Richard Hannay (Rupert Penry-
Jones) goes on a roller-coaster
ride full of excitement, danger,
fun and romance in The 39
Rupert Penry-Jones stars as Richard Hannay in Lizzie Mickery's (The State Within, Messiah) adaptation of John Buchan's classic novel, The 39 Steps.
Directed by James Hawes (Merlin, Fanny Hill) and filmed on location in Scotland, The 39 Steps is set in the days running up to the outbreak of the First World War and follows the escapades of Richard Hannay in a roller-coaster action adventure full of excitement, danger, fun and romance, as he attempts to outwit a German spy ring and save the nation from invasion.
Hannay's life changes for ever when British spy Scudder barges into his flat, with information about a German spy ring based in Scotland. Fearing for his life, he persuades a reluctant Hannay to take his coded notebook to Captain Kell of the Secret Service Bureau – stressing it is a matter of grave national security. Scudder is killed by German spies desperate for his notebook and Hannay finds himself wrongly accused of murder.
Spurred on by this bizarre turn of events, Hannay flees London for Scotland – hoping to uncover the German espionage ring and to prove his innocence. As the police and spies both close in on him, he struggles to decode Scudder's secret notebook. Hannay is chased by bloodhounds, shot at by the spies and strafed by a bi-plane, and nearly rolls under the wheels of a car driven by Harry Sinclair and his sister, suffragette Victoria Sinclair.
To Hannay's horror, in a series of comic misunderstandings, he finds himself on the run with Victoria. The last thing he needs is to be stuck with an opinionated female. However, the couple's mutual loathing turns to romance as they find themselves facing death together.
As he and Victoria decipher Scudder's notebook, Hannay realises it isn't just their future that hangs in the balance but that of the entire nation. In a desperate race against time, he uses all his ingenuity and skill to unmask a traitor and keep the nation safe.
Rupert Penry-Jones stars as Richard Hannay, Alex Jennings as Captain Kell, Eddie Marsan as Scudder, Patrick Kennedy as Harry Sinclair and Lydia Leonard as Victoria Sinclair. The 39 Steps also stars David Haig as Sir George Sinclair, Patrick Malahide as Professor Fisher, Stephen Elder as the Vicar, Werner Daehn as Ackerman and Peter Stark as Engel.
Sunday 21 December
6.45-7.45pm BBC ONE
Fiona Bruce (above) meets a
Royal visitor at Dumfries House
His Royal Highness The Prince Of Wales drops by Dumfries House, near Cumnock in East Ayrshire, for this special edition of Antiques Roadshow, presented by Fiona Bruce.
The Prince talks about his role in a remarkable £45m rescue plan that he recently spearheaded to save the house and its important collection of furniture, much of it made by Thomas Chippendale, and purchased when the house was constructed in 1754.
As the Prince reveals to Fiona, it was only a last-minute intervention that returned the pieces to the house after they had been dispatched from Scotland for a sale in London.
The Prince explains: "The most important thing, of course, was the fact that it was an intact and unique collection, which is very rare – to have a house that still has all its original furniture and everything made for the house, in this case by Chippendale and those three great Edinburgh furniture makers, Mathie, Brodie and Peter."
The Prince's interview forms a central portion of the programme, which also features some remarkable valuation stories as many hundreds of Ayrshire residents arrive to see the experts at work in the grounds of Dumfries House.
Amongst the objects under scrutiny is a glass vase, originally bought for a pound at a boot sale, which turns out to be the rarest and most valuable piece of glass ever seen on the show.
It was discovered by Roadshow veteran Eric Knowles, who says: "I've been waiting over 25 years for such a piece to come in to a Roadshow, and this was the stuff of dreams – they'd dumped it in the attic after the plant in it died and were about to throw it away when the show rolled in to town."
The piece has since gone on to sell at auction at an even higher price than Eric's evaluation figure.
Antiques Roadshow is simulcast on BBC HD – the BBC's High Definition channel available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media. With up to five times more detail than standard definition television, HD provides exceptionally vivid colours and crisp pictures to make Antiques Roadshow a truly cinematic TV experience.
The World In 20 Years
Tuesday 30 December
9.00-10.00pm BBC ONE
Michael Palin and Al Shama
crew member Kasim, on his
voyage 20 years ago
Michael Palin celebrates the 20th anniversary of his TV classic, Around The World In 80 Days, in this one-hour special.
One of the most memorable segments of Michael's famous circumnavigation was the open dhow voyage from Dubai to Bombay. As he said goodbye to the crew and their trusted boat, the Al Shama (meaning candlelight), Michael made a forecast. "At this point", he said, "it is impossible to accept that I shall never see them again".
Michael goes in search of that very same dhow and its captain and crew. He begins in Dubai, which has now transformed from a dusty trading port to a mini-Manhattan, and reacquaints himself with the city. He then meets two officials who helped organise the original voyage – they don't know what has happened to Captain Hassan Sulyman, however, and there have been no sightings of the dhow in Dubai in 20 years, but Michael has more leads to follow up.
His search moves to Bombay. Fortunately, the broking firm which handled Al Shama's cargo all those years ago is still in existence. Its new owner, Digant Joshi, agrees to ask around. This gives Michael an opportunity to take a second look at the city in which he arrived first time round as a rather unshaven and exhausted traveller. He takes his laundry to the open-air dhobi-ghats, wonders anew at the daily miracle of the tiffin-wallahs and has a brief encounter with a Bollywood mogul. Eventually, Joshi has some answers.
The good news is that the captain and some of the crew are living in a village called Mandvi in Gujerat Province, northwest India. The bad news is that Al Shama sank just five months before Michael's arrival. He hastens north by rail and is delighted to discover that Mandvi is a completely unspoiled town given over entirely to the construction of wooden dhows.
After his long search, Michael walks up to a house lying in the shadow of a dhow under construction. It is the moment of truth, as his bleak prediction all those years ago is put to the final test.
Around The World In 20 Years is simulcast on BBC HD – the BBC's High Definition channel available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media. With up to five times more detail than standard definition television, HD provides exceptionally vivid colours and crisp pictures to make Around The World In 20 Years a truly cinematic TV experience.
| Blackadder Rides Again
Thursday 25 December
10.30-11.35pm BBC ONE
Rowan Atkinson and the cast of the legendary comedy series Blackadder are back for a one-off documentary special this Christmas on BBC One. Blackadder Rides Again features the iconic cast in a documentary to mark 25 years since the original BBC transmission of the much-loved sitcom, first broadcast in 1983.
Blackadder Rides Again includes the first-ever in-depth interview with Edmund Blackadder himself, Rowan Atkinson, about his personal experience of being involved in the sitcom and its phenomenal success. Set to join Rowan are the core cast and writing team who have gone on to become some of the greatest names in entertainment, both in the UK and US. These include: Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Richard Curtis, Ben Elton, Miranda Richardson, Tim McInnerny and Tony Robinson.
Blackadder Rides Again is 90-minute documentary made by Tiger Aspect Productions.
Jessica and Sean clash over their move to Saudi Arabia, in the first of three episodes of the medical drama to be shown over the festive period. Jessica is feeling the strain of being pregnant and has an all-round terrible day – especially when Adam tells her that they never would have worked as a couple.
Later, a weary Jessica arrives home and, as she climbs the stairs, she blacks out and falls over the banister. Whilst hanging on, Jessica makes a split-second decision and lets go – falling to the ground in the process.
Toby, meanwhile, discovers from Kelsey that rumours about his night with Ben have spread. He asks her to quash them, despite her assurances that no one really cares about his sexuality.
Elsewhere, Ruth continues to rail against Jordan for not getting the surgical rotation. He tells her that while she may be competent, it is her attitude and people skills which are letting her down.
Alex is later brought into the Emergency Department (ED) after suffering burns whilst attempting to cook and is angry when Adam tries to take control of his life.
