Claire Skinner and Bill Bailey for Doctor Who Christmas special

Famous guest stars, a spooky setting and a stupid hat promised for this year's special Doctor Who

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Details of this year’s Doctor Who episode at Christmas have been announced with writer and show runner Steven Moffat saying this will be the “most Christmassy ever” as the Doctor is joined by guest star Claire Skinner from Outnumbered.

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“Of all the Doctors, Matt Smith’s is the one that was born for this time of year,” said Moffat. “So it’s the best news possible that he’s heading back down the chimney.”

Skinner says: “I am thrilled to be in Doctor Who playing Madge, who is a bit of a super-mum. It’s a magical part.”

Other famous names joining the special include Alexander Armstrong, Arabella Weir and comedian Bill Bailey, who announced his appearance on Twitter, saying: “Tour done, wine is on, thanks to all who came – back to Blighty to film Doctor Who Christmas special. Onward!”

Moffat revealed just a touch more of what we can expect to see by saying how much he enjoyed writing this episode for Matt Smith: “It’s maybe because it’s so his kind of day. Everything’s bright and shiny, everybody’s having a laugh, and nobody minds if you wear a really stupid hat.”

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Spoilers: Moffat promises a Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe-like tale with a forest and an ice villain. Madge and her children are evacuated during the Second World War to a strange house in Dorset where there’s a “mysterious young man in a bow tie, and a big blue parcel is waiting for them under the tree. They are about to enter a magical new world and learn that a Time Lord never forgets his debts.”