The Prince of Wales will feature in a special edition of the Antiques Roadshow, Top of the Pops will return and the cast of Blackadder will come together for a one off special to mark its 25th birthday - these are some of the highlights of the BBC’s Christmas schedule that have been unveiled.
The Prince will talk to Fiona Bruce from Dumfries House near Cumnock in East Ayrshire and Blackadder Rides Again will include the first ever in-depth interview with Rowan Atkinson, about his personal experience of being involved in the show.
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly will also present a Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special, featuring previous winners Alesha Dixon and Jill Halfpenny, also Kelly Brook, who pulled out last year after the death of her father will return to compete with the remaining contestants of the latest series.
Nigella Lawson will be returning with a five part series ‘Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen’ comprising of three new programmes and Rab C Nesbitt returns in a 45 minute long special.
As well as special holly-encrusted editions of Doctor Who, The Royal Family, EastEnders and Gavin and Stacey, other BBC1 highlights include a Christmas edition of the detective series Jonathan Creek and The 39 Steps, a drama based on the novel by John Buchan, and set in the build up to the First World War, starring Rupert Penry Jones.
Comedy will include the return of Shooting Stars, and Jack Dee will star in a special of Lead Balloon. Among the plethora of feature films due to get a Christmas airing will be the television premier of a new Wallace and Gromit adventure In A Matter of Loaf and Death, and Finding Nemo, Shark Tale, The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest and Starter for Ten.
Jana Bennett, director of BBC Vision, said the BBC had: “Pulled out all the stops this year to ensure a truly wonderful holiday schedule featuring the very best of British talent in a great line-up of exciting seasonal specials”.
She added there was something to appeal to everyone. So while the schedule of BBC1 is unashamedly populist, BBC2 is emphasising the highbrow in its own Christmas offering.
Highlights include the conductor Daniel Barenboim in The New Year’s Day Concert 2008: Live from Vienna and two major religious documentaries In The Truth about Carols, looking at the major traditions and Star of Bethlehem -Behind the Myth, which takes a look at the latest findings of scientists, astronomers and historians as they map the night skies.
Source: The Telegraph
Top Of The Pops, that old TV hit parade favourite, is back for two special shows over Christmas and New Year. Presented by Fern Cotton and Reggie the schedule is for one show to go out on Christmas day building up to the Christmas No1 and the second show on New Years eve highlighting the best music of 2008.
Going aganist a BBC embargo to relesase the news Chris Moyles informed the nation on his Radio 1 show this morning. Clearly delighted with the news Chris Moyles also announced that “TOTP is part of Christmas day, I can’t wait to watch it whilst eating my mince pies”
The Jonny Vegas of radio then went on to talk about trifle.
Fern Cotton also interviewed on the Chris Moyles Radio 1 show this morning tipped the XFactor winner to be the Christmas No1.
Work has got under way to decorate a giant Redwood tree with 1,800 lights at Kew’s country garden in West Sussex. The 100ft Redwood at Wakehurst Place is said to be the UK’s tallest Christmas tree - and when lit up is visible from the sky on flights to Gatwick Airport.
Expert tree climbers were scaling the tree with ropes and high-level platforms from 0730 GMT on Wednesday. James Pumfrey, from the conservation and woodland unit, said work would take most of the day to complete.
Mr Pumfrey is one of a team of arborists who look after trees around the 500 acre estate near Haywards Heath. He said: “Stringing up 1,800 Christmas lights is a bit different to our normal work, and it always marks the start of the build-up to Christmas here at Wakehurst.
“The tree is a local landmark which can be seen for miles when the lights are switched on and it is great to be part of this festive tradition.”
The energy-saving lightbulbs will be tested on Wednesday and will be officially lit up on 28 November.
source: The BBC
The puddings will be eaten at Christmas parties and lunches. A team of chefs are starting the festive season early by cooking 3,000 Christmas puddings in a single day.
Up to a dozen cooks at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport will be involved in mixing together the 300kg (47st 3lb) of ingredients needed for the puds. It includes 580 eggs, 94kg (14st 11lb) of mixed fruit, 66 pints of Guinness and 17 bottles of rum.
The ingredients of the hotel’s own pudding recipe, will be mixed using a two foot high and wide bowl.
The ingredients will also include 72kg (11st 4lb) of brown sugar, 30kg (4st 10lb) of flour, 18kg (2st 11lb) of treacle, 17.5kg (2st 10lb) of syrup and 12kg (2st 2lb) of ground almonds.
Once ready, the puddings will be served at Christmas parties at the venue over the festive period as well as at lunches for more than 1,000 people on Christmas Day.
Source: The BBC
Cartoon favourites Wallace and Gromit will return to BBC One at Christmas with their latest half-hour adventure. A Matter of Loaf and Death sees inventor Wallace and his dog Gromit open a bakery.
It reunites Oscar-winning animator Nick Park with Bob Baker, co-writer of The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave. “Over the years, the BBC has been incredibly supportive of Wallace and Gromit,” said Park. “This film feels like their homecoming.”
The film - originally entitled Trouble At’ Mill - marks Wallace and Gromit’s first appearance since their 2005 film The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
Peter Sallis will again provide the voice of Wallace with Coronation Street star Sally Lindsay playing his new love interest Piella Bakewell.
“I love making films for the cinema but the production of Chicken Run and Curse of the Were-Rabbit were virtually back to back,” said Park. “Each film took five years to complete,” he continued, saying A Matter of Loaf and Death had been “so much quicker to make.”
BBC One controller Jay Hunt said she was “delighted” to be premiering the latest instalment which she promised would be “unmissable family entertainment”. The film is described as “a classic ‘who-doughnut’ mystery… in the tradition of master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock”.
Source: The BBC
This year the theme for the Regent Street lights is ‘stars’ and the famous “mile of style” will be transformed into a winter wonderland for Christmas shoppers. Since the 1950s international celebrities have turned on the lights to mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
Past personalities include HRH The Prince of Wales, Kylie Minogue, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sylvester Stallone and Sir Ian McKellen.
Danny from McFly said: “We’re really excited to be switching on the Regent Street Christmas lights.
“So many great people have done it in the past. “It’s also fantastic that BBC Children in Need are involved. “Hopefully we can help encourage people to think of ideas to raise even more money this year”.
McFly are releasing an official single for BBC Children in Need, which helps disadvantaged children and young people across the UK. The switch-on event is supporting the charity with many of the Regent Street retailers collecting donations throughout the week.
This year Hollyoaks star John Pickard, who plays the character Dominic Reilly, will MC the event and the London Gospel Community Choir will be performing a selection of songs from the stage keeping the audience entertained in the lead up to McFly switching on the lights.
The Regent Street Christmas lights are one of London’s major tourist attractions and draw a huge number of visitors each year.
source: This is Lancashire