Jessica is played by Gillian Kearney, Sean by Richard Dillane, Adam by Tristan Gemmill, Toby by Matthew Needham,
Kelsey by Janine Mellor,
Ruth by Georgia Taylor,
Jordan by Michael French and
Alex by Luke Hamill.
This episode of Casualty also guest stars Andrew Sachs as Father Morgan and Richard Ridings as Vince.
Big Mac (Charles Dale) tries to
get Charlie (Derek Thompson)
in the festive spirit
Jessica is rushed into resus following her fall at home, as the medical drama continues. While Adam treats her, he tries to hide his shock as he discovers that she is more than five months pregnant.
Adam later conspires to talk to Jessica, as he realises he could be the father, but Jessica is steeled with a renewed commitment to her family. The moment shared between the pair doesn't go unnoticed by Sean, who starts to put two and two together.
Ruth's lack of people skills come into question again. She knows full well she was refused the surgical rotation because she isn't popular enough, but she manages to connect with a family and starts to open up a little.
Despite being late for work, Zoe impresses everyone in resus – even Jordan. Her success is quickly deflated, however, when she is led away from the ED by police, who want to question her about a hit and run.
Elsewhere, a loan shark sees the error of his ways and convinces a priest to help him make amends, and an upbeat Jay is convinced that he has witnessed a Christmas miracle – until his patient dies.
Jessica is played by Gillian Kearney, Adam by Tristan Gemmill, Sean by Richard Dillane, Ruth by Georgia Taylor, Zoe by Sunetra Sarker, Jordan by Michael French and Jay by Ben Turner. This episode also features Derek Thompson as Charlie and guest stars Joe Absolom as Benny, Andrew Sachs as Father Morgan, Frances Barber as Nancy, Lee Williams as Brian and Jamie Forman as Henry.
Jessica (Gillian Kearney)
confesses all to Sean
Toby decides to withdraw the allegation against Ben, in this visit to Casualty. In his naivety, Toby thinks this will make things better, but it doesn't. Ben, however, is furious. Later, at the staff party, he drunkenly insults his colleagues and makes a life-changing announcement.
On his way home Toby becomes trapped in a rowing boat, which starts to sink. Unable to release his foot, there is no one around to hear his cries for help.
Jessica, meanwhile, confesses to Sean about Adam and is relieved when he forgives her. However, she later discovers that forgiveness was the last thing on his mind and that he has hatched a plan to abduct their children.
The hit-and-run charges against Zoe are dropped, but she loses her new job, nonetheless. Ruth struggles to bond with her team-mates and looks into an opportunity in another department.
Toby is played by Matthew Needham, Ben by Mark Letheren, Jessica by Gillian Kearney, Sean by Richard Dillane, Adam by Tristan Gemmill, Zoe by Sunetra Sarker and Ruth by Georgia Taylor.
BBC One offers viewers the chance this Christmas to see highlights from the first Doctor Who Prom – one of the hottest tickets of the summer. Hosted by Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones) and with a surprise guest appearance by Catherine Tate (Donna Noble), this programme, filmed at the BBC Proms in July, is a musical odyssey through time and space.
With the Tardis on stage at London's Royal Albert Hall, the programme takes viewers on a journey through four series of the Doctor's adventures, and features the music that accompanied them – Murray Gold's celebrated music for the television series. Performed by the BBC Philharmonic and London Philharmonic Chorus, under the baton of Ben Foster, the music is accompanied by specially edited film sequences from the series.
One of today's featured highlights provides viewers with a chance to see the scene that was specially filmed for the BBC Proms. Music Of The Spheres, written by Russell T Davies and starring David Tennant – not to mention a mischievous Graske – left the audience spellbound and there is lots of audience interaction and laughter. The concert also brought the audience face to face with some of the Doctor's most fearsome adversaries – a host of monsters and aliens, including the Doctor's oldest enemies, the Cybermen, Davros and the Daleks.
