BBC Christmas 2017 TV line-up announced

Here's a pick of the BBC's drama and comedy for this Christmas, including Doctor Who and The League Of Gentlemen...

Get ready to mentally circle a few items in the festive TV planner; the BBC has officially announced its Christmas 2017 line-up.

Our priorities first: Peter Capaldi’s outgoing Doctor Who episode in the leading role, Twice Upon A Time. The episode is written by Steven Moffat, directed by Rachel Talalay and stars Capaldi, Pearl Mackie, Mark Gatiss and David Bradley.

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According to the official synopsis, Twice Upon A Time will see Twelve and Bill “team up with the first ever Doctor to battle the enchanted glass people before he regenerates into the 13th Doctor”. Expect that to air on December the 25th as usual (we’ll confirm the time as soon as it’s announced).

Next up are three (hooray!) brand new episodes of The League Of Gentlemen, created especially to mark twenty years of Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss and Jeremy Dyson’s show at the BBC. The episodes will air on consecutive nights on Monday the 18th, Tuesday the 19th and Wednesday the 20th of December.

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Also celebrating a BBC comedy anniversary are Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, whose 300 Years Of French And Saunders marks their first major collaboration for a decade. Alan Partridge too, is marking 25 years at the BBC with a retrospective documentary, arriving ahead of next year’s new series.

Elsewhere in comedy, there’ll be Christmas special episodes of Shakespeare comedy Upstart Crow and Lee Mack’s Not Going Out. The deliciously thick icing on the Christmas cake though, is certain to be A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong (from the stage team behind last year’s blisteringly silly Peter Pan Goes Wrong), which is guaranteed to be a huge amount of family fun.

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For kids, this year’s David Walliams adaptation is Grandpa’s Great Escape, while this year’s Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler animated tale is The Highway Rat.

In terms of drama, there’s an adaptation of Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist, thriller McMafia, and a new Little Women adapted by Call The Midwife’s Heidi Thomas. The recently-made-traditional Agatha Christie drama, which was this year to have been Ordeal By Innocence, won’t air until legal allegations surrounding one of its stars, Ed Westwick, have been resolved.

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Charlie Brooker confirmed here on Twitter that due to other commitments, there won’t be a 2017 Wipe (which feels very 2017, doesn’t it?) New Black Mirror and Philomena Cunk on the way in December though!

We’ll bring you more TV picks and air dates closer to the time.