Press Office

Tuesday 16 Sep 2014

Programme Information

BBC ONE

Big Top – Dad Ep 4/6

High Definition programme

Wednesday 23 December
7.30-8.00pm BBC ONE

Circus Maestro wins the contract to perform the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, along with a £20,000 development grant, as the colourful, upbeat and heart-warming family comedy series set in and around a travelling circus and starring Amanda Holden, John Thomson, Sophie Thompson, Ruth Madoc and Bruce Mackinnon continues.

When the money mysteriously disappears, Lizzie is forced to resort to desperate measures to replace it. This means faking Plonky the Clown's death, springing her father from prison and tracking down some buried cash.

But when Lizzie's dad makes a short and timely visit to Circus Maestro, he has other plans for the money...

Lizzie is played by Amanda Holden, Plonky the Clown by John Thomson and Lizzie's dad by Kevin R MacNally.

Big Top is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

AN/KB

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Big Top – Clown Ep 5/6

High Definition programme
Monday 28 December
7.30-8.00pm BBC ONE
Georgie (Ruth Madoc) sends David the dog on a sponsored swim
Georgie (Ruth Madoc) sends David the dog on a sponsored swim

Plonky the Clown visits the local children's hospital to spread the healing power of laughter and is soon banned for traumatising the children, as the family comedy series set in and around a travelling circus continues.

When Plonky comes down with a mystery virus, Lizzie is forced to step into his clown shoes and, to her surprise, she and Helen (Plinky the Clown) are a big hit. Their only problem now is how to prevent Plonky from recovering too quickly and returning to reclaim the act.

Meanwhile, Boyco takes on three extra jobs to boost circus funds and Georgie sends David the dog on a sponsored swim across the Channel.

Plonky is played by John Thomson, Lizzie by Amanda Holden, Plinky by Sophie Thompson, Boyco by Bruce Mackinnon and Georgie by Ruth Madoc.

Big Top is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

AN/KB

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Big Top – Thief Ep 6/6

High Definition programme
Wednesday 30 December
7.00-7.30pm BBC ONE (Schedule addition 3 December)

Erasmus's criminal past comes back to haunt him when he is accused of a series of burglaries, in the final episode of the family comedy series set in and around a travelling circus.

Lizzie, quick to condemn, kicks Erasmus out of Circus Maestro but regrets it when the show collapses. In trying to get him back, she inadvertently contacts his old enemy, dangerous criminal Uncle Rico.

Now the troupe has to keep hold of Erasmus and also prevent Uncle Rico from destroying him.

Erasmus is played by Tony Robinson and Lizzie by Amanda Holden.

Big Top is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

AN/KB

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Casualty – All I Want For Christmas

Saturday 19 December
7.40-8.30pm BBC ONE

Ruth faces a festive family crisis, Lenny considers the prospect of unwanted early Christmas leave and Zoe continues to enjoy a bit too much seasonal "spirit" in this year's festive offering of the medical drama.

As the competition for the fellowship continues, May is frustrated by always being regarded the least-promising of the F2s and plays a trick on Lenny which has far-reaching consequences. Acting on May's misinformation, Lenny mistakenly tells two sisters that their father, Barry, has died. He is severely reprimanded by a stressed and furious Adam and it looks as if Lenny's Christmas leave may be lasting a little longer than he would like.

Ruth, meanwhile, is looking forward to celebrating Christmas with a long-lost member of her family when she notices an heirloom has gone missing from her flat. As she's plunged into a world of stolen phones, heroin overdoses and male prostitution, Ruth realises that she's likely to face Christmas alone. Will this mean she's ready to accept the support of ex-boyfriend Jay?

As matters finally come to a head between Jordan and Adam over Jordan's role in the Emergency Department (ED), Jordan is forced to face the music over his future as a doctor. Meanwhile, Zoe continues to escape the stresses of her life through the bottom of a bottle.

Finally, the staff find out who is responsible for the string of disappearances in the ED. Is there a thief at large or could it be a secret Santa working in mysterious ways?

Ruth is played by Georgia Taylor, Lenny by Steven Miller, Zoe by Sunetra Sarker, May by Laura Aikman, Adam by Tristan Gemmill, Jay by Ben Turner and Jordan by Michael French. Keith Barron guest stars in this episode.

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Casualty – Tidings Of Comfort And Joy

Sunday 27 December
8.00-9.00pm BBC ONE

It's Christmas party fever in the Emergency Department (ED) on Boxing Day as Noel heads to the celebrations at his father, David's, old people's home, and there's also the Dean's annual bash for the staff to look forward to.

After a tough night in the ED, Zoe offers Noel a lift to his father's party. Noel is devastated when he doesn't recognise him but seems very close to another visitor, Jimmy. He's further worried by the fact that his father and several other residents seem ill. He begs Zoe to help his father.

The F2s are on their way to help Noel's Charity Christmas visit but are suddenly called into action when they come across a car crash. Working together, they manage to stabilise their patients and get them to the ED. They are hailed as heroes by Adam in front of their colleagues and superiors at the Dean's Christmas party later that evening.

The Dean, Eddie, proudly boasts to Henry that May is his daughter but she then tells him that she wants to make it on her own. Henry blurts the news to the other F2s and Lenny is disgusted at her lies and Yuki disappointed at her cover-up.

Meanwhile, as Adam and Jessica's wedding day approaches, Adam completely loses his cool with a member of staff as the pressure builds at work and home. Ruth and Jay are thrown together to work on a medical case and Ruth finally admits that she's lonely after another family disaster. Letting down her guard, she accepts Jay's comfort and the pair head home together.