Music featured in this Doctor Who Prom includes All The Strange, Strange Creatures; The Doctor Forever; Rose; Martha v The Master; The Daleks And Davros; Donna; Girl In The Fireplace; Astrid; This Is Gallifrey; Doctor's Theme/Song Of Freedom; Doomsday; and Doctor Who Theme.
Doctor Who At The Proms is simulcast on BBC HD – the BBC's High Definition channel available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media. With up to five times more detail than standard definition television, HD provides exceptionally vivid colours and crisp pictures to make Doctor Who At The Proms a truly cinematic TV experience.
The Doctor (David Tennant) is
surprised to come face to face
with another Doctor
It's Christmas Eve in 1851 and Cybermen stalk the snow of Victorian London, in this special Christmas edition of Russell T Davies's Bafta Award-winning time-travelling drama.
When the Doctor arrives and starts to investigate a spate of mysterious deaths, he's surprised to meet another Doctor, and soon the two must combine forces to defeat the ruthless Miss Hartigan. But are two Doctors enough to stop the rise of the CyberKing?
David Tennant stars as The Doctor, David Morrissey as The Doctor and Dervla Kirwan as Miss Hartigan. This episode also features Velile Tshabalala as Rosita.
Dakota Blue Richards (left) and
Juliet Stevenson star in this
powerful family drama based
on Jacqueline Wilson's novel
Juliet Stevenson, David Haig and Dakota Blue Richards star in Dustbin Baby, a powerful family drama based on the novel by best-selling author Jacqueline Wilson.
Dustbin Baby is the heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting story of teenager April, who sets out to discover where she came from and, along the way, discovers where she belongs – having been abandoned in a dustbin as a baby. On her 14th birthday, April walks out on her foster mother, Marion, following a row, and is determined to discover her past.
As Marion frantically searches for April, their journeys take them on a course that will change their lives for ever.
April goes back to the world she left behind – one of foster and care homes – and remembers and revisits the people who shaped her life. And Marion, with the help of her old friend, Elliot, tries to understand where she has gone wrong, and goes in search of the dustbin where April was found 14 years previously.
Dakota Blue Richards plays April, Juliet Stevenson plays Marion and David Haig plays Elliott.
Shirley sees some interesting CCTV footage of Suzy in tonight's visit to Walford.
Meanwhile, Janine has a shock when she finds out that her husband has not left her any money in his will. She now has to decide whether to leave Walford for good.
Elsewhere, the residents gather for a karaoke night at the Vic – will Shirley reveal Suzy's secret in front of the whole Square?
Shirley is played by Linda Henry, Suzy by Maggie O'Neill and Janine by Charlie Brooks.
Much to the disgust of his family, Ian decides to ban Christmas in the Beale household, due to the credit crunch, in tonight's visit to Albert Square.
Elsewhere, Janine tries to find a job on the Square but no one is willing to give her a chance. Roxy and Sean, meanwhile, find a new flat, but it's in Dagenham and would mean that Roxy would have to leave her family behind.
Ian is played by Adam Woodyatt, Janine by Charlie Brooks, Roxy by Rita Simons and Sean by Rob Kazinsky.
Jane throws Ian out of the house on Christmas Eve.
Elsewhere, Sean and Roxy announce their plans to leave Walford and settle in Dagenham, but Archie is determined to ruin their relationship.
Jane is played by Laurie Brett, Ian by Adam Woodyatt, Sean by Rob Kazinsky, Roxy by Rita Simons and Archie by Larry Lamb.
Archie starts to worry when he realises that Suzy is a loose cannon, in the latest visit to Walford.
Dot receives a Christmas surprise when Jim arrives home, while Roxy's world is shattered when she realises Suzy knows her secret. Is the Mitchell clan about to be ripped apart?
Archie is played by Larry Lamb, Suzy by Maggie O'Neill, Dot by June Brown, Jim by John Bardon and Roxy by Rita Simons.
A bombshell concerning Sean is dropped on the residents of Albert Square. Dot, meanwhile, receives an unexpected visitor.
