Search by:

Saturday 22 December

BBC ONE

BBC ONE

Watership Down

Airing as two special feature-length episodes this Christmas, BBC One’s star-studded new adaptation of Watership Down uses Richard Adams’ bestselling novel as its source to bring an innovative interpretation to the much loved classic.

Part One.

Adapted for the screen by Tom Bidwell and directed by Noam Murro, this tale of adventure, courage and survival follows a band of rabbits as they flee the certain destruction of their home.

Led by stout-hearted brothers Hazel (James McAvoy) and Fiver (Nicholas Hoult), the rabbits begin their journey from Sandleford Warren, through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, towards the hope of a better life.

Watership Down also features the vocal talents of:

John Boyega as Bigwig
Olivia Colman as Strawberry
Sir Ben Kingsley as General Woundwort
Tom Wilkinson as Threarah
Gemma Arterton as Clover
Peter Capaldi as Kehaar
Mackenzie Crook as Hawkbit
Anne-Marie Duff as Hyzenthlay
Taron Egerton as El-Ahrairah
Freddie Fox as Captain Holly
Daniel Kaluuya as Bluebell
Miles Jupp as Blackberry
Rory Kinnear as Cowslip
Craig Parkinson as Sergeant Sainfoin
Rosamund Pike as The Black Rabbit Of Inlé
Jason Watkins as Captain Orchis
Gemma Chan as Dewdrop

The series was produced and developed by 42 and Biscuit Entertainment.

BBC TWO

BBC TWO

Equestrian: Olympia 2018

Live World Cup coverage of the prestigious London International Horse Show from Olympia, the traditional pre-Christmas equestrian extravaganza.

Clare Balding and guests reflect on events throughout the week at Olympia including the World Cup Dressage, featuring Britain’s three-time Olympic gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin, and the much-loved Pussiance - where the ability of a horse and it’s rider to jump large fences is repeatedly put to the test.

There will also be live coverage of FEI World Cup, an event won last year by Frenchman Julien Epaillard on board Toupie de la Roque. Britain’s Scott Brash demonstrated his love for Olympia once again by following up his 2016 triumph with a second place finish behind Epaillard on Ursula. Only four of the 36 competitors manged to jump clear 12 months ago on an afternoon full of excitement.

Live coverage continues on the red button from 6.30pm to 10.30pm tomorrow.

Goodness Gracious Me - 20 years innit!

Kiss my chuddies, man, Goodness Gracious Me is 20!

And to celebrate this ground-shaking, award-taking and mould-breaking show, BBC Two is looking back at some the funniest and most loved moments as we reveal the ten most memorable sketches - decided by comedy fans on a supporting BBC website. We will feature exclusive interviews with its stars and creators alongside other comedians who are fans of the series.

The show created over 100 characters, dozens of catchphrases and some of the standout comedy moments of the last two decades with sketches featuring The Kupers/Coopers, Mr Everything Comes From India, Chunky Lafunga, Cheque Please, Competitive Mums and of course the classic, Going For An English.

Goodness Gracious Me may have started as a comedy from a specific cultural perspective, but quickly transcended that to become a multi-award-winning, mainstream success with genuine universal appeal.

Sunday 23 December

BBC ONE

BBC ONE

Hold The Sunset

If I Were A Wise Man.

It's the last Christmas that Edith will have with her family before she and Phil set off for their dream retirement in the Mediterranean. Edith's son Roger enlists her scurrilous one-time flame, Bob The Burglar, to give Christmas its proper flavour. Edith's sister Joan won't watch the Queen's Speech anywhere else. Queenie locks Sandra and Wendy into a wardrobe, and Phil finds himself talking to a ghost.

Edith is played by Alison Steadman, Phil is played by John Cleese, Roger is played by Jason Watkins, Bob is played by James Cosmo, Joan is played by Sue Johnston, Queenie is played by Anne Reid, Sandra is played by Joanna Scanlan and Wendy is played by Rosie Cavaliero.

Producers: Moira Williams, Humphrey Barclay and John Cleese. Director: Sandy Johnson.

Watership Down

BBC One’s star-studded, epic new adaptation of the much loved classic concludes with this second feature-length episode.

Part two.

When the future of Watership Down is threatened by the might of General Woundwort (Sir Ben Kingsley) and the Efrafan army, Hazel (James McAvoy), Fiver (Nicholas Hoult), Bigwig (John Boyega) Clover (Gemma Arterton), Strawberry (Olivia Colman) and their gang of fellow rabbits must use all their cunning to survive.