Tony Marshall plays Noel, Sunetra Sarker plays Zoe, Ram John Holder plays David, Sean Hughes plays Jimmy, Tristan Gemmill plays Adam, David Mallinson plays the Dean, Tom Chadbon plays Henry, Laura Aikman plays May, Steve Miller plays Lenny, Will Sharpe plays Yuki and Gillian Kearney plays Jessica.

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Catherine Tate – Nan's Christmas Carol

Friday 25 December
10.30-11.20pm BBC ONE

Nan (Catherine Tate) stars in her own version of A Christmas Carol
Nan (Catherine Tate) stars in her own version of A Christmas Carol

Nan is the star of this year's seasonal special from Catherine Tate.

The festive show sees Nan's acid-tongued insults catch up with her when the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, along with a dead husband, pay an unexpected visit, in this comic re-telling of Charles Dickens's tale A Christmas Carol.

Is it too late for Nan to swap her Scrooge-like misery for some seasonal goodwill?

The Christmas special sees Mathew Horne return as Nan's grandson, Jamie, and features appearances from special guests including Ben Miller and Only Fools And Horses actor Roger Lloyd Pack.

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Celebrity Mastermind

Sunday 27 December
7.30-8.00pm BBC ONE

Celebrity Mastermind is back for a new series over the festive season. This time, 40 of Britain's top entertainers will take the lonely walk into the spotlight and to the black leather chair.

Contenders include actor John Thomson, who has Bond villains as his specialist subject; naturalist Steve Backshall on the subject of judo; and swimmer Mark Foster on New Romantics.

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Cranford – Part One: August 1844

High Definition programme
Sunday 20 December
9.00-10.30pm BBC ONE
Miss Pole (Imelda Staunton), Miss Tomkinson (Deborah Findlay), Mrs Forrester (Julia McKenzie) and Miss Matty Jenkins (Dame Judi Dench) return in a two-part Cranford special
Miss Pole (Imelda Staunton), Miss Tomkinson (Deborah Findlay), Mrs Forrester (Julia McKenzie) and Miss Matty Jenkins (Dame Judi Dench) return in a two-part Cranford special

It is late summer in 1844 and two years since Miss Matty Jenkyns lost her beloved sister, Deborah, in the first of a two-part Cranford special for Christmas. Matty's home is once again full of life and bustle. Not only has her brother, Peter, stayed on in Cranford, but also her dream of having a child in the house has been realised in the birth of Tilly, daughter of her maid, Martha, and her carpenter husband, Jem Hearne. Matty relishes every moment being the centre of such a busy household.

The shadow of the railway still looms over the town but, much to the relief of Matty and the town ladies – Miss Pole, Mrs Forrester, Mrs Jamieson and Miss Tomkinson – Lady Ludlow has steadfastly refused to sell the land that would allow it to come into Cranford itself. For others, however, this spells disaster: Captain Brown believes that modernisation is inevitable if the town is to survive.

When Cranford native Mr Buxton returns to town with his son and niece, William and Erminia, Matty can see that father and son's grief over Mrs Buxton's recent death has left them at odds with each other, and that William and Erminia are in need of company. Matty is also concerned about another young person whom she sees only at church: Peggy Bell, who lives in an isolated cottage outside the town with her inattentive mother, Mrs Bell, and domineering brother, Edward. So Matty decides to intervene and engineers an invitation that will bring the four young people together.

The surprise arrival of Lady Ludlow's son, Lord Septimus, leads to a chain of unexpected events. Captain Brown believes he has secured rights to bring the railway line into Cranford, but is shocked when he discovers that Mr Buxton holds its fate in his hands. Meanwhile, tragedy strikes in Matty's own house and she finds she must re-evaluate her opinions of the railway and think for herself. Can she change the course of events and, if so, should she?

Miss Matty Jenkyns is played by Dame Judi Dench, Peter by Nicholas Le Prevost, Martha by Claudie Blakley, Jem Hearne by Andrew Buchan, Miss Pole by Imelda Staunton, Mrs Forrester by Julia McKenzie, Mrs Jamieson by Barbara Flynn, Miss Tomkinson by Deborah Findlay, Lady Ludlow by Francesca Annis, Captain Brown by Jim Carter, Mr Buxton by Jonathan Pryce, William by Tom Hiddleston, Erminia by Michelle Dockery, Peggy Bell by Jodie Whittaker, Mrs Bell by Lesley Sharp, Edward by Matthew McNulty and Lord Septimus by Rory Kinnear.

Cranford is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

CD

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Cranford – Part Two: October To December 1844

High Definition programme
Sunday 27 December
9.00-10.30pm BBC ONE

Miss Matty and the ladies of Cranford are excited about the imminent visit of Lady Glenmire, as the two-part Cranford special reaches a conclusion. That is until the Hon Mrs Jamieson announces that none of them is of high-enough social standing to meet her. Deeply hurt, Miss Matty leads the Amazons in snubbing both the newcomer and her hostess. But sociable Lady Glenmire is quick to offer an olive branch by hosting a memorable Halloween party, which results in the forging of new friendships.

Impressed by Edward Bell's ambitions and hurt by his own son's defiance, Mr Buxton takes on Edward to act as his land agent. But Edward makes a disastrous decision that has dire consequences not only for himself but also for Peggy, whose fortitude and courage will be tested to the limit.

Meanwhile, Matty is distressed when a surprising discovery about one of their close circle results in a serious falling out among the friends. Mrs Jamieson and Miss Pole split from the group and Matty is uncertain about how to bring them all back together again.

Matty is also deeply affected by Peggy's crisis. Knowing painfully well the cost of sacrificing one's personal happiness for the sake of family obligations, Matty decides to intervene in events to help Peggy. But when tragedy strikes the town, she comes to believe that, unwittingly, she has opened a Pandora's box and fears that Cranford will never recover.