Sean is played by Rob Kazinsky and Dot by June Brown.
Sean takes things to another level when he discovers some devastating news, as the trials and tribulations of life in Albert Square continue.
Ronnie's relationship with Roxy, meanwhile, hits breaking point and Shirley finally gets one up on Suzy.
Sean is played by Rob Kazinsky, Ronnie by Samantha Janus, Roxy by Rita Simons, Shirley by Linda Henry and Suzy by Maggie O'Neill.
Can Dot (June Brown) forgive
Nick (John Altman) after all
Nick Cotton is back, but Dot doesn't know whether she can find it in herself to forgive and forget the terrible wrongs of the past, as the drama in Albert Square continues.
Elsewhere, Sean vanishes with baby Amy and Roxy is distraught.
Meanwhile, at Pat's house, Bianca is getting sick of the new, saintly Janine, and Whitney is longing for solace.
Nick is played by John Altman, Dot by June Brown, Sean by Rob Kazinsky, Roxy by Rita Simons, Pat by Pam St Clements, Bianca by Patsy Palmer, Janine by Charlie Brooks and Whitney by Shone McGarty.
Sean is holed up in a squat with Amy as he prepares to make his next move, as the drama continues.
In the run up to her hearing, Tanya is tempted to take up Max's offer to save herself from a prison sentence.
Meanwhile, is Nick really a reformed character?
Sean is played by Rob Kazinsky, Tanya by Jo Joyner, Max by Jake Wood and Nick by John Altman.
Roxy is ecstatic to finally be reunited with daughter Amy and have her family by her side, in tonight's visit to Albert Square.
Elsewhere, at R&R's, Jack has a surprise visitor who asks an unexpected favour of him.
Roxy is played by Rita Simons and Jack by Scott Maslen.
Tanya has a tough decision to make at her hearing in tonight's visit to Walford. Should she plead guilty or not guilty?
Janine is tempted to give Whitney her real mum's address, but what would that mean for Whitney?
Meanwhile, Stacey ponders the risks of telling Jean the truth about Sean.
Tanya is played by Jo Joyner, Janine by Charlie Brooks, Whitney by Shona McGarty, Stacey by Lacey Turner, Jean by Gillian Wright and Sean by Rob Kazinsky.
Whitney wonders whether her real mum will live up to her expectations, in tonight's visit to Albert Square.
Jean doesn't know whether to forgive Stacey for holding back the news that Sean has gone.
Meanwhile, Max makes a shocking discovery about the night of his accident.
Whitney is played by Shona McGarty, Jean by Gillian Wright, Stacey by Lacey Turner, Max by Jake Wood and Sean by Rob Kazinsky.
& Stacey Christmas Special
Wednesday 24 December
10.00-11.00pm BBC ONE
Stacey (Joanna Page) and
Gavin (Mathew Horne) enjoy a
cracker of a Christmas
It's Christmas Eve and the Wests join the Shipmans for one of Mick's famous turkey dinners, as the award-winning Gavin & Stacey comes to BBC One for a special festive episode.
Smithy can't wait to spend his first Christmas with baby Neil, but doesn't count on Dave Coaches tagging along and playing happy families with Nessa. Jason and Bryn, meanwhile, have a heart-to-heart about "that" fishing trip and Gavin and Stacey's revelation to Pam and Smithy doesn't quite turn out to be the Christmas present they were expecting.
Mick is played by Larry Lamb, Smithy by James Corden, Dave Coaches by Steffan Rhodri, Nessa by Ruth Jones, Jason by Robert Wilford, Bryn by Rob Brydon, Gavin by Mathew Horne, Stacey by Joanna Page and Pam by Alison Steadman. Melanie Walters also stars as Gwen.
BBC One goes behind the scenes of this Christmas special in Gavin & Stacey – The 12 Days Of Christmas, with cast interviews and much more.
Gavin & Stacey is simulcast on BBC HD – the BBC's High Definition channel available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media. With up to five times more detail than standard definition television, HD provides exceptionally vivid colours and crisp pictures to make Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special a truly cinematic TV experience.
