BBC releases Christmas TV schedules featuring 'Doctor Who', 'Superworm' and star-studded drama

The BBC has released its festive highlights. (BBC)
The BBC has released its festive highlights. (BBC)

The BBC has released its Christmas 2021 TV schedule, with Doctor Who, EastEnders, Superworm and star-studded dramas including The Tourist and A Very British Scandal amongst the highlights.

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Festive drama gems include The Tourist starring Jamie Dornan as a man searching for his identity in the Australian Outback, A Very British Scandal featuring Claire Foy and Paul Bettany as the Duke and Duchess of Argyll in the tale of their notorious legal case, and a psychological thriller starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo adapted from novel The Girl Before.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 23/11/2021 - Programme Name: Around the World in 80 Days - TX: n/a - Episode: Around the World in 80 Days - ep 4 (No. 4) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:00:01 TUESDAY 23rd NOVEMBER 2021** Passepartout (IBRAHIM KOMA), Phileas Fogg (DAVID TENNANT), Abigail “Fix” Fortescue (LEONIE BENESCH) - (C) Slim 80 Days / Federation Entertainment / Peu Communications / ZDF / Be-FILMS / RTBF (Télévision belge) - Photographer: Joe Alblas
David Tennant stars in 'Around the World in 80 Days'. (Federation Entertainment/Peu Communications/ZDF/ Be-FILMS/RTBF/Joe Alblas)

David Tennant is set to star in a new version of Jules Verne classic Around the World in 80 Days and Mark Gatiss is back with another creepy festive tale, this time adapting M.R. James novel The Mezzotint which stars Rory Kinnear, Robert Bathurst, Frances Barber, John Hopkins, Emma Cunniliffe, and Nikesh Patel.

Returning dramas for the festive period include a New Year's Day episode of Doctor Who, the usual Christmas visit to Nonnatus House with Call the Midwife, two brand new episodes of Worzel Gummidge starring Mackenzie Crook and Bill Bailey, and the first ever Christmas special of Death In Paradise.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 23/11/2021 - Programme Name: Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas - TX: n/a - Episode: Shaun the Sheep: A Winter's Tail (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Shaun, Timmy, Bitzer and The Flock enjoying Christmas dinner.   - (C) Ardman Animations - Photographer: Ardman Animations
Shaun the Sheep has a festive film. (Ardman Animations)

The Christmas tradition of a Julia Donaldson adaptation continues, this year bringing Superworm to life voiced by Olivia Colman, Matt Smith and Rob Brydon, while there's more festive fun for children with Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas.

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Other regular Christmas fixtures coming back for 2021 include the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special, Christmas Day EastEnders, two episodes of Mrs Brown's Boys, and the festive treat Carols From Kings.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 23/11/2021 - Programme Name: The Mezzotint - TX: n/a - Episode: The Mezzotint (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Christmas 2021 **STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:00:01 TUESDAY 23 NOVEMBER 2021** Williams (RORY KINNEAR), Nisbet (NIKESH PATEL), Garwood (ROBERT BATHURST) - (C) Adorable Media - Photographer: Michael Carlo
Mark Gatiss' festive horror has a star-studded cast. (Adorable Media/Michael Carlo)

Viewers can also look our for The Repair Shop, The Graham Norton Show, MasterChef: The Professionals, Top Gear, University Challenge, The Wheel, The Ranganation, Only Connect, Gone Fishing and The Hairy Bikers Christmas specials.

Expect BBC Sports Personality of the Year back on screen over the festive season, while Gareth Malone also returns with a special concert celebrating NHS staff and key workers, plus there are two new David Attenborough nature documentaries and a Comic Relief pantomime of Beauty and the Beast.

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