BBC confirms iconic TV show is returning as part of huge Christmas 2023 TV line-up 
Posted by  badge Boss on Nov 28, 2023 - 12:25PM
The BBC’s Christmas schedule is packed! (Picture: BBC)

It’s almost time to sit down with a highlighter, put on your favourite novelty jumper, and pick out the best of the festive TV listings for 2023.

Wait, does anyone do that anymore? Just us?

The has promised a packed Christmas schedule of and Pixar classics, ’s first outing in Doctor Who, and the return of Top of the Pops.

Official timings and schedules haven’t been announced yet, but we do know 4 will be on BBC One on Christmas Day after III’s 3pm speech.

Pop charts fans will be eager to tune into the TOTP return, however, as it boasts musical performances from some of the most talked about artists of 2023.

Standard editions of TOTP sadly came to an end when it was cancelled in 2006 after years of declining ratings, following its peak of popularity in the 1970s.

However, specials and retrospective episodes have continued to air over the last 17 years.

Top of the Pops is back on the BBC this Christmas (Picture: BBC)
TOTP specials have been a festive favourite for almost 60 years (Picture: BBC)

The 2023 episode will no doubt remind viewers of a certain age of the pop music show’s golden era, which ended every calendar year with a big Christmas special.

It’s become a habit in recent years for TOTP to air hour-long year-end specials, with a slight format change resulting in the birth of TOTP Review of the Year.

Ncuti Gatwa’s first outing as the Doctor will air on Christmas Day (Picture: BBC)

The special will be hosted by Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo, who has previous experience of hosting special episodes of the legendary chart music show.

Doctor Who’s 60th-anniversary trilogy concludes on December 9, just in time for Ncuti Gatwa to take the reigns of his first Doctor adventure on Christmas Day.

Elsewhere, the top picks include the premiere of Tabby McTat, an animated Christmas adventure about the friendship between a cat and a talented busker.

Tabby McTat is the big draw for children’s viewing over Christmas 2023 (Picture: BBC)

The special is adapted from the picture book written by Julia Donaldson, and stars Rob Brydon, Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísú, Jodie Whittaker, and Joanna Scanlon.

Elsewhere, there’s also the premiere of The Famous Five, the latest TV adaptation of Enid Blyton’s children’s tales, billed as a ‘modern reinterpretation’.

Two more episodes of the three-part miniseries will air in 2024, starring Game of Thrones’ Jack Gleeson, known for playing the most-hated villain Joffrey Baratheon.

The Famous Five returns on the BBC (Picture: BBC)

Caroline Aherne will also celebrated in a new documentary film, titled Comedy Queen, which will feature unseen photographs and contributions from a cast of her lifelong friends, including Steve Coogan, Jon Thompson, and Craig Cash.

Other festive favourites are also set to return, with Call the Midwife, Mrs. Brown’s Boys, Carols from King’s, Songs of Praise, Strictly Come Dancing, The Hit List, MasterChef, Death in Paradise, The Great British Sewing Bee, and many others all planning Christmas specials.

Ghosts is lining itself up for a Christmas special (Picture: BBC)
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The BBC also announced that Christmas specials of Ghosts, Gavin and Stacey, Line of Duty, Shetland, Man Like Mobeen, Call the Midwife, This Country, Not Going Out, and The Royle Family will also be broadcast across the festive period.

On the film front, as well as expecting Toy Story 4 on Christmas Day, viewers should keep an eye out for The Witches, The Lion King remake, Belfast, House of Gucci, Marry Me, and Peter Rabbit 2 in the festive TV guide.

Watch all of the above on the BBC and BBC iPlayer.