Watership Down also features the vocal talents of:

Tom Wilkinson as Threarah
Gemma Arterton as Clover
Peter Capaldi as Kehaar
Mackenzie Crook as Hawkbit
Anne-Marie Duff as Hyzenthlay
Taron Egerton as El-Ahrairah
Freddie Fox as Captain Holly
Daniel Kaluuya as Bluebell
Rory Kinnear as Cowslip
Craig Parkinson as Sergeant Sainfoin
Rosamund Pike as The Black Rabbit Of Inlé
Jason Watkins as Captain Orchis
Gemma Chan as Dewdrop

The series was produced and developed by 42 and Biscuit Entertainment.

Pictured: Woundwort readies his army for battle

The Young Offenders Christmas Special

It's Christmas week and the residents of the estate where Conor, Jock and Mairead live have been fighting eviction from the council for over a month.

The residents have created a barricade to show that they won't be moved to make way for the estate to be renovated, afraid that they might not get back into their homes back if they're forced out.

While all this is happening, Mairead has been sick for weeks and has to be taken to hospital - causing major concern for the lads. Not knowing how to help, the lads ask Mairead if there's anything they can get her and set off on a chaotic adventure to try make her wish come true, which involves some accidental interaction with a local film crew - and a movie star.

But the lads are determined to do something for Mairead, and in the process find out something about themselves and the value of empathy.

Conor is played by Alex Murphy, Jock is played by Chris Walley and Mairead is played by Hilary Rose. 

BBC FOUR

BBC FOUR

BROS: After The Screaming Stops

After The Screaming Stops is a powerful, raw and fascinating insight into one of pop’s original boy bands: Bros.

In the 1980s Bros were one of the biggest bands in the world... for 15 minutes. Having sold out stadiums around the world, they are the youngest to this day to play Wembley Stadium and their Push album went to Number 1 in over 20 countries, selling 10 million copies worldwide.

The rise and fall of Bros was meteoric. After three years of hysteria wherever they went, the documentary deals with the fragility of fame and the heartbreak that followed.

This film charts twins Matt and Luke Goss's reunion 28 years on, having hardly spoken and not played together since their split. With an incredibly fractured relationship and only three weeks to go until sell-out gigs at The O2 London, will they be able to put their history aside and come together as brothers, to play the show of their lives?

Monday 24 December

BBC ONE

BBC ONE

Click and Collect

It's Christmas Eve and Andrew Bennett (Stephen Merchant - The Office, Extras) has failed to buy his daughter's main present - the elusive Sparklehoof the Unicorn Princess.

His over-friendly neighbour (whom Andrew can barely suffer) Dev D’Cruz (Asim Chaudhry - People Just Do Nothing), manages to nab perhaps the last one in the UK online - by click & collect. The only problem? It's 270 miles away.

Andrew has little choice but to embark with Dev on a cross-country road trip as he attempts to save his daughter's Christmas and redeem himself as a dad.

For Andrew it's a nerve-fraying nightmare; for Dev, it's the beer they've never gotten round to.

BBC TWO

BBC TWO

Equestrian: Olympia Grand Prix Highlights

Expect plenty of drama, horseplay and festive fun as the world’s finest show jumpers race not only against each other but also the clock.

Clare Balding presents highlights of the final event of the week, the Turkish Airlines Grand Prix.

The contest has provided an exhilarating conclusion to the annual London International Horse Show over the years, which is celebrating its 111th anniversary in 2018, and last year was no different as Italian Alberto Zorzi triumphed on his Olympia debut on board Contanga.

With fences jumped at a height of 1.60m, the race is a challenge of horse and rider teamwork, concentration and nerve with only those who jump clear able to proceed to the jump off against the clock.

Highlights are repeated on red button from 4pm to 7pm. 

BBC FOUR

BBC FOUR

The Dead Room

Mark Gatiss brings the Christmas ghost story tradition back to life with The Dead Room, a chilling new tale for BBC Four.

Written and directed by Gatiss, the 30-minute film tells the tale of a long-running radio horror series of the same name. Simon Callow (Victoria & Abdul, Shakespeare In Love, Four Weddings And A Funeral) plays Aubrey Judd, the radio series’ veteran presenter and national treasure, who finds that he must adapt to changing times and tastes…

But whatever happened to the classic ghost stories? The good old days?