Is a happy Christmas in store
for Maria (Phoebe Thomas)
and Sam (Tom Chambers)?
Maria is still upset at finding out that Kieron is Sam's son, in the first festive edition of the medical drama. It is Christmas Eve and she is stuck in a rut so she goes to visit a clairvoyant, who tells Maria that her future is in her own hands...
Maria receives a visit from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, and is taken on a whirlwind adventure as she realises how her decisions could affect not only her own happiness, but also the happiness of others.
On a voyage of self-discovery, in the style of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, Maria realises she needs to let Sam and Kieron go.
Maria is played by Phoebe Thomas, Kieron by Misha Crosby and Sam by Tom Chambers.
Michelle turns up saying she needs Ric's help as Social Services are going to take her son (his grandson) away from her, as the medical drama continues. Ric agrees to help.
Linden, meanwhile, is over the moon when his coma patient, Callie, wakes up. He tries to protect her from the police and to sort out her family issues.
Elsewhere, Maria and Donna lose a patient only to find him at the bottom of the laundry chute.
Michelle is played by Jaimi Barbakoff, Ric by Hugh Quarshie, Linden by Duncan Pow, Callie by Aislin McGuckin, Maria by Phoebe Thomas and Donna by Jaye Jacobs.
Creek – The Grinning Man
Thursday 1 January
9.00-11.00pm BBC ONE
Has Jonathan Creek (Alan
Davies) met his match in Joey
Ross (Sheridan Smith)?
Alan Davies returns as Jonathan Creek in the popular, award-winning comedy drama about the adventures of the master of illusion, who uses his brilliance and intellect to explain the unexplainable. This one-off special is written and directed by David Renwick and guest stars Sheridan Smith. Stuart Milligan returns as illusionist Adam Klaus, Creek's employer.
When Creek is called in to solve unexplained events in a vast Gothic house following several disappearances from a gloomy old attic known as The Nightmare Room, Creek is completely baffled. Seventy years on from the first disappearance, the room continues to claim lives. Can the ghost of a madman who preys upon human flesh really be to blame?
When two young women take shelter in the attic from a raging thunderstorm, it's not long before the ominous "presence" has claimed another victim.
Determined to discover the truth about what has happened to her friend, the fearlessly sceptical Joey Ross finds herself working alongside veteran lateral-thinker Creek. Together, they embark on a complex, often dangerous, investigation into a mystery which only continues to deepen.
Can Creek shed light on the riddle and render the impossible possible? Or are his once-formidable powers of deduction about to be eclipsed by the sheer raw intuition of his younger counterpart?
Alan Davies plays Jonathan Creek, Sheridan Smith plays Joey Ross and Stuart Milligan plays Adam Klaus.
The inhabitants of Lark Rise and
Candleford go carol singing
Lark Rise To Candleford returns for a second series with a feature-length Christmas special, followed by 11 new episodes of this popular and heart-warming adaptation of Flora Thomson's charming memoir of her Oxfordshire childhood.
Julia Sawalha, Olivia Hallinan, Dawn French, Brendan Coyle and Mark Heap return to delight and entertain in a wonderfully captivating seasonal tale that unites the past and the present.
There's also an extra festive treat for viewers in the form of guest star Sheridan Smith (Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps, Love Soup and Jonathan Creek – The Grinning Man) in the role of Cinderella Doe.
When Dorcas and Emma each want to give Laura the same gift for Christmas, an old family wound is opened up and Laura finds herself torn between two mothers.
As the inhabitants of Lark Rise and Candleford prepare for the festivities, loyalties are tested and, amid the gift-giving and carol singing, tensions are building.
However, the arrival of a ragged, bare-footed young woman, who goes by the name of Cinderella Doe, introduces a note of Christmas mystery.
With its usual mix of charm, warmth, comedy and pathos, Lark Rise To Candleford kicks off its new season with a story rich in history.
