can't wait to watch the revival of Upstairs Downstairs with my mum in particular, as she loves period drama. I'll warn her, and all of you, to catch the monkey.
And I'm sure all the generations will be tuning in to see Tony Jordan's thoughtful retelling of The Nativity to enjoy the story of Christmas and to see Peter Capaldi transformed from being Malcolm Tucker in The Thick Of It to one of the three Magi.
I hope you enjoy this sneak preview film and that you find plenty to whet your appetite this Christmas on the BBC. Everyone who works for me - the channel teams and schedulers, the talented programme makers and the camera and studio crews, marketing and press teams - all spend months preparing for the Christmas season and I know all of us want to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and great viewing!
Jana Bennett is director of BBC Vision.
Comments made by writers on the TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.
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