Cranford is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

Miss Matty is played by Dame Judi Dench, Lady Glenmire by Celia Imrie, Mrs Jamieson by Barbara Flynn, Edward Bell by Matthew McNulty, Mr Buxton by Jonathan Pryce, Peggy by Jodie Whittaker and Miss Pole by Imelda Staunton.

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The Day Of The Triffids Ep 1/2

New series High Definition programme
Monday 28 December
9.00-10.30pm BBC ONE (Schedule addition 1 December)

Dougray Scott, Joely Richardson, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave, Eddie Izzard and Jason Priestley star in The Day Of The Triffids, written by Patrick Harbinson. This epic, fast-paced futuristic two-part drama, shown on consecutive nights, is based on John Wyndham's best-selling novel of the same name, published in 1951.

In the not-too-distant future, man's search for an alternative fuel supply leads him to uncover the ominous Triffid, a crop now cultivated for its fuel that seems to have a life of its own. But when spectators gather worldwide for a much-anticipated solar storm, billions are left blinded and the few sighted survivors watch as society collapses into chaos. The Triffids, meanwhile, find their way out of captivity. Free to roam the planet with a fatal sting and a retributive taste for human flesh, the Triffids begin rapid breeding.

Now, Dr Bill Masen must lead the brave in their epic battle against the Triffids' reign of terror in what could be the last days of mankind...

Dougray Scott is Bill Masen, Joely Richardson is Jo Playton, Brian Cox is Dennis Masen, Vanessa Redgrave is Durrant, Eddie Izzard is Torrence and Jason Priestley is Coker.

The Day Of The Triffids is also simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

AF

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Doctor Who – The End Of Time, Part One

High Definition programme
Friday 25 December
6.00-7.00pm BBC ONE
The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) embarks on his final journey
The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) embarks on his final journey

It's the Tenth Doctor's final journey – but his psychotic nemesis the Master has been reborn, on Christmas Eve. With both determined to cheat death, the battle ranges from the wastelands of London to the mysterious Immortality Gate, while the alien Ood warn of an even greater danger approaching, as a terrible shadow falls across the entire Universe.

David Tennant stars as the Tenth Doctor and guest stars include John Simm, Bernard Cribbins, Catherine Tate, Timothy Dalton, David Harewood and June Whitfield.

The End Of Time, Part One is written by Russell T Davies and directed by Euros Lyn. The producer is Tracie Simpson.

Doctor Who – The End Of Time, Part One is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

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Doctor Who – The End Of Time, Part Two

High Definition programme
Friday 1 January
6.40-7.55pm BBC ONE

The Doctor faces the end of his life as the Master's plans hurtle out of control. With the sound of drums growing louder, and an ancient trap closing around the Earth, the Doctor and Wilf must fight alone. But sacrifices must be made, and the deadly prophecy warns: "He will knock four times."

David Tennant stars as the Tenth Doctor and guest stars include John Simm, Bernard Cribbins, Catherine Tate, Timothy Dalton, David Harewood and June Whitfield.

The End Of Time, Part Two is written by Russell T Davies and directed by Euros Lyn. The producer is Tracie Simpson.

Doctor Who – The End Of Time, Part Two is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

TH

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EastEnders

Monday 21 December
8.00-8.30pm BBC ONE

Ronnie and Roxy try to work out how to deal with Archie, as life in Albert Square continues. The Mitchell family, however, do their best to reach compromises for Christmas.

Jean, meanwhile, is excited at the prospect of Bradley and Stacey's return from their holiday.

Ronnie is played by Samantha Womack, Roxy by Rita Simons, Archie by Larry Lamb, Jean by Gillian Wright, Bradley by Charlie Clements and Stacey by Lacey Turner.

JM3

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EastEnders

Tuesday 22 December
7.30-8.00pm BBC ONE

Under pressure from Phil, Ian visits Archie and tries desperately to make amends for the mistakes he has made, as the drama continues. Meanwhile, Archie deliberates over his options.

Peggy's unfortunate situation, meanwhile, leads her to Pat, who offers words of encouragement and support which have an inspiring effect on Peggy.

Phil is played by Steve McFadden, Ian by Adam Woodyatt, Archie by Larry Lamb, Peggy by Barbara Windsor and Pat by Pam St Clement.

JM3

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EastEnders

Thursday 24 December
7.30-8.00pm BBC ONE

Overcrowding at Pat's house creates tension between Ricky and Bianca, in this visit to Walford. Ricky, however, reminds the family that his stay was only ever meant to be temporary, but Bianca is reluctant for him to leave.

Elsewhere, Christian takes matters into his own hands and makes dramatic plans – which, in turn, leave Syed in a state of indecision.

Pat is played by Pam St Clement, Ricky by Sid Owen, Bianca by Patsy Palmer, Christian by John Partridge and Syed by Marc Elliot.

JM3

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EastEnders

Friday 25 December
8.00-9.00pm BBC ONE
Archie (Larry Lamb) has an unusual gift for Janine (Charlie Brooks)
Archie (Larry Lamb) has an unusual gift for Janine (Charlie Brooks)

Janine and Archie have an uneasy start to Christmas day as both their families reject their offers of company. Archie later has an unusual Christmas gift for Janine.

Max and Abi, meanwhile, celebrate their Christmas by curling up on the sofa. Max attempts to clarify the family situation to a confused and melancholic Abi.

Archie's previous manipulative conduct catches up with him as he receives numerous visitors. One person in particular is seeking revenge and lays his evil ways to rest for ever...

Janine is played by Charlie Brooks, Archie by Larry Lamb, Max by Jake Wood and Abi by Lorna Fitzgerald.

JM3

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EastEnders

Saturday 26 December
7.00-7.30pm BBC ONE

News of Archie's murder swiftly spreads across the Square, as theories and alibis become rife among the residents.