Laura Timmins is played by Olivia Hallinan, Dorcas Lane by Julia Sawalha, Caroline Arless by Dawn French, Emma Timmins by Claudie Blakley, Robert Timmins by Brendan Coyle, Alf Arless by John Dagleish, Thomas Brown by Mark Heap, Queenie Turrill by Linda Bassett, Twister Turrill by Karl Johnson, Ruby Pratt by Victoria Hamilton, Pearl Pratt by Matilda Ziegler, Miss Ellison by Sandy McDade and Walter Arless by Robert Pugh.
Lark Rise To Candleford is also being simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media. With up to five times more detail than standard definition television, HD gives you exceptionally vivid colours and crisp pictures to make Lark Rise To Candleford a truly cinematic TV experience.
Morecambe & Wise – The Show What Paul Merton Did
Friday 2 January
9.00-10.00pm BBC ONE
Life-long aficionado Paul Merton hosts the definitive celebration of arguably the greatest British comedy duo ever, in this hour-long festive feast honouring the magic and genius of Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise.
Combining nostalgic tributes from their comedic peers together with contemporary comment from performers who still feel their influence today – including Bruce Forsyth, Angela Rippon, Jack Dee and Eddie Izzard – Paul Merton guides viewers through the remarkable life and times of Eric and Ernie.
Paul Merton comments: "We have the best of Morecambe & Wise, including some wonderfully rare and funny material from their early career."
Replete with unrivalled access to the archive of classic Morecambe & Wise moments, the show revisits the legendary stars and sketches that became required viewing for millions of families, and without which no Christmas would have been complete.
Of The Band Ep 6/6
Friday 2 January
8.30-9.00pm BBC ONE
Phil (Jimmy Nail) is in for a
Phil is surprised to learn from Jack's headmaster that the band has entered the school talent contest, in the last episode of the family drama in which three reluctant rock stars are thwarted by their meddling parents.
Jack plucks up the courage to ask Lucy if she'll come and support the band at the talent show, but is disappointed when she makes it clear she thinks its lame and has no intention of being there. Meanwhile, it looks like the band has settled on a name at last: 1-2-3-4.
Despite all the mishaps, the show does go on and, to Jack's surprise, Lucy is there. She even tells him she thought the band were really good. Does Jack have a chance with her after all?
Phil is played by Jimmy Nail, Jack by Peter Losasso and Lucy by Lucinda Dryzek.
Couch potatoes Jim (Ricky
Tomlinson) and Barbara (Sue
Johnston) contemplate a right
Two years after The Queen Of Sheba, the last Royle Family Christmas special, Jim, Barbara, Denise and Dave return to television screens for their latest festive episode. Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash and Phil Mealey bring back the regular characters as they contemplate Christmas Royle style.
The last time Jim, Barbara, Denise and Dave were seen, viewers were moved to tears as they witnessed the moving and compassionate passing of Nana. The Bafta-winning writers promise that nobody dies in this episode, but the family is on form in a programme packed with laughs as they treat the festive holiday with their usual irreverence.
Jim and Barbara still bait one another in their cosy (but over-decorated) room; Denise and Dave still aspire to better things as they prepare for Christmas morning; and Twiggy barges in on Christmas Eve with his unique take on life. Only poor, down-trodden Antony is missing who, viewers are told, is babysitting for Denise and Dave at his own home this year. As Denise remarks: "Well, it's not a day for kids, is it – Christmas?"
The Royle Family stars Ricky Tomlinson as Jim, Sue Johnston as Barbara, Caroline Aherne as Denise, Craig Cash as Dave and Geoffrey Hughes as Twiggy.
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly
present a glittering festive
edition of Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing returns for a special festive edition featuring favourite contestants from Christmas past and present. Jill Halfpenny, Kelly Brook and Alesha Dixon are back to battle this year's three finalists for the title of Strictly Christmas Champions.
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly return to present the special and, as ever, judges Craig Revel Horwood, Arlene Phillips, Bruno Tonioli and head judge Len Goodman are on hand to give their verdicts on the competing couples.