Aubrey soon discovers that all is not quiet in the eerie radio studio - and that elements of his own past are not as dead and buried as he perhaps hoped...

Mark Gatiss says: "The Christmas Ghost Story is a wonderful and vital TV tradition and one which has found its natural place on BBC Four. A Merry Christmas to all of you at home. Pleasant dreams!”

Simon is joined by Anjli Mohindra (Bodyguard, The Boy with the Topknot, The Sarah Jane Adventures), Susan Penhaligon (Count Dracula, Doctor Who) and Joshua Oakes-Rogers (Little Crackers).

Pictured: Joan (Susan Penhaligon), Aubrey (Simon Callow), Tara (Anjli Mohindra)

Tuesday 25 December

BBC ONE

BBC ONE

Zog

Magic Light Pictures, the multi Oscar-nominated production company is bringing much-loved children’s picture book Zog to BBC One this Christmas.

Written in 2010 by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, creators of the modern classic The Gruffalo, this heartwarming and enchanting half-hour animated special will be voiced by a stellar cast of British acting talent, featuring Sir Lenny Henry as the narrator, Tracey Ullman as Madame Dragon, Hugh Skinner as Zog, Patsy Ferran as Princess Pearl and Kit Harington as Sir Gadabout.

Zog is a keen but accident-prone dragon who gets himself into mischief whilst learning how to fly, roar, breathe fire and fight knights in his first four years at Dragon School. Each year he meets a kindly young girl who patches up his bumps and bruises, but can she help him with his trickiest challenge yet: it's Year Five and he has to capture a princess!

Michael McIntyre's Big Christmas Show

Michael McIntyre's annual festive special returns to BBC One this Christmas, stuffed with big stars, big laughs and bigger surprises!

In this entertainment special recorded at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Michael presents a night packed with Christmas treats and unmissable surprises - including hilarious stand up from Michael and live music from Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins.

Former footballer and TV presenter Chris Kamara - better known as Kammy - plays Send To All. what responses will he get to his unusual Christmas wish list?

A mum from York gets the surprise of her life to discover that Michael been in her house, he knows all about her! Closing the show a magical performance from the Unexpected Star, as 22 year-old Paige from Nottingham gets to sing one of the world’s best known Christmas hits.

Call The Midwife - Christmas Special

As Poplar prepares for Christmas, the nuns travel to the Mother House to elect a new mother superior.

Sister Julienne is the obvious replacement, and must face this possibility as her future at Nonnatus House hangs in the balance. As they ready to leave, Sister Mildred (played by Miriam Margolyes), an indefatigable sister from their order, arrives unexpectedly with her hands full with four Chinese orphans on route to the Children’s Home at the Mother House.

Touched by the plight of the children at the Home, the Nonnatus family and two new nuns, Sister Hilda (played by Fenella Woolgar) and Sister Frances (played by Ella Bruccoleri) come together to give them a Christmas Nativity that they will remember.

Back in Poplar, Trixie returns from Portofino refreshed and with her troubles well and truly behind her, and Valerie leads the baby ballet Christmas performance.

Mrs Brown's Boys

Exotic Mammy.

It’s the festive season once again in the Brown household, and Father Damian has organised a Christmas decoration contest to support the local football team. Agnes is keen to enter, especially as it might mean getting one over her old nemesis Hilliary Nicholson. But when Dermot and Buster give Agnes a wifi assistant she is soon distracted, as she tries to figure out what to do with it.

Meanwhile, Cathy is up for a promotion at work and Dino and Rory give Buster a full make-over, so he can look the best for his internet date. It’s bound to go well, as long as she looks like she does in her photo...

BBC TWO

BBC TWO

Upstart Crow: A Crow Christmas Carol

It’s a bleak midwinter in the Shakespeare household as the family comes to terms with a cruel loss.

But when a mysterious stranger (Kenneth Branagh) offers to share with Will (David Mitchell) a tale of redemption he becomes filled anew with love and light and hope.

Now Will has a mission - to save another soul from despair. He and his family and friends get together to save Greene (Mark Heap) from a mean and miserly life, and arrange for three midnight ghosts to visit him before Christmas.

Who is the stranger? Can Will and his family and friend’s efforts persuade Greene to change his ways and show some generosity to his servant Job Scratchit? (Karl Theobald) And at the end of it all could this tale of Yuletide redemption be another smash Shakespeare hit on the stage, or is its time not yet come?

In short, what the Dickens is going on?

