29/11/2011 11:16 GMT

Christmas TV Listings: 'Downton Abbey' And 'EastEnders' Go Head To Head On Christmas Day

The Christmas TV line-up has begun to emerge, with Downton Abbey, Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing all being confirmed for Christmas day airings.

The biggest shock is ITV have pitched their much-loved period drama Downton Abbey against Christmas day TV heavyweight EastEnders.

The shows, which are both full of drama and boast huge fan bases, will go head to head at 9pm. Leaked EastEnders' spoilers have already revealed an emotional farewell to Albert Square stalwart Pat Butcher, in the special episode, and now Downton's lavish Christmas promises to give the soap a run for its money.

Downton's episode blurb reads:

Christmas 1919. Downton Abbey is hosting a lavish Christmas party, yet despite being the season of goodwill, tensions are rife and Bates’s arrest has cast a shadow over the festivities.

Will he be a condemned man or will he be found innocent in time to dance with his new wife at the annual servants' ball?

Mary has to consider her future with Sir Richard Carlisle following a contretemps at the shooting party and Violet has concerns about Rosamund, whose new suitor - the dashing but raffish Lord Hepworth, is not all he seems.

After EastEnders on the BBC, the highly anticipated comeback of Jennifer Saunders' sitcom Absolutely Fabulous takes place at 10pm on Christmas Day, followed by Michael McIntyre's Christmas Comedy Roadshow at 10.30pm.

The Doctor Who Christmas episode will be shown earlier on at 7pm, and Strictly Come Dancing will waltz onto our screens at 8pm.

At 7pm on ITV, The Only Way Is Essex will compete against a team from the sitcom Benidorm to win thousands of pounds for their chosen charities, in All-Star Family Fortunes, followed by Coronation Street at 8pm.

What will you be watching on Christmas day- EastEnders or Downton Abbey?