JM3

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EastEnders

Monday 28 December
8.00-8.30pm BBC ONE

Infuriated by Janine's behaviour, Roxy shows her anger outside the Vic, as the drama in Albert Square continues, and only calms down once Ronnie arrives.

Elsewhere, Todd's endeavours to coax Whitney into going out with him are met with a frosty response.

Janine is played by Charlie Brooks, Roxy by Rita Simons, Ronnie by Samantha Womack, Todd by Ashley Kumar and Whitney by Shona McGarty.

JM3

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EastEnders

Tuesday 29 December
7.30-8.00pm BBC ONE

During the lead up to the wedding, all eyes are on Syed and Amira. Syed proves a hit on the dance floor, while Amira's style is widely applauded.

Shirley and Phil, meanwhile, come to an arrangement that is mutually beneficial for both their futures.

Syed is played by Marc Elliot, Amira by Preeya Kalidas, Shirley by Linda Henry and Phil by Steve McFadden.

JM3

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EastEnders

Thursday 31 January
7.30-8.00pm BBC ONE

Darren's money worries continue to escalate as Libby piles on the pressure about their holiday. Manda, however, attempts to offer him some helpful advice.

With the countdown to the New Year looming, Ricky and Bianca host a house party.

Darren is played by Charlie G Hawkins, Libby by Belinda Owusu, Manda by Josie Lawrence, Ricky by Sid Owen and Bianca by Patsy Palmer.

JM3

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EastEnders

Friday 1 January
6.10-6.40pm BBC ONE

The day of Amira and Syed's wedding has arrived, and Masood takes issue with Zainab over an omission on the wedding checklist. His enquiries, however, lead to a shocking revelation.

Elsewhere, Christian is forced into making some tough decisions.

Amira is played by Preeya Kalidas, Syed by Marc Elliot, Masood by Nitin Ganatra, Zainab by Nina Wadia and Christian by John Partridge.

JM3

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EastEnders

Friday 1 January
7.55-8.30pm BBC ONE

Tamwar finds himself the focus of someone's affection, as the drama in Albert Square continues. To his surprise, a slight change of appearance has the desired reaction.

Darren and Libby's bickering, meanwhile, turns into an argument in front of family and friends.

Tamwar is played by Himesh Patel, Darren by Charlie G Hawkins and Libby by Belinda Owusu.

JM3

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Gavin & Stacey Ep 5/6

Friday 25 December
10.00-10.30pm BBC ONE
It's holiday time as everyone decamps to Essex
It's holiday time as everyone decamps to Essex

It's Bank Holiday Monday and the Essex contingent arrives for a sunny day out at the beach. Doris even puts her sun dress on, as the Bafta Award-winning comedy series continues.

Gavin's heart-to-heart with his dad gives him something more to think about and a dark cloud looms on the horizon when Dave arrives to find Nessa and Smithy enjoying all the fun of the fair.

Doris is played by Margaret John, Gavin by Mathew Horne, Dave by Steffan Rhodri, Nessa by Ruth Jones and Smithy by James Corden.

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Gavin & Stacey Ep 6/6

Friday 1 January
9.00-9.30pm BBC ONE

Nessa and Dave's wedding is fast approaching and the preparations are in full swing, as the award-winning comedy concludes. Stacey breaks some life-changing news to Gavin. Smithy takes care of baby Neil and wishes Nessa all the best as she makes her way to the church to marry Dave, with some very special guests...

Nessa is played by Ruth Jones, Dave by Steffan Rhodri, Stacey by Joanna Page, Gavin by Matthew Horne, Bryn by Rob Brydon, Jason by Robert Wiltfort, Smithy by James Corden and Nessa by Ruth Jones.

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The Gruffalo

High Definition programme
Friday 25 December
5.30-6.00pm BBC ONE
James Corden and Robbie Coltrane provide the voices for the Mouse and the Gruffalo in BBC One's animation of the popular children's book
James Corden and Robbie Coltrane provide the voices for the Mouse and the Gruffalo in BBC One's animation of the popular children's book

A half-hour animated film based on the classic children's picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, tells the magical tale of a mouse who takes a walk though the woods in search of a nut.

Encountering three predators who all wish to eat him – a fox, an owl and a snake – the plucky mouse has to use his wits to survive. He announces that he is meeting a monster with terrible features – a Gruffalo – and the three predators are each panicked into running away.

Mouse is now increasingly confident. There is nothing that can touch him ... or so he thinks. Then, he rounds a corner and comes face to face with the terrible creature of his imagination – the Gruffalo.

Mouse has to dig deep to escape the danger and manages to convince the monster that he is the scariest creature in the wood. The Gruffalo flees in fear. As quiet returns to the deep, dark wood, he finally finds a nut, and can eat it in peace...

Mouse is voiced by James Corden, Fox by Tom Wilkinson, Owl by John Hurt, Snake by Rob Brydon, Mother Squirrel by Helena Bonham Carter and the Gruffalo by Robbie Coltrane.

The Gruffalo is also being simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

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Holby City

Tuesday 22 December
8.00-9.00pm BBC ONE
Linden (Duncan Pow) and Holly's (Charlotte Wakefield) Christmas plans are ruined
Linden (Duncan Pow) and Holly's (Charlotte Wakefield) Christmas plans are ruined

Linden and Holly prepare for a perfect Christmas at home together, as the medical drama continues. However, when Holly makes an innocent mistake over a surprise present, memories of Linden's past come flooding back to haunt him and completely destroy their plans.

When Father Thomas Logan, a priest and mentor, is brought in to Holby as a patient, Linden is forced to face up to the real problem that has been affecting his life for years – his guilt over his failure to save the life of his wife, Olivia. When he is able to come to terms with that, he and Holly will be able to start again.

