BBC Worldwide Channels presents the best televisual treats this festive season for South African viewers across all four of its channels: BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle and CBeebies.
BBC Entertainment gives viewers their first chance to see internationally-acclaimed drama Zen, a stylish new detective series from the makers of Wallander. Rufus Sewell (A Knight’s Tale, The Illusionist) stars as author Michael Dibdin’s character Aurelio Zen, in a lavish production set against the decaying grandeur of Rome. On the same channel, one of Britain’s biggest comedy stars, Jack Dee, hosts Live at the Apollo, presenting the best in stand-up on Tuesday evenings throughout December.
Also new to South Africa is a unique take on the story of The Nativity, exploring turn-of-the-millennium Judea, bringing legend to vibrant life but rooting the action in a world we can all recognise and understand. On Christmas Day Matt Smith plays the 11th Doctor in Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol; he’s joined by guest stars Michael Gambon (Cranford, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince) and Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins in this inventive reworking of the Dickens classic, before series six kicks off from Boxing Day.
There’s top drama on BBC Knowledge too in When Harvey Met Bob, a dramatisation of the relationship between Bob Geldof and Harvey Goldsmith. The story follows Geldof’s success with the star-studded Christmas record ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’, and the pair’s subsequent collaboration on Live Aid – the biggest televised charity event in history. The yuletide schedule also features a series premiere of Motorsport Ranch, in which eccentric and wealthy members of a Texas country club race against each other on a state-of-the-art track, to win a place on a professional racing team.
Whoever’s cooking up Christmas dinner need look no further than BBC Lifestyle for tasty recipes and practical tips. In another South African television premiere, Nigel Slater’s Christmas Suppers shows how to turn Christmas Day leftovers into mouth-watering meals and get the best out of seasonal vegetables. While other Christmas cookery shows focus on all the preparations leading up to Christmas, Nigel shows how to make really tasty dishes after the big day. Christmas cooks can also tuck into culinary guidance from top chefs Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Nigella Lawson, in Jamie’s Family Christmas, Ramsay’s Cookalong: Christmas Special and Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen 2008.
For the kids, CBeebies is lighting up the holiday season with new series of Gigglebiz and Waybuloo. Gigglebiz see double BAFTA-winning presenter Justin Fletcher return to get under-sixes laughing with a lively collection of short and simple comedy sketches. Waybuloo blends together the magic of computer-generated animation with live-action footage in the vast world of Nara: a land of happiness, laughter and friendship that’s home to the Piplings.
But the excitement doesn’t end there, as the New Year has plenty of great programmes in store. There’ll be new series of: Strictly Come Dancing, Primeval and Waking the Dead on BBC Entertainment; The Secret Millionaire and Who Do You Think You Are? on BBC Knowledge; MasterChef: The Professionals and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on BBC Lifestyle; and Nuzzle & Scratch on CBeebies.
Notes to Editors
BBC Worldwide Channels Christmas highlights
Zen TERRITORY PREMIERE (3 episodes) – Mondays from 19th December at 2000
Live at the Apollo series 2 TERRITORY PREMIERE (6 episodes) – Tuesdays from 6th December at 2000
The Nativity TERRITORY PREMIERE (4 episodes) – weekdays from Tuesday 20th December at 1630
Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol TERRITORY PREMIERE – Christmas Day at 1605
Doctor Who series 6 TERRITORY PREMIERE (13 episodes) – daily from Monday 26 December at 1610
When Harvey Met Bob TERRITORY PREMIERE – Christmas Day at 2100
Motorsport Ranch TERRITORY PREMIERE (13 episodes) – daily at 1705 from Sunday 18th December
Nigel Slater’s Christmas Suppers TERRITORY PREMIERE – New Year’s Day at 2025
Jamie’s Family Christmas (5 episodes) – Sunday 11th December at 1225 & 1255, continues Sundays at 1205 & 1235
Ramsay’s Cookalong: Christmas Special – Wednesday 7th December at 0655, 1130 & 1600
Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen 2008 (5 episodes) – daily from Monday 5th December at 1830 & 1900
Waybuloo set 5 TERRITORY PREMIERE (25 episodes) – daily at 1835 from Friday 2nd December
Gigglebiz series 2 TERRITORY PREMIERE (16 episodes) – starts Tuesday 13th December at 0755 & 1555, continues weekdays at 0755, 1555 & 1955
Coming to BBC Worldwide Channels in January
Strictly Come Dancing series 7 TERRITORY PREMIERE (16 episodes) – Sundays from 8th January at 1900
Primeval series 4 TERRITORY PREMIERE (7 episodes) – starts Saturday 7th January at 19:00, continues Saturdays at 1930
Waking the Dead series 9 TERRITORY PREMIERE (10 episodes) – Mondays from 9th January at 2000
The Secret Millionaire series 6 TERRITORY PREMIERE (6 episodes) – Mondays from 2nd January at 2100
Who Do You Think You Are? series 8 TERRITORY PREMIERE (11 episodes) – Mondays from 9th January at 2200
MasterChef: The Professionals series 2 TERRITORY PREMIERE (30 episodes) – Weekdays except Friday from Monday 2nd January at 2000
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition series 7 TERRITORY PREMIERE (19 episodes) – Mondays from 2nd January at 1715
Nuzzle & Scratch series 3 TERRITORY PREMIERE (20 episodes) – Weekdays from 9th January at 0855 & 1655
About BBC Worldwide
BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximise the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence fee payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has six core businesses: Channels, Content & Production, Sales & Distribution, BBC Magazines, Home Entertainment and Global Brands. In 2008/09, BBC Worldwide generated profits of £102.6 million (before exceptionals) on sales of over £1 billion.
BBC Worldwide was awarded with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in April 2009. This prestigious award for International Trade recognised the company’s substantial growth in overseas earnings and its commercial success at outstanding levels, based on 3 years’ trading results, which benefit the UK creative industries and ultimately the licence fee payer.
For more information, please contact:
+27 11 788 8725
+27 11 788 8725
BBC Worldwide Channels
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