BBC confirms Christmas schedule, with Doctor Who, A Christmas Carol, Worzel Gummidge and more

There will be plenty to watch on the box this year, providing a perfect break from the busy festive season

Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who series 12 (BBC)

The BBC has officially revealed its Christmas TV line-up, which includes the return of some heavy hitters as well as a handful of brand new shows.


Arguably the most high profile festive special is Gavin & Stacey after a decade away, which will hit screens on Christmas Day.

Another iconic BBC comedy, Miranda, is also returning but as a live special with the cast commemorating the show’s debut, rather than a new scripted episode.

The laughs keep coming as Lee Mack’s Not Going Out returns to BBC One with an episode titled Driving Home For Christmas, which sees Lee and Lucy’s plans unravel into chaos (as per usual). This time, a last minute errand on Christmas Eve takes Lee deep into the countryside where he runs into a particularly aggressive bull.

There’s also plenty for fans of drama to enjoy, with high profile new productions including an adaptation of A Christmas Carol starring Guy Pearce from the creator of Peaky Blinders.

Meanwhile, a new take on Dracula from Steven Moffatt and Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) promises to give viewers some festive frights, with Danish actor Claes Bang taking the lead role.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 15:00:01 on 27/10/2019 - Programme Name: Dracula - TX: n/a - Episode: Dracula - episode 1 (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: **EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 15:00 HRS ON SUNDAY 27TH OCTOBER 2019** Dracula (CLAES BANG) - (C) Hartswood Films - Photographer: Robert Viglasky

History buffs may want to look out for The Trial of Christine Keeler, which takes another look at the scandalous events of the Profumo Affair, with James Norton, Ellie Bamber and Emilia Fox starring.

For all the family, BBC One will be showing an adaptation of cherished children’s book The Snail and The Whale starring Dame Diana Rigg and Rob Brydon, as well as Michael Morpurgo’s Mimi and the Mountain Dragon set to an all-new orchestral theme.

Comedian Michael McIntyre is bringing a Christmas edition of his Big Show recorded at London Palladium, with Sharon Osborne the latest celeb to sacrifice her phone for the Send To All treatment.

Meanwhile, Mrs Brown’s Boys is also coming back for its usual seasonal double bill: A Wonderful Mammy and Orange Is The New Mammy.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without new Doctor Who, so fans will be pleased to see the launch of the 12th series with Jodie Whittaker back in the lead role, alongside Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole.

Speaking of regenerating classic shows, Worzel Gummidge is coming back to the BBC with a fresh lick of paint, as Mackenzie Crook takes the title role from the late Jon Pertwee.

Programme Name: Worzel Gummidge - TX: n/a - Episode: Worzel Gummidge - First Look (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Worzel Gummidge (MACKENZIE CROOK) - (C) Leopard Pictures - Photographer: Matt Burlem
Worzel Gummidge

There will also be festive editions of the Goes Wrong Show and Strictly Come Dancing, the latter seeing the return of former contestants Joe Sugg, Debbie McGee, Chizzy Akudolu, Gemma Atkinson, Mark Wright and Richard Arnold.

Mary Berry will dish up some tasty treats for charity workers in her special A Berry Royal Christmas, while Bradley Walsh and Holly Willoughby will give families the chance to go to Lapland in Take Off With Bradley and Holly.

Nature lovers will be treated to Liz Bonnin’s documentary Winter Animals, as well as Animal Park which gives viewers an insight into Longleat at Christmas time.

The Repair Shop, Meet The Street and Songs of Praise will each get a special, while Dame Edna will also return to the BBC with a show filmed in front of a live audience.

The festivities continue on BBC Two, where you’ll find Gareth Malone’s Christmas Concert featuring the staff, patients and families of Watford General Hospital, while Inside The Christmas Factory will take a look at how the nation’s favourite treats are produced.


There will be comedic takes on the last 12 months from Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, Rhys Thomas’ A Year in the Life of a Year, as well as Cunk and Other Humans on 2019, starring Diane Morgan as the dopey Philomena Cunk.

The Top Gear gang will make a treacherous journey from Kathmandu to the Forbidden City of Lo Manthang, while comedian Romesh Ranganathan will find himself marooned in the Sahara Desert in a new instalment of his Misadventures.

The channel will also air documentaries on the career of Hugh Grant, literary icons Paddington Bear and Dracula, as well as a look at how Christmas was celebrated in Tudor times with historian Lucy Worsley.

Former Time Lord Peter Capaldi will star in the spooky ghost story Martin’s Close on BBC Four, which will also see the debut of a documentary about an Innuit hunter called The Last Igloo.


The exact scheduling of their Christmas programmes is expected to be released by the BBC in early December.