Meanwhile, Donna reunites a dying mother with her daughter; Michael is busy discharging all his patients for the holiday; Daisha gets very cosy with Oliver before she leaves for the Philippines; and Chrissie announces that she is pregnant. Later that evening, everyone enjoys a karaoke singalong at Donna's charity event in Albie's bar.

Linden is played by Duncan Pow, Holly by Charlotte Wakefield, Father Thomas Logan by John Kavanagh, Olivia by Amy Shiels, Donna by Jaye Jacobs, Michael by Hari Dhillon, Daisha by Rebecca Grant, Oliver by James Anderson and Chrissie by Tina Hobley.

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Holby City

Tuesday 29 December
8.00-9.00pm BBC ONE

Lauren is desperate to keep a low profile and avoid Joseph, as the medical drama continues. When Joseph finds out that Faye has been charged with Archie's murder, however, Lauren's guilt overwhelms her and she confesses all to Thandie – who, in turn, tells Joseph. After hearing Lauren's confession, Vanessa calls the police and Lauren is arrested.

Oliver's resolve to party the New Year away, meanwhile, crumbles as he realises the team needs him. After assisting Jac in miraculously pulling off an emergency operation, Oliver takes team playing to another level by getting intimate with her in the locker room.

Elsewhere, Donna attempts to secure a New Year kiss before the night is over and she and Maria decide they will keep an eye out for any talent at the party.

Lauren is played by Riann Steele, Joseph by Luke Roberts, Thandie by Ginny Holder, Vanessa by Leslie Ash, Oliver by James Anderson, Jac by Rosie Marcel, Donna by Jaye Jacobs and Maria by Phoebe Thomas.

JM3

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Imagine – Scrabble

Tuesday 22 December
10.35-11.40pm BBC ONE (Schedule addition 4 December)

Scrabble has had a resurgence largely thanks to online culture, which has boosted sales and seen office workers "scrabbling" during work hours. In the final Imagine programme of the series, Alan Yentob travels to the home of the game, New York, where an unemployed architect invented it as a way to make a quick buck during the Great Depression of the Thirties.

However, the game didn't really take off until the Fifties when the first championships were formed. Today, the tournament scene is thriving and Alan visits the American National Scrabble Championships in Ohio and meets the people who compete. Along the way he discovers that, while the players know a huge amount of words, they rarely seem to know what they mean.

Hearing from psycholinguists about learning words and investigating what makes the best Scrabble player, Alan explores the game in its wider context. He heads to Nigeria to meet the Nigerian national team, where the game is a national sport, complete with Scrabble coach, and looks at their preparation for the next World Championships. He also meets World Reigning Scrabble Champion, representing New Zealand, the seemingly unstoppable Nigel Richards (also known as The Man Who Knows the Dictionary). But, in the lead up to the world championships in Malaysia, does he think he will reign supreme again?

AH

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The Impressions Show
With Culshaw And Stephenson Ep 7/8

Thursday 24 December
11.00-11.30pm BBC ONE

Jon Culshaw impresses as Michael McIntyre
Jon Culshaw impresses as Michael McIntyre

Jon Culshaw and Debra Stephenson bring viewers a compilation of the best moments from the series.

Eamonn Holmes, Bruce Forsyth, Tess Daly and Vernon Kay receive a ribbing, as do Ross Kemp, Amy Winehouse, Michael McIntyre and David Cameron.

Autumnwatch, Cheryl Cole, Wayne Rooney and The Apprentice also come in for the typical Culshaw and Stephenson treatment.

SM4

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Merlin Ep 13/13

Saturday 19 December
5.45-6.35pm BBC ONE
Merlin (Colin Morgan) is in a race against time
Merlin (Colin Morgan) is in a race against time

The Great Dragon is finally free and, full of rage, attacks Camelot with pitiless intensity, in the final episode of the magical family drama. The castle is crumbling and Arthur's men cannot hold out much longer. Only a Dragonlord can kill a dragon and Uther wiped them all out years ago – or did he? Gaius admits one such man could still be alive and in hiding.

The last Dragonlord is the key to Merlin's own past as well as the future of Camelot, but will Arthur and Merlin find Balinor in time to save the kingdom and can they persuade him to return to Camelot to save his enemy, Uther?

The Great Dragon is voiced by John Hurt, Arthur is played by Bradley James, Uther by Anthony Head, Gaius by Richard Wilson, Merlin by Colin Morgan and Balinor by John Lynch.

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My Family Christmas Special 2009

Thursday 24 December
8.00-9.00pm BBC ONE

It's December 2039 and the Harpers gather together to celebrate Christmas. Thirty years in the future, the family's appearance may have changed somewhat but their love/hate relationships are still very much alive.

Ben is in now in his eighties, a little slower than he used to be but still as grumpy as ever and causing grief for Susan – who, thanks to "a little moisturiser", hasn't aged a bit. To say that Janey has gained a little weight is an understatement, as she now weighs in at a whopping 20 stone. Michael, meanwhile, is doing a very bad job of hiding his baldness with an unconvincing wig and, following a disastrous trip to the zoo, Roger is now merely a head in a glass dome.

Susan is put out by the fact that grandson Kenzo, now 38 years old, hasn't come to visit the family for Christmas Day. Ben is quick to point out that the Harpers have had some of the worst Christmases ever, and the family are reminded of some of their Christmas disasters.

Two years stand out in particular – back when they were all a lot younger, and Janey was a lot lighter, the usual arguments over presents were exacerbated by Susan's fun, new game – the Greed Gift Exchange. But, when Kenzo finally arrives, he points out that the year Uncle Richard came to stay was just as traumatic for him.

Ben is played by Robert Lindsay, Susan by Zoë Wanamaker, Janey by Daniella Denby-Ashe, Michael by Gabriel Thomson, Roger by Keiron Self, older Kenzo by Pascal Langdale and Uncle Richard by Nathaniel Parker.