Wednesday 26 December

BBC ONE

BBC ONE

The Midnight Gang

When the clock strikes midnight most children are fast asleep - but for the Midnight Gang the journey is just beginning.

Based on the original book by David Walliams, The Midnight Gang tells the tale of a young boy called Tom who finds himself in the Children’s Ward at St Hugo's Hospital after being hit on the head by a cricket ball. At the hospital he meets a scary porter, the kid-hating matron and newly qualified, and slightly nervous Dr Luppers.

Once Tom is moved to the children’s ward, he discovers The Midnight Gang, a secret gang of children who go on midnight adventures in the hospital making dreams come true.

When Tom’s wicked headmaster turns up at the hospital to take him back to his boarding school, Tom must find a way to stay in the hospital to fulfil one final adventure for The Midnight Gang.

Porter is played by Alan Davies, Matron is played by Haydn Gwynne, Dr Luppers is played by Amit Shah, Headmaster is played by David Walliams, Tom is played by Oliver Zetterstrom, Sir Quentin is played by Mark Heap, Tootsie is played by Jocelyn Jee Esien.

Produced by King Bert Productions.

The ABC Murders

This Christmas, the next instalment in the collection of Agatha Christie stories adapted for the BBC is The ABC Murders. Bafta-nominated writer Sarah Phelps returns to explore the 20th Century through Christie’s work in this adaptation of the classic 1936 title.

John Malkovich leads the cast as Hercule Poirot alongside Rupert Grint as Inspector Crome, Andrew Buchan as Franklin Clarke, Eamon Farren as Cust, Tara Fitzgerald as Lady Hermione Clarke, Shirley Henderson as Rose Marbury, Jack Farthing as Donald Fraser, Bronwyn James in the role of Megan and Freya Mavor as Thora Grey.

It’s 1933 and a killer travels the length and breadth of Britain via the railway network. The killer uses the alias ABC, and strikes in a methodical pattern, leaving a copy of the ABC railway guide at the scene of each of murder. As Poirot attempts to investigate he is thwarted on every front. If he is to match his most cunning nemesis, everything about him will be called into question: his authority, his integrity, his identity.

BBC TWO

BBC TWO

The Morecambe And Wise Show: The Lost Tapes

For the first time since their original broadcast in 1968, two episodes of Morecambe and Wise will be played on BBC Two this Christmas after the original colour tapes were lost for 50 years.

The two, black and white episodes were found in a derelict cinema in Sierra Leone and have been transformed back into colour by decoding colour information within the copies.

Both 30-minute episodes featured in the first series when the comedy duo returned to the BBC, and one includes an appearance from Michael Aspel.

Ken Dodd: How Tickled We Were

BBC Two documentary celebrating the life of Sir Ken Dodd.

Ken Dodd: How Tickled We Were explores the life and work of the man described by many as the last great music hall entertainer. Sir Ken’s performing career spanned 70 years: his first professional stage engagement was in September 1954 and his final performance in his home city of Liverpool was in December 2017.

After his rapid rise to stardom he stayed at the top of British show business for six decades, with countless television series, radio shows, theatre tours, summer seasons and variety shows, as well as a hugely successful career as a recording artist. He was first and foremost a stage performer, and his work in the theatre ranged from pantomime to Shakespeare. His nights of stand-up comedy, still performed in theatres all over Britain until last year, became legendary for their duration.

Ken Dodd: How Tickled We Were tells Sir Ken’s story from his boyhood growing up in the 1930’s in Knotty Ash, through his big break into show business and then on to his unrivalled career in entertainment. Poignant and uplifting, the programme features interviews with the people who knew Sir Ken best - friends and family in Liverpool and beyond, and his many colleagues, admirers and fellow-performers from the world of entertainment. The programme also features an interview with Sir Ken’s wife, Lady Anne Dodd.

Thursday 27 December

BBC ONE

BBC ONE

Holby City

Christmas Day opens up old wounds for Fletch (Alex Walkinshaw), as an explosive family secret is exposed. Meanwhile, a mysterious Santa walks the halls of Holby.

Recent events cause Hanssen (Guy Henry) to doubt his suitability for CEO, but when the team is faced with saving an esteemed colleague’s life, will Hanssen change his mind?

Christmas doesn’t hold great memories for Xavier (Marcus Griffiths), but will an unlikely source encourage him to make happier ones?

