Mrs Brown’s Boys festive specials announced for Christmas and New Year

 



Specials of Strictly Come Dancing and Mrs Brown's Boys have been announced by the BBC along with other festive extras of the broadcaster's shows.

There will also be Christmas specials of BBC shows such as Call The Midwife, EastEnders, Bad Education, Ghosts, Malory Towers, Motherland, The Cleaner, Inside No 9 and Detectorists.

Coronation Street's Les Dennis and Derry Girls actress Siobhan McSweeney have already been announced as the guest stars in the second festive special of Caribbean crime drama Death In Paradise.

The final chapter of the adaption of Philip Pullman's novel trilogy His Dark Materials will also be broadcast over the Christmas period along with another adaption of JK Rowling's Cormoran Strike crime fiction series, which she wrote under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Strike: Troubled Blood sees Strike, played by Tom Burke, visit family in Cornwall when he's called on to solve a mysterious cold case.

Happy Valley also returns to the BBC for its third and final series, starring Sarah Lancashire as Sergeant Catherine Cawood.

Sgt Cawood discovers remains of a gangland murder victim in a drained reservoir, which leads her to Tommy Lee Royce, played by James Norton.

Sherlock actor Mark Gatiss stars as Jacob Marley in a stage production of A Christmas Carol as he adapts another ghost story about Count Magnus.

In music, Top Of The Pops returns for a Christmas special hosted by Radio 1's Clara Amfo and Jack Saunders and in Cliff At Christmas, Cliff Richard chats to Sara Cox about his 64-year career and also performs some of his Christmas classics, new songs and best-loved hits.

On New Year's Eve, Jools Holland will host his annual Hootenanny while Eurovision runner-up Sam Ryder will be joined by some of music's biggest stars to put on a New Year's Eve party.

The Graham Norton Show will be back for its regular New Year's Eve edition which this year will see Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman and Top Boy's Michael Ward, who co-star in Sam Mendes' romantic drama Empire of Light, House actor Hugh Laurie, comedian Romesh Ranganathan and footballer Leah Williamson.

It's A Sin's Callum Scott-Howells and The Handmaid's Tale's Madeline Brewer will also perform songs from a West End revival of Cabaret on the celebrity interview show.

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."

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

Mayflies, starring Line Of Duty's Martin Compston, Outlaw King actor Tony Curran and Ugly Betty's Ashley Jensen, will also be released. It is about the summer of 1986 where two friends go from a Scottish town to a magical weekend in Manchester.

There will also be specials of popular quiz shows including Blankety Blank, Romesh Ranganathan's The Weakest Link, The Hit List, Question Of Sport, Pointless, University Challenge, Would I Lie To You and QI.

Plus, Richard Osman will open the doors to brand new episodes of his Festive House Of Games.

Meanwhile, comedian Mo Gilligan debuts music game show That's My Jam and comedian Michael McIntyre will be joined by Gino D'Acampo, Alesha Dixon and Bear Grylls where they will 'spin the wheel' to win money for charity.

The Great British Sewing Bee also returns with Strictly's Johannes Radebe, EastEnders' Natalie Cassidy, podcaster Rosie Ramsey and TV personality Penny Lancaster.

Live At The Apollo and Frankie Boyle's 2022 New World Order will also be broadcast over Christmas.

Meanwhile, Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse will leave Britain behind for the first time in Gone Fishing's history to visit Norway - 'the country where cod is God'.

Mary Berry will share her ultimate Christmas feast with chefs Angela Hartnett and Monica Galetti and presenter Rylan Clark as MasterChef judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace are back once again for two specials.

The Repair Shop and Antiques Roadshow will also have special festive episodes.

Natural history lovers will see David Attenborough's Dynasties II and Frozen Planet II return for specials and Gordon Buchanan documents huskies in Snow Dogs: Into The Wild.

In My Life At Christmas, actress and comedian Sally Phillips will meet presenter Reverend Richard Coles, author Lemn Sissay and Strictly's Shirley Ballas to explore how their memories of Christmas reflect career, family, life and faith changes.

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