Man of Science and perfect hair Professor Brian Cox is joining forces with Eric Idle for a one hour Christmas Special for BBC Two.

Its name: The Entire Universe. Its premise: a scientific Christmas lecture gone weird (and musical).

Brian Cox will start the show with a festive science class before heading to Rutland Weekend Television, the same RWT featured in Idle's 1970s sketch show of the same name.

Completely naturally, this sets in motion a lesson where Cox tries to fill Idle’s considerable gap science knowledge with full Spamalot-style songs (remember, Cox was the keyboard player in rock band Dare).

Alongside Cox and Idle in this, shall we say, Python-led story arc, Warwick Davis will appear as The Big Bang (spot the joke), and Noel Fielding will take on Einstein. And all that happens why Robin Ince – who currently co-hosts The Infinite Monkey Cage science podcast with Cox – tries to keep order. Seamless.

“I’ve made many television documentaries over the years, and a constant complaint has been that the music is too loud and obscures the science," said Cox. "This undermines my credibility as a serious scientist. I expect The Entire Universe to be the final nail in the coffin.”

However, Idle is looking on the bright side: “I am very pleased that Rutland Weekend Television is back on BBC TV with a Christmas Special only 41 years after its last one. The world’s smallest TV station takes on the world’s largest subject: the entire universe.”

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