Pictured: Jac Naylor (Rosie Marcel)

The ABC Murders

Despite being warned off the case by Inspector Crome (Rupert Grint), Hercule (John Malkovich) continues to conduct his own investigation into the A.B.C. killer. He receives another letter promising a murder in Churston.

Hercule deciphers that the victim could be someone from his past - Sir Carmichael Clarke (Christopher Villiers) - and immediately telephones his house. Carmichael’s brother Franklin (Andrew Buchan) answers, but Hercule is too late again. Moments later Franklin confirms the worst: Carmichael has been murdered.

National interest in the killings explodes. The public begin to panic, turning against Poirot, infuriated by his inability to catch the killer and suspicious of his involvement. Franklin Clarke offers to pay Hercule to catch the killer. Hercule agrees and gathers some of the victim’s family members to ask them questions. There is a pattern to the murders, the killer is following the ABC Railway Guide and choosing his victims by letters of the alphabet. Finally, Crome pays attention.

Hercule receives another letter drawing his attention to Doncaster and after informing Crome, they try to get there before the A.B.C. killer. Always one step behind, they arrive too late and discover the dead body of Benny Grew (Neil Hurst). However, Hercule believes the killer has made a terrible mistake and the wrong person has been killed. He expects A.B.C. will atone for his error in the worst way possible - a storm of slaughter.

While walking through Paddington tube station, Hercule senses he is being followed by a mysterious figure and gives chase. He ends up receiving a sinister call and a hostile note.

Pictured: Inspector Crome (Rupert Grint)

Friday 28 December

BBC ONE

BBC ONE

Take That: We've Come A Long Way

As Take That mark their 30th anniversary, one of Britain’s most successful and best-loved bands will be celebrated in a special one-off programme coming to BBC One this Christmas.

Take That: We’ve Come A Long Way will feature fans from all over the country and beyond, sharing their stories of how the band touched their lives - and in some cases changed their world completely.

The most successful boy band in UK chart history will be reunited as Robbie Williams rejoins them to share favourite memories, as Take That reflect on three decades in the spotlight - while also offering up candid, previously unseen material that they shot over the years.

There will also be a reunion for the boys’ biggest fans of all - the five proud Take That mums.

The band will take us on a guided tour of significant Take That locations, with some memorable fan surprises along the way.

We’ll also get a glimpse of their preparations for their anniversary album, and see them in the studio with Bee Gees legend Barry Gibb.

The ABC Murders

As A.B.C. dominates the news, the public are demanding answers, fearing for their lives. Without any warning, the A.B.C. murderer strikes again in the bathroom of Embsay station, where Ernie Edwards is murdered.

Hercule (John Malkovich) and Crome (Rupert Grint) arrive at the crime scene, once again too late. However, the police have found someone’s belongings nearby and they finally sense they have got the killer in their sights.

An arrest is finally made and the country celebrates and breathes a collective sigh of relief… but something doesn’t feel right to Hercule. Have they really caught the A.B.C. killer?

A flashback to Belgium 1914 and Hercule’s true past is revealed. He’s witnessed horror like he’ll never experience again and it shapes the man he eventually becomes, explaining his life-long debt to the dead.

With a suspect in police custody and the public supposedly safe, Hercule is yet to be convinced that everything is as it seems. One piece of the puzzle remains to be solved, and it’s up to Hercule and his little grey cells to do what he does best.

Can he fulfil his life-long debt to the dead, solve the mystery and learn the true identity of the A.B.C killer?

BBC TWO

BBC TWO

Billy Connolly: Made In Scotland

In British comedy there is a line in the sand - and that line is Billy Connolly.

Before he found fame on an international level, British comedy was an end of the pier kind of affair. But through sheer talent and force of personality Connolly ploughed a different, and deeply personal yet universal, approach to comedy - and in doing so he changed the face of British comedy forever.

This two-part series Billy Connolly: Made In Scotland is built around intimate interviews with the great man himself and provides a unique insight into the early influences and motivations that made this comedy legend the man he is today.

Part one, of two one-hour specials, feature Eddie Izzard, Ross Noble, Micky Flanagan, Lord Grade, Tracey Ullman, A.L. Kennedy, Val McDermid, Sharleen Spiteri and Eddi Reader.

Billy Connolly: Made In Scotland is a 7Wonder production.

About Programme Information

All copy within Programme Information can be used free of charge on condition that it credits the relevant BBC programme or service.

Scheduling information in Programme Information is subject to change.

BBC Scotland, BBC Wales and BBC Northern Ireland Programme Information bulletins are in pdf format only.