FD

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Outnumbered Christmas Special

Sunday 27 December
10.30-11.10pm BBC ONE

Santa isn't the only visitor to the Brockman family this Christmas
Santa isn't the only visitor to the Brockman family this Christmas

It's Boxing Day in the Brockman household and Santa has paid a visit, along with some burglars, in a special festive episode of the award-winning comedy that captures the turbulent chaos of family life, starring Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner.

Seven-year-old Karen is obsessing about a missing hamster, nine-year-old Ben causes havoc with a mechanical hand, Jake and mum, Sue, are trying to find grandad Frank and dad, Pete, is preparing for dinner guests – some welcome, some not.

Karen is played by Ramona Marquez, Ben by Daniel Roche, Jake by Tyger Drew-Honey, Sue by Claire Skinner, Frank by David Ryall and Pete by Hugh Dennis.

AN

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Paradox Ep 5/5

Tuesday 22 December
9.00-10.00pm BBC ONE

Witnessing a young father plummet to his death proved traumatic for Rebecca and her team and Dr Christian King has difficulty coping, as the high-concept, high-octane investigative drama concludes. He goes missing but, with another set of images to decipher, there is no time to lose and Rebecca is ordered by her superior to find him and bring him back to the lab.

The team recognises some of the images from previous cases, including one that is connected to rapist Stuart Taylor. However, more shockingly, the new pictures appear to implicate Rebecca in a potentially fatal scenario. Ben also recognises someone in an image featuring a dead teenager – Zac Hedley, a friend of his daughter, Leah. An unidentifiable female body also in the picture immediately panics Ben and both he and Rebecca fear what the images could mean for them and those they love – especially as they have only four hours and 23 minutes to put the clues together.

While the team works hard to solve the mystery, Callum goes to the nail salon to check on Sonia but discovers she has been murdered. He is convinced she has become Taylor's latest victim and finds it difficult to reconcile with the fact that, by intervening in the last set of images, he may have changed the future. He makes it his mission to get justice – he can't risk Taylor getting away with it again.

Rebecca, meanwhile, has a dilemma. If she tries to intervene, will she be able to stop a tragedy unfolding or will she help make it happen? The clock is ticking...

DI Rebecca Flint is played by Tamzin Outhwaite, Dr Christian King by Emun Elliott, Stuart Taylor by Jonathan Slinger, DS Ben Holt by Mark Bonnar, Zac Hedley by Michael Socha, Leah Holt by Katie Griffiths and DC Callum Gada by Chiké Okonkwo.

PPR

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The Royle Family – The Golden Eggcup

Friday 25 December
9.00-10.00pm BBC ONE

There's a new buzz in the Royle Family household as it is a special time for Jim and Barbara and a celebration (including Twiglets and scotch eggs) is planned.

Jim and Barbara have received the gift of money from their loving children but what to do with it? Barbara wants to go abroad for the first time, having only been away once on their honeymoon to Ormskirk. Will Jim persuade Barbara that a satellite HD box is a more appropriate way of spending their children's generous gift? Tension mounts, a family discussion ensues and the question is: Where will they go? Down to the shops as Jim suggests or on Barbara's dream holiday to the Bermuda Triangle?

The Royle Family – The Golden Eggcup stars Caroline Aherne as Denise Best, Craig Cash as Dave Best, Ricky Tomlinson as Jim Royle, Sue Johnston as Barbara Royle, Ralf Little as Anthony Royle, Jessica Hynes as Cheryl Carroll and Peter Martin as Joe Carroll.

JP2

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Spooks Ep 8/8

Wednesday 23 December
9.00-10.00pm BBC ONE

The situation between India and Pakistan reaches crisis point when an Indian submarine ends up in Pakistani hands, as the spy drama concludes. The Indian Government has set a seven-day deadline before it retaliates and so the pressure is on to avert the first nuclear confrontation since the Second World War.

The British and Americans have to work quickly to organise a peace summit in London in a desperate bid to resolve the crisis. Section D is tasked with looking after security but, unbeknown to Harry and his team, Russell Price, the CIA agent in charge of American security, is part of secret power group Nightingale.

While Harry and Ros try to keep the peace talks on track, Lucas receives a surprise visit from rogue CIA agent Sarah Caulfield. She's been instructed to kill Lucas, but her emotions get the better of her and she warns him to leave the country to guarantee his safety.

Meanwhile, Nightingale forges ahead with its plan and Price has planted a bomb in the hotel room of one of the Indian delegates in order to kill the Pakistani president and further provoke the war.

Tensions mount as Ros and Lucas discover the bomb – they need to get the Pakistani president out alive if there is to be any hope of resolving the imminent conflict. An ambush by Price leaves Ros and Lucas in mortal danger and Harry fearing for the lives of his top spooks.

Harry is played by Peter Firth, Russell Price by Mark Aiken, Ros by Hermione Norris, Lucas by Richard Armitage and Sarah Caulfield by Genevieve O'Reilly.

PPR

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Strictly Come Dancing

Live event/outside broadcast High Definition programme
Saturday 19 December
6.35-7.40pm BBC ONE (Copy updated 10 December)
Darcey Bussell is among the judges for the Strictly Come Dancing grand final
Darcey Bussell is among the judges for the Strictly Come Dancing grand final

After 14 action-packed weeks, the grand final has arrived, as the remaining couples dance for one last time in a bid to take the title of Strictly Come Dancing Champions 2009.

Hosts Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly guide viewers through proceedings, live from BBC Television Centre, while judges Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood, Alesha Dixon, Bruno Tonioli and guest judge Darcey Bussell offer their constructive criticism as the couples take to the floor before the all-important viewers' vote.