All the music featured in the programme is festive and "The Voice", Russell Watson, makes a special guest appearance.
The grand final has arrived and one couple is set to take the title of Strictly Come Dancing Champions 2008, as Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly host the glittering event, live, from BBC Television Centre.
The two remaining couples take the floor to fight it out for the all-important viewer vote.
For the last time this series, judges Arlene Phillips, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and head judge Len Goodman offer their criticism. Viewers won't have to wait long to see their winner crowned – the results show is broadcast live on the same night.
Abby and her friends find themselves on the run from Samantha and Dexter, who've formed a dangerous alliance that threatens everyone's freedom, in the final episode of Adrian Hodges's post-apocalyptic drama series. Meanwhile, Sarah is confronted by a face from the past which leads her to betray her new friends.
When Naj goes missing, the family is forced to face the dangers of the city in order to find him. Their food and water supplies have been stolen from their car by desperate urban survivors, so they know they may not be able to survive long enough to find Naj. The family is nearly torn apart when Greg and Abby find themselves on opposite sides of an argument.
Meanwhile, Naj is befriended by a feral boy named Darren. Darren lives with the sinister Craig and June, who look after a group of children who forage amidst the ruins of the city, in return for shelter and protection.
Naj soon sees that Craig is ruthlessly exploiting Darren and the others but, without Abby, he faces a struggle to save himself. With his adopted family searching for him in the deserted city, time is rapidly running out and Dexter is only a step behind them all...
Abby is played by Julie Graham, Samantha by Nikki Amuka-Bird, Dexter by Anthony Flanagan, Sarah by Robyn Addison, Naj by Chahak Patel, Greg by Paterson Joseph, Darren by Anthony Hudson, Craig by Adam Kotz and June by Katie Lyons.
Top Of The Pops
Thursday 25 December
2.00-3.00pm BBC ONE
Top Of The Pops returns to BBC One this Christmas with two special shows, hosted by Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates.
Top Of The Pops Christmas Special is an hour-long celebration of all things pop. Recorded at BBC Television Centre, the show features exclusive performances from some of the year's biggest stars and counts down the chart to reveal that all-important Christmas No. 1.
Viewers are also treated to a Top Of The Pops New Year's Eve Special, reviewing the past year in pop. The hour-long special marks the first time BBC One has shown a New Year's Eve edition of the music show.
Both shows are part of an extended musical line-up on the BBC this Christmas, which includes TOTP2 Christmas Special and Jools's Annual Hootenanny 2008.
Gromit – A Matter Of Loaf And Death
Thursday 25 December
8.30-9.00pm BBC ONE
Wallace and Gromit get a slice of the
action in their latest adventure
Wallace and Gromit fans are in for a special treat this Christmas as BBC One airs the première of the duo's latest adventure, A Matter Of Loaf And Death.
After the incredible success of Wallace And Gromit – The Curse Of The Were Rabbit, which can also be seen over the festive period, Nick Park returns with a new, 30-minute episode and is reunited with writer Bob Baker, who co-wrote both The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave. Sally Lindsay (Coronation Street) guest stars as the voice of Piella Bakewell, while Peter Sallis continues to provide the voice of Wallace.
In this new masterpiece, viewers catch up with Wallace and Gromit who have opened a new bakery called Top Bun. Business is booming, not least because a deadly "cereal killer" is targeting all the bakers in town and competition is drying up. Gromit is worried that they may be the next victims but Wallace doesn't care – he's fallen head over heels in love with Piella Bakewell, former star of the Bake-O-Lite bread commercials. So Gromit is left to run things on his own when he'd much rather be getting better acquainted with Piella's lovely pet poodle, Fluffles.
Before long, Gromit makes a shocking discovery which points to the killer's true identity. Can he save his master from becoming the next baker to be butchered? And does Fluffles know more than she is saying? It's a classic "who-doughnut" mystery, as four-time Academy Award-winning director Nick Park creates a hilarious new masterpiece in the tradition of the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.