The BBC has bought Jurassic Park from Hollywood director Steven Spielberg for showing on Christmas Day at 7pm. Spielberg insisted that no cuts be made and BBC1 controller Michael Jackson has scrutinised the film, which shows humans being hunted by dinosaurs, and says it has been carefully scheduled to avoid scaring young children. It will compete with the Oscar- nominated Remains of the Day on ITV, starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.
The fortnight of programmes contains almost 200 hours of BBC-originated material, with 37 drama and entertainment specials and 12 television network film premieres.
Comedian David Jason returns for a three-part mini-series of Only Fools And Horses and Dawn French stars in The Vicar of Dibley. Films include The Firm, starring Tom Cruise as a lawyer desperate to escape his new bosses, whale movie Free Willy, Cliffhanger, starring Sylvester Stallone, and Shadowlands with Sir Anthony Hopkins as the writer CS Lewis.
Richard Gere and Jodie Foster come together for Sommersby - the Hollywood adaptation of the Return of Martin Guerre. Woody Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery and Glengarry Glen Ross starring Al Pacino and Jack Lemmon are BBC2 highlights. Drama includes The Mill On The Floss starring Emily Watson and James Frain, while Inspector Morse star Kevin Whately plays a civil servant trapped in a food scare in the Screen One comedy Gobble.
Last year the BBC switched the broadcasting time of EastEnders because of a clash with ITV's Coronation Street, and Mr Jackson has not ruled out last-minute adjustments this year. "We will tinker with the schedule right up until the last minute. We want to make sure we have the best programme combination," he said.