BBC Christmas TV schedule: From Watership Down and The ABC Murders to Luther series 5 and Les Misérables

'Doctor Who' and 'Mrs Brown's Boys' among returning shows

Jack Shepherd
Tuesday 27 November 2018 10:06
Doctor Who, Poirot and Luther all on the BBC this Christmas
Doctor Who, Poirot and Luther all on the BBC this Christmas

The BBC has unveiled its Christmas TV schedule for 2018, revealing a line-up that features iconic detectives, animated rabbits, and 19th century classics.

John Malkovich’s Poirot leads the way, the actor starring as the iconic character alongside Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint in an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders.

A star-studded version of Watership Down – featuring the voices of James McAvoy, Nicolas Hoult, John Boyega, Olivia Coleman, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton, and Peter Capaldi – will also debut on BBC One, as will a six-part version of Les Misérables starring Dominic West, David Oyelowo and Lily Collins.

Other dramas include a three-part adaptation of The Long Song, with Tamara Lawrence and Hayley Atwell, and the comeback of Idris Elba’s Luther in the series's fifth season.

Returning to the BBC this Christmas for special episodes are Call the Midwife, Mrs Brown’s Boys, Still Open All Hours, Strictly Come Dancing, Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show, and Hold the Sunset.

There are also live episodes of Lee Mack’s Not Going Out and Stephen Merchant’s new comedy Click & Collect on the way. Two previously lost episodes of Morecambe and Wise – which were discovered in a cinema in Sierra Leone – will also be broadcast.

This year’s Doctor Who special has been moved to New Year’s Day, with Jodie Whittaker’s character said to be tackling a “terrifying evil” that’s been stirring across centuries of Earth’s history.

Documentaries this year will explore the lives of comedian Billy Connolly, writer Andrew Davies and storyteller Raymond Briggs. There’s also a food special featuring Great British Bake Off’s Mary Berry and Nadiya Hussain.

The BBC are the first major channel to announce their full Christmas schedule, with Channel 4 and ITV having only revealed parts of theirs.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in