Christmas TV: scheduling confirmed for Doctor Who, Strictly and Downton

Festive EastEnders and Absolutely Fabulous likely to suffer up against Downton Abbey

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Christmas TV: scheduling confirmed for Doctor Who, Strictly and Downton
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Start planning your Christmas Day viewing now! RadioTimes.com can confirm schedule details for the festive editions of Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, Downton Abbey and other major programmes.

The Doctor Who Christmas episode - entitled The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe - will air on BBC1 at 7pm, with Strictly Come Dancing at 8pm. ITV1 offers All Star Family Fortunes at 7pm, followed by Coronation Street at 8pm.

ITV1's big hitter, the seasonal one-off episode of period drama Downton Abbey, will be broadcast at 9pm, finishing at 11.05pm.

The Christmas Day episode of EastEnders goes head to head with Downton Abbey at 9pm. Then the highly anticipated comeback of Jennifer Saunders' sitcom Absolutely Fabulous takes place on BBC1 at 10pm on Christmas Day, followed by Michael McIntyre's Christmas Comedy Roadshow at 10.30pm.

Earlier on Christmas Day, BBC1 offers The Gruffalo's Child at 6.30pm. Its afternoon films are Kung Fu Panda (12.35pm), Monsters vs Aliens (3.10pm) and Ratatouille (4.50pm). ITV1 shows Aladdin at 1.15pm and Happy Feet at 3.10pm, before an early-evening line-up of You've Been Framed! at 5.30pm and Emmerdale at 6pm.

On Christmas Night, BBC2 runs with Darcey Bussell Dances Hollywood at 6.30pm, followed by two Blackadder repeats and the documentary The Toys That Made Christmas at 9pm. C4 has the film Ice Age 3 at 7.15pm, with Alan Carr: Chatty Man at 9pm.

BBC1's new feature-length dramatisation of The Borrowers, starring Stephen Fry and Victoria Wood alongside Aisling Loftus, Sharon Horgan and Christopher Eccleston, airs on Boxing Day at 7.30pm.

The David Jason comedy The Royal Bodyguard - co-starring David Walliams - starts its run on BBC1 at 9.30pm on Boxing Day.

The long-delayed new Poirot episode, The Clocks, will be broadcast on ITV1 at 9pm on Boxing Day. It stars Geoffrey Palmer, Lesley Sharp and the late Anna Massey, plus of course David Suchet.

The BBC's big festive period drama is Great Expectations, showing at 9pm on Tuesday 27 December, Wednesday 28 December and Thursday 29 December. It stars Gillian Anderson and Ray Winstone.

Doctor Who star Matt Smith is a guest on The Graham Norton Show on Friday 23 December at 10.35pm on BBC1, along with Kenneth Branagh, Amir Khan and Russell Kane.

Other festive highlights include The Lost Christmas (5.30pm Sunday 18 December BBC1); Just Henry (7pm Sunday 18 December ITV1); Bleak Old Shop of Stuff (8.30pm Monday 19 December BBC2); Fast Freddie, the Widow and Me (9pm Tuesday 27 December ITV1) and Charlie Brooker's 2011 Wipe (10.30pm Friday 30 December BBC4). 

For full details of these and hundreds of other programmes - including TV, radio and film - see the bumper Christmas double issue of Radio Times, on sale from 3 December and available everywhere by 7 December.