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    The BBC Christmas Schedules Are Unsurprisingly All About "Doctor Who" And "Sherlock"

    The two big drama hits form the centrepieces of the festive programming.

    No sooner is the 50th anniversary out of the way than the BBC has started promoting the Christmas special.


    Matt Smith's final appearance as the Doctor has been confirmed for the show's traditional Christmas Day timeslot. The special is called The Time Of The Doctor and will form the centrepiece the festive schedule. The first image has been released from the episode, which will see Peter Capaldi make his debut in the role.

    Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe's deadliest species, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars. And amongst them - the Doctor.Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.

    The first teaser went out after The Day Of The Doctor.


    And it looks like there'll be a greatest hits of monsters. There's Daleks and Cybermen and Silents and Weeping Angels!

    The other biggest draw is the long (long) awaited return of Sherlock.


    The show will return over the festive period, although the expected New Year's Day airdate has not been confirmed. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman star in three new 90-minute episodes, The Empty Hearse, The Sign Of Three and His Last Vow.

    The question on everyone's lips will finally be answered when Sherlock returns. How did he do it? And how will John take the news that his best friend faked his own death?What will Sherlock think when he finds out John has fallen in love with Mary Morstan? She's sensible, quick-witted and not at all taken in by Sherlock's posturing.

    There's a new trailer as well.


    Miranda Hart and Robbie Williams star in David Walliams' Gangsta Granny.


    Adapted from his children's book, the one-off follows the story of Ben (Reece Buttery) whose Granny (Julia McKenzie) turns out to be an international jewel thief. Walliams said: "Gangsta Granny has proved to be the most popular of all my books. It is an adventure story about two unlikely thieves, Granny and her grandson Ben. It should make for exciting family viewing at Christmas."

    The Whale tells the story of the real-life events that inspired Moby Dick.

    And it stars Martin Sheen, Jonas Armstrong and Paul Kaye. Other drama events include specials of Call The Midwife and Last Tango In Halifax, as well as PD James adaptation Death Comes To Pemberley, which stars Jenna Coleman in her other big Christmas appearance.

    The big Christmas Day movie is Toy Story 3.


    Also across the festive period there will be Cars 2, Kung Fu Panda, The Kaboom Of Doom, Gnomeo And Juliet, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Little Fockers and Megamind.

    Brilliant Christmas telly across drama, factual, comedy, entertainment and religion is something license-fee payers expect rightly expect from the BBC, and this year's holiday schedule delivers that.We have massive events such as the Doctor Who regeneration and the incredible return of Sherlock, as well as festive specials from hit shows including Strictly Come Dancing, Mrs Brown's Boys, 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.

    But probably the most exciting thing of all is Danny Dyer's arrival in EastEnders.


    His bulldog is called Lady Di, for crying out loud.

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