The final will be tougher than ever as each of the couples will be required to do a mammoth four dances each: their highest-scoring ballroom dance, their highest-scoring Latin dance, a group Lindy Hop and their own “No-holds-barred show dance” – a freestyle routine that each couple will perform for their last chance to win over the public.

All 14 of the eliminated celebrities and their dance partners, including Jade Johnson, will return to Strictly for a “megamix” consisting of a group dance with three dance styles choreographed into a routine.

There is also a Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special over the festive period.

Strictly Come Dancing is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

RB/IV/KS3

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Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special

Friday 25 December
7.00-8.00pm BBC ONE (Schedule addition 27 November)
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly present the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly present the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special

Strictly Come Dancing returns to add a bit more sparkle this Christmas in a special festive edition of the show.

Strictly favourites from series past – Austin Healey, Gethin Jones and Rachel Stevens – are back performing versions of their iconic dances, and they battle it out against three of the celebrity dancers from the current series for the title of Strictly Christmas Champions.

Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly present and Strictly judges Craig Revel Horwood, Alesha Dixon, Bruno Tonioli and head judge Len Goodman will be on hand to give their verdicts on the competing couples.

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

RB/IV/KS3

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The Turn Of The Screw

High Definition programme
Wednesday 30 December
9.00-10.30pm BBC ONE
Michelle Dockery plays young governess Ann in BBC One's chilling ghost story
Michelle Dockery plays young governess Ann in BBC One's chilling ghost story

Michelle Dockery and Sue Johnston star in The Turn Of The Screw, a chilling ghost story about Ann, a young governess who is sent to a country house to take charge of two orphans. Unsettled by a sense of intense evil within the house, Ann becomes convinced that malevolent forces are stalking the children in her care.

Adapted from Henry James's novel by Sandy Welch (Emma, Jane Eyre), the drama, reset in the Twenties, when Britain is still imbued with the grief of the First World War, is a complex study of the interactions between the living and the dead.

Ann is sent to the country to take care of Miles and Flora. An idyllic summer follows, filled with picnics and boating trips, and Ann soon earns the trust and affection of the two young children and staff at Bly Country Estate – including Mrs Grose, the loyal housekeeper. But the idyll is soon threatened when Ann begins to see the figures of a man and woman whom she doesn't recognise. These figures come and go at will without ever being seen or challenged by other members of the household, and they seem to Ann to be supernatural.

To add to her anxiety she learns that her predecessor, Miss Jessel, and her lover, Peter Quint, a former servant of the household, both died under curious circumstances – could it be their ghosts she keeps seeing?

Ann soon becomes obsessed with the belief that malevolent forces are stalking the children in her care and that Quint and Jessel are manipulating Miles and Flora – even using them to continue their relationship from beyond the grave. As Ann becomes more convinced of the ghosts' licentious intentions, her behaviour appears increasingly erratic – are these apparitions truly supernatural or simply products of her own suppressed sexuality and overactive imagination? Ann determines to save Miles and Flora from these beings, confronting them and banishing them from Bly, but her final confrontation with the forces of evil comes at a huge cost to herself.

Michelle Dockery stars as Ann, Josef Lindsay as Miles, Eva Sayer as Flora, Sue Johnston as Mrs Grose, Katie Lightfoot as Jessel and Edward MacLiam as Quint. Mark Umbers also stars as the Master, Dan Stevens as Dr Fisher and Corin Redgrave as The Professor.

The Turn Of The Screw is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

GJ

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Top Of The Pops Christmas Special

Friday 25 December
2.00-3.00pm BBC ONE

Reggie Yates and Fearne Cotton introduce the all-important Christmas No. 1
Reggie Yates and Fearne Cotton introduce the all-important Christmas No. 1

Top Of The Pops returns for a special festive edition and features performances from some of the year's biggest stars.

Hosted by Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates, and filmed at BBC Television Centre, the show also features the all-important Christmas No. 1.

Further details will be available closer to transmission.

TM

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Top Of The Pops New Year's Eve Special

Thursday 31 December
6.30-7.30pm BBC ONE

Top Of The Pops is back for a New Year's Eve special that reviews the year in pop, taking in 2009's greatest hits and brightest stars.

Hosted by Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates, and filmed at BBC Television Centre, the show features special performances from some of the year's biggest acts and viewers can also see the final No. 1 of 2009.

Further details will be available closer to transmission.

TM

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Total Wipeout – Celebrity Special Ep 1/2

Saturday 26 December
6.00-7.00pm BBC ONE
Kevin Adams hopes to avoid Total Wipeout in this celebrity special
Kevin Adams hopes to avoid Total Wipeout in this celebrity special

Richard Hammond travels to Argentina for the first-ever Total Wipeout Celebrity Special, in which 10 celebrities come face to face with the world's largest and most ludicrous obstacle course.

Reputations are put on the line as all the celebrity contestants vie to win a cash prize for their chosen charity. Over the past year, the international set for Total Wipeout has seen contestants from 23 countries competing on the course. The pressure is now on for the UK celebrities to prove they are just as daring as ordinary folk from around the globe.

Will comedian Tim Vine have the smile wiped off his face? Can Olympic legend Fatima Whitbread go for gold again and will Casualty star Luke Bailey be on top form?

Will the dodgeballers put a sock in vocal coach Carrie Grant's mouth, while Strictly Come Dancing's James and Ola Jordan dance their way around the sucker punch? Can dainty soap actress Adele Silva jump over the mighty sweeper and EastEnders favourite Joe Swash exchange glitz and glamour for bruises? How will fitness coach Kevin Adams fare against the massive course and just what will presenter Kaye Adams make of all that mud?

As always, Amanda Byram is course-side to offer her usual blend of sarcasm and support to the pampered celebrities.

Viewers can expect to see a host of wet and muddy famous faces bouncing off obstacles, all in a bid to be crowned Total Wipeout Celebrity Champion.

MM

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Victoria Wood's Mid-Life Christmas

High Definition programme
Thursday 24 December
9.00-10.00pm BBC ONE
Victoria Wood brings her Mid-Life Christmas to BBC One
Victoria Wood brings her Mid-Life Christmas to BBC One

Christmas is the time of year when friends and family gather round the television to exchange the traditional greeting, "don't bother, there's nothing on".

This Christmas, Bafta Award-winning actress and comedian Victoria Wood returns with a 60-minute special for BBC One featuring sketches, personal injury commercials, unlikely sporting events and a dance number bringing together the killer combo of midriff bulge and Busby Berkeley. There's also the further adventures of soap star Bo Beaumont, played by Victoria's long-term collaborator Julie Walters.

According to Victoria: "Christmas can be a difficult time for those struggling with that bonnet-free wasteland between the last Lark Rise and the next Cranford." So, Victoria fills the gap with Lark Pies To Cranchesterford, which tells the story of young Araminty as she leaves her rural hamlet for a job in the Post and Potato Office.

Among the host of stars joining Victoria Wood this Christmas are Julie Walters, Delia Smith, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, Reece Shearsmith and Anton du Beke.

There's also a look behind the scenes of this programme in What Larks! – The Making Of Victoria Wood's Mid-Life Christmas.

Victoria Wood's Mid-Life Christmas is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

CS

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Waterloo Road Ep 9/20

High Definition programme
Wednesday 23 December
8.00-9.00pm BBC ONE

Rachel accompanies Lindsay to court for her mother's trial, as the school drama continues, but Marion's case isn't going well.

In the observation gallery Michaela and Ros are horrified to learn about Lindsay's sexual abuse. After a grilling from the prosecution, Lindsay breaks down in the witness box and finally confesses to Rachel the real events of that fateful day.

Back at school, Steph warns Kim to be wary of men like Max Tyler. Hearing about the criticism, Max begins a campaign to have Steph sacked, while insinuating that it's actually Jo who wants her out. When Jo is nominated for an Outstanding Teacher Award she assumes it's down to Max. He accepts her gratitude, despite the fact that he had nothing to do with it.

Jo then discovers that Max lied about her nomination as part of a ruthless plan to bring about Steph's downfall. Infuriated by his deception, she backs Steph, even walking out in sympathy after Max has fired her. Max then tries to enlist Philip's help to spy on Steph in a desperate attempt to gather evidence of her incompetence. When Phillip refuses, events get out of control and a furious Max grabs Phillip and causes him to fall and hurt himself on a filing cabinet.

Elsewhere, Rose ends her relationship with Tom, realising that, as Head of Department with a new son to take care of, she can't fight to be one of his priorities any more. Rachel returns to school and, furious with Max, she reinstates both Steph and Jo. Max then trashes Rachel's desk – he's obviously starting to lose control.

Rachel is played by Eva Pope, Lindsay by Jenna Louise Coleman, Marion by Louise Delamere, Michaela by Zarrah Abrahams, Ros by Sophie McShera, Steph by Denise Welch, Max Tyler by Tom Chambers, Jo by Sarah Jane Potts, Philip by Dean Smith and Rose by Elaine Symons.

Waterloo Road is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

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Waterloo Road Ep 10/20

High Definition programme
Wednesday 30 December
8.00-9.00pm BBC ONE

The governors have arrived at Waterloo Road to inspect the merger as the drama series set in a comprehensive school continues. Little does Rachel realise that Max intends to spend the day convincing them to fire her.

Rachel and Max have a showdown in front of the governors, each blaming the other for the merger's failings; it's clear that they're not capable of working together. Sick of fighting a turf war with Max, a defeated Rachel hands in her resignation, believing her departure will at least provide some stability at Waterloo Road.

Elsewhere, there's a carnival atmosphere as the pupils enjoy the last day of term and prepare for the Waterloo Road Has Talent contest. Denzil break dances, Josh and Luke play guitar and Philip's controversial comedy act hints at Max's temper.

Grantly reaches his 25th anniversary as a teacher but, upon learning that there is no planned celebration, is morose all day. Steph persuades Bolton to write a street poem about Grantly and his performance impresses the entire school.

After his act, Philip is dragged to the cooler where Max bullies him into keeping quiet about the physical assault. Kim is suspicious about Philip's behaviour and questions him until he reveals the truth – Max hit him. As Max smugly announces Rachel's departure, Kim storms into the staff room to reveal Max's methods. Could this be the end of Max's teaching career?

Rachel is played by Eva Pope, Max by Tom Chambers, Philip by Dean Smith, Grantly by Martin Brown, Steph by Denise Welch, Bolton by Tachia Newell plays and Kim by Angela Griffin.

Waterloo Road is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.

The second half of this series can be seen in the New Year.

JP2

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What Larks! –
The Making Of Victoria Wood's Mid-Life Christmas

Wednesday 30 December
11.00-11.45pm BBC ONE

This searing in-depth documentary tells the story of how a lot of people, some of whose names the makers never really got to grips with, stood in a wet field trying to make a funny programme for Christmas.

Falling somewhere between the crusading zeal of Supersize Me and the revelatory insights of Bargain Hunt, What Larks! aims to expose the gritty reality behind the so-called laughter.

Filmed with a camera that wasn't so much hidden as plonked down and left running, What Larks! reveals working practices and conditions that can only be described as not bad at all. In one shocking scene, well-known actresses are forced to queue for their own lunch, and have to choose from only four main courses and a salad bar.

What Larks! is a story that had to be told. It's not comfortable to watch, especially if you're in it, but it's quite funny.

CS

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