BBC Christmas TV schedule announced with Strictly, Mrs Browns Boys and new Happy Valley

 One of the most interesting new projects coming to screens will be Martin Compston's Scottish mini-series Mayflies, based on on Andrew O’Hagan’s 2021 novel.

(Image: BBC / Alan Peebles)

The BBC has announced its 2022 Christmas schedule and is certainly set to excite viewers over the festive season.

From exciting new shows to festive editions of fan favourites, there will be something for everyone to sit down and watch on Christmas. One of the most interesting new projects coming to screens will be Martin Compston's Scottish mini-series Mayflies, based on on Andrew O’Hagan’s 2021 novel.

Strictly Come Dancing and Mrs Brown’s Boys are set to return with special festive episodes, as well as a New Year's Eve edition of The Graham Norton Show and a Call the Midwife special. Last year, the BBC's Strictly’s Christmas special was the most-watched programme over the Christmas period aside from the Queen’s festive message.

BBC sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys will return with special episodes over Christmas and New Year. The series, which stars Irish comedian Brendan O'Carrol l as matriarch Anges Brown, first aired in 2011 and has become one of the biggest comedy shows on television.

The Call The Midwife Christmas Special, which was the BBC's third most-watched programme in 2021, will also return in for a 75-minute special episode. This will show the midwives move the maternity clinic into new premises, as the period show covers December 1967.

Other top entertainment programmes to look forward to include: Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel, The Weakest Link Christmas Special, and the debut of Mo Gilligan’s music game show, That’s My Jam. As well as festive episodes of The Hit List, Question of Sport, Pointless, University Challenge, QI and Would I Lie To You.

Other new shows to be broadcast over Christmas include Sir David Attenborough’s Dynasties II and Frozen Planet II, The Cleaner, The Repair Shop, Antiques Roadshow and Inside No 9.

The BBC is also bringing back crime drama Happy Valley for its third and final series, set in West Yorkshire and starring Sarah Lancashire as Sergeant Catherine Cawood. The six-part series will be the final chapter of the Happy Valley story, created by Sally Wainwright.

Meanwhile, the final chapter of the trilogy His Dark Materials starring James McAvoy and Ruth Wilson will also be broadcast over the Christmas period. The adaptation of Philip Pullman’s novel is a co-production between the BBC and US station HBO.

Top Of The Pops returns for a Christmas Day special hosted by Radio 1’s Clara Amfo and Jack Saunders as does Jools’ Annual Hootenanny. In addition, Eurovision runner-up Sam Ryder will host a New Year’s Eve party for the first time.

Elsewhere, an animated film based on Charlie Mackesy’s best-selling book, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse will also be released, and Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s intergalactic story, The Smeds And The Smoos, will be made into a half-hour special.

For the first time, the Men’s FIFA World Cup Final will be added to the Christmas schedule and broadcasted live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Sunday 18 December.

Charlotte Moore, BBC chief content officer, said: “Nothing brings people across the UK together like Christmas on the BBC and this year we’ve got a world-class line-up like no other. Get ready to escape and be entertained with an incredible range of new festive shows across every genre. Live or on demand, there’s something for everyone."
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