New Top Gear as BBC Christmas schedule revealed 7 months ago

New Top Gear as BBC Christmas schedule revealed

A Very British Scandal is the big new drama of the season

The BBC Christmas schedule has been unveiled and there's festive specials of classic shows - and some cracker new offerings too.

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The biggest hits include the return of Top Gear for a one-off seasonal special, as well as new Doctor Who on New Year's Day. And there'll be two new David Attenborough films, including one about a woolly mammoth graveyard.

There'll also be specials of Strictly Come Dancing, Call The Midwife, and Mackenzie Crook's modernisation of Worzel Gummidge.

More festive specials come in the form of Mrs Brown's Boys, MasterChef, Shaun The Sheep, and the return of The Weakest Link with new host Romesh Ranganathan.

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In terms of new arrivals, A Very British Scandal is the big new drama of the season. Starring The Crown's Claire Foy and Iron Man's Paul Bettany, it's a dramatic revisiting of the real-life scandal of the divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll in the 1960s.

Paul Bettany and Claire Foy in A Very English Scandal (Photo: BBC)

Another of the broadcaster's big seasonal shows is a remake of the adventure novel Around the World in 80 Days starring David Tennant.

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And 50 Shades actor Jamie Dornan returns to the small screen for The Tourist, a thriller set in the Australian outback where he plays a man being pursued by a giant tank truck.

How can I watch this year's BBC Christmas TV?

Everything's available live and also on BBC iPlayer.

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The BBC's chief content officer Charlotte Moore has called this year's haul "special programmes to enthral and enchant".

Let's hope so, last year many viewers criticised the BBC's seasonal line-up. With many filming schedules halted due to Covid, the broadcaster was forced to play more re-runs than usual. After seeing the 2020 scheduling, one social media user wrote: "Jesus Christ as if we haven’t suffered enough this year."

Viewers have mostly reacted positively to this year's schedule, with one joking: "£159 a year for this Christmas schedule is a disgrace. It's far too low. For this excellent televisual feast I would expect to pay at least £400. Well done BBC. Another winner."

View the full BBC Christmas line-up here.

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