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24 September 2014
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Dawn French returns as The Vicar Of Dibley

A magical mystery tour of the world on the BBC this Christmas



BBC Television travels the world to bring the whole of the UK together this Christmas and provide viewers with a spellbinding mix of the best in home-grown talent and programmes.


From Dibley to Hogwarts, Thailand to Neverland and the plains of Africa to the hills alive with the sound of music, the BBC Christmas schedule explores the four corners of the world - and exclusively uncovers Santa's home far away from the icy North - before returning home to Albert Square.


Jana Bennett, Director of Television, says: "This Christmas, BBC TV will take viewers on a magical journey to discover a world of heart-warming, funny and spine-tingling programmes featuring the home-grown talent they love.


"Actors, musicians, comedians, playwrights and artists are all part of a winning and varied mix which sees the return of strong entertainment, even more original comedy and more British drama.


"The mix also includes a very famous young wizard and the return of a unique Vicar.


"I can't think of a better way of wishing our viewers Happy Christmas than through the creative genius of the programme-makers behind these schedules.


"After a long five year sabbatical, viewers can pay a visit to the village of Dibley this Christmas as Dawn French returns to BBC ONE in two brand new episodes of the award-winning comedy The Vicar Of Dibley, written by Richard Curtis.


"It will put the cream on your Christmas pudding."


Elsewhere on BBC ONE: Sherlock Holmes And The Deadly Season sees a new mystery solved from the cobbled streets of Baker Street; to say a final Auf Wiedersehen, Pet Oz and the gang travel to Thailand; Martin Shaw stars in a thrilling adaptation of PD James' Murder Rooms; and cameras follow real lions through the heat of South Africa for the family drama Pride - a mix of natural history footage, animation and the voices of Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet as two members of a pride of lions.


The channel also sees Graham Norton hosting Celebrate The Sound Of Music which pays hommage to the beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein classic; Trinny and Susannah heading off to the shops for a What Not To Wear Christmas Special and Blackpool playing host to the Strictly Come Dancing final.


The programme also returns for a Christmas Special and a new yuletide extravaganza with Strictly Come Dancing On Ice as celebrity contestants put on their skates to bring viewers some chilly thrills and spills.


Absolutely Fabulous, My Family, The Big Impression and My Dad's The Prime Minister stay firmly in the UK for festive editions of home-grown comedy and a second annual East End celebration is thrown in Albert Square for EastEnders Christmas Party.


BBC Television highlights Christmas 2004 Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter © Warner Bros

Films on BBC ONE are located in the mysterious world of Hogwarts School for the terrestrial premiere of Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone and in the fairy tale world of Far Far Away for Shrek.


Other film premieres on BBC ONE include Bend It Like Beckham, Ai and 102 Dalmations.


Testing the UK's brainpower after too much Christmas stuffing will be the Test The Nation: 2004 end of year quiz and Star Spell - a star-studded special of Hard Spell. While Winners and Losers 2004 will see whose memories stretch back a whole 12 months.


And all the family can join together to watch Happy Birthday Peter Pan - celebrating 100 years of the boy who never grew old.


This New Year's Eve, Natasha Kaplinsky will host the run-up to midnight, and into 2005.


New Year Live will feature fireworks and ice from the banks of the Thames, linking the chimes of Big Ben to the best of the Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh.


Culture, comedy and carols


BBC TWO goes around the world to discover the origins of The Real Santa Claus, revealing for the first time what Father Christmas would have really looked like and where he would have lived.


The life and art of one of Britain's most loved and revered playwrights - Dennis Potter - provides the subject matter for a 90-minute Arena special on BBC TWO.


Arena: Painting the Clouds - A Portrait Of Dennis Potter is also complemented by BBC FOUR which is screening two further Arena documentaries and a selection of his series and plays.


Out in the countryside Jimmy's Farm returns for a festive special, the unique chat show skills of Keith Barret provide the laughs and Scrooges less inclined to enjoy the lighter side of Christmas can tune into the new episode of Grumpy Old Women.


Classical music on BBC TWO includes Lesley Garrett captured live in a musical extravaganza from Temple Newsam in Leeds and highlights of this year's Glyndebourne Operas.


Terrestrial movie premieres on BBC TWO include the very best of British filmmaking with the acclaimed BBC Films Stage Beauty, The Mother and I Capture The Castle.

 

BBC TWO will also be showing the premiere of Chocolat starring Dame Judi Dench, Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche.


BBC THREE's comedy Christmas includes BBC 3 Xmas Musical: AD/BC, a soft rock celebration of the Nativity starring Matt Berry (composer/writer) as the Innkeeper, Matt Lucas as God, Julia Davis as Ruth and Julian Barrat as Tony Iscarriot.


Home-grown comedy on THREE continues with Christmas specials of The Smoking Room, Angry Kid and a new series from Armando Ianucci 2004: The Stupid Version plus a Christams special and a whole feast of much-loved episdoes of Little Britain.


Previously unseen footage of Little Britain will be shown in Three's Outtakes also including Bodies, Little Britain, Nighty Night, Catterick and Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps.


Art on THREE can be seen via Christmas Visions, an interactive treat with hot British artists exhibiting their work in shop windows around the country and also through BBC THREE's red button.


And Tracy Emin revisits her youth in the premiere of the film Top Spot.


Christmas Angels is a festive edition of the BBC THREE parenting hit Little Angels, helping families deal with over-excited offspring at this time of year.


Music coverage on FOUR ranges from Isaac Albéniz's magical opera Merlin to The World Of Nat King Cole - shedding new light on the man behind the voice with a unique combination of rare and unseen archive, performances, interviews and specially shot footage.


BBC Television highlights Christmas 2004 Dick And Dom get festive

The CBBC Channel will feature the beautiful new animation Jack Frost and festive specials of Dick And Dom In Da Bungalow, while younger viewers can enjoy Pat's Magic Christmas on CBeebies.


Key religious programming on BBC ONE and BBC TWO includes two editions of Songs Of Praise; Midnight Mass from Saint George's Roman Catholic Cathedral in Southwark; Carols From Kings and Advent services running over four weeks from November. Plus a Christmas Day service and the Archbishop of Canterbury's New Year Message.


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Category: BBC
Date: 24.11.2004
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