The BBC has unveiled its Christmas TV schedule for 2013.
Red Productions’ hit drama Last Tango in Halifax has landed a prime-time slot on Christmas Eve, with Alan and Celia’s wedding set to draw in the ratings.
Following the success of last year’s Mr Stink, David Walliams’ children’s novel Gangsta Granny will star Miranda Hart and Rob Brydon.
Commissioned by BBC Comedy at MediaCityUK, the 60-minute special has been co-written by Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley (Gnomeo & Juliet, Robbie The Reindeer, Black Books) along with Walliams.
This year’s CBeebies Christmas Show will be a specially-composed musical version of ‘A Christmas Carol’, featuring presenters including Justin Fletcher, Phil Gallagher (Mister Maker), Ben Faulks (Mr Bloom) and Chris and Pui (Show Me Show Me).
Filmed in Sheffield, the show was actually recorded on November 8 and 9.
Familiar blockbusters in the shape of Eastenders, Doctor Who, Call The Midwife and Sherlock will also feature in the Christmas line-up.
Danny Cohen, director of television, said: “Brilliant Christmas telly across Drama, Factual, Comedy, Entertainment and Religion is something licence-fee payers rightly expect from the BBC and this year’s holiday schedule delivers that.
“We have massive events such as the Doctor Who re-generation and the incredible return of Sherlock, as well as festive specials from hit shows including Strictly Come Dancing, Mrs Brown’s Boys, Call The Midwife, Bad Education, and the Great British Bake Off.
“And of course there are brand-new treats such as David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny and we’ll be showing a wide range of religious programming, including a live broadcast of The First Eucharist of Christmas from Westminster Abbey.”
Durham-born Mark Gatiss returns with two new programmes, a dramatization of ghost story The Tractate Middoth and a documentary looking at the work of its writer, MR James.
On Christmas Eve, BBC One will broadcast The First Eucharist of Christmas live from Westminster Abbey celebrated by the Dean of Westminster, in addition to Carols from King’s on BBC Two. The Christmas Day Sung Eucharist will also come live from Westminster Abbey, and on New Year’s Day, The Archbishop’s New Year Message will be the first to be delivered by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
Sir Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly host the final of Strictly Come Dancing, while Mark Radcliffe will countdown decades of festive pop favourites in Top of the Pops 2 Christmas Special.
Film premieres include Toy Story 3, Cars 2, Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom, Gnomeo and Juliet, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Little Fockers and Megamind. BBC Four will be showing classic Ealing comedies, such as Titfield Thunderbolt, Whisky Galore and Kind Hearts And Coronets, as well as Scott Of The Antarctic, Papillon and The Fir Tree, a biography of a Christmas Tree based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen