BBC Unveils Christmas TV Highlights For 2020 – Here Are 16 Shows To Look Out For

Between the return of The Vicar Of Dibley and a new EastEnders "whodunnit?", there’s plenty to get stuck into over the festive season.

While many TV productions ground to a halt thanks to the pandemic earlier this year, the BBC has still managed to pull it out of the bag with their festive telly offerings for 2020.

Not only are there some top notch new dramas to look forward to, there’s the return of some old classics, plus the residents of Albert Square will be seeing in Christmas in the only way they know how – dramatically.

Here are 16 of the BBC’s best Christmas shows to look out for this year...

The Vicar Of Dibley

BBC/Tiger Aspect Productions Ltd/Des Willie

Everyone’s favourite Vicar, Geraldine Grainger is back to save 2020, as The Vicar Of Dibley returns for three new specials.

Throughout the year’s difficulties, Geraldine has been writing and delivering sermons to her parishioners via Zoom – when she can make it work, that is.

These new thoughts on life and chocolate will be packaged as three brand new 10-minute shows that will precede repeats of classic episodes. They will also be bundled up into one brand new episode to enjoy during the festive period.

Doctor Who

BBC / James Pardon

One of the Doctor’s biggest and most feared enemies – the Daleks – return this Christmas in Revolution Of The Daleks.

We catch up with The Doctor locked away in a high-security alien prison with no hope of escape, while sidekicks Yaz, Ryan and Graham are adjusting to life without her.

But old habits die hard when they discover a disturbing plan involving a Dalek forming. How can you fight a Dalek, without the Doctor?

The Serpent

BBC/Mammoth Screen

Tahar Rahim, Jenna Coleman, Billy Howle and Ellie Bamber star in this new eight-part drama, which is inspired by real events of Charles Sobhraj’s capturing.

As the chief suspect in unsolved murders of young Western travellers across India, Thailand and Nepal’s “Hippie Trail” in 1975 and 1976, Sobhraj had repeatedly slipped from the grasp of authorities worldwide to become Interpol’s most wanted man, with arrest warrants on three different continents.

The arrival of Herman Knippenberg at the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok set off an extraordinary chain of events as he seeks to bring Sobhraj to justice for his terrible crimes.


After Alison Steadman reprised her role as Pam Shipman in last year’s Gavin & Stacey Christmas special, this year she’s starring in a new one-off sitcom centred on the Jessop family.

Having seen their finances and future plans devastated, they’ve also had to abandon their holiday of a lifetime to California – but the Jessops decide they’re going to have their summer holiday after all, even if it means doing it in December. In Margate.

Blankety Blank

Iconic gameshow Blankety Blank is back with a brand new host, Bradley Walsh for a festive special, as a new panel of celebrities try to fill in the missing blanks.

And of course, the legendary Blankety Blank Cheque Book and Pen is also set to make a welcome return too.

The Great British Sewing Bee Christmas Specials

BBC/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon

Denise Van Outen, Shirley Ballas, Dr Ranj Singh, Sara Pascoe, The Vivienne, Lesley Joseph, Sabrina Grant and Sally Philips will all put their sewing skills – or lack thereof – to the test in two Christmas specials based on the unlikely BBC hit series.

Joe Lycett is back as host, as the two sets of stars compete in challenges set by judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young.

Mrs Brown’s Boys

Brendan O'Carroll in Mrs Brown's Boys
Brendan O'Carroll in Mrs Brown's Boys

Love it or loathe it, TV’s most Marmite show is back for two new episodes, the first of which sees Agnes and her family getting used to “the new normal”.

Agnes and Winnie have also entered a competition in the Radio Times to perform an alternative Queen’s speech and are waiting to hear if they’ve won. Will either of them be a match for Her Majesty?

Call The Midwife

BBC / Nealstreet Productions / Nicky Johnston

It’s December 1965 and everyone is looking forward to traditional celebrations with all the trimmings, but nothing goes quite to plan.

As the Circus arrives in Poplar, there are new friendships, new experiences, and an exciting adventure for Nurse Crane. There’s also an unexpected trip to hospital and a surprise reunion for a Nonnatus House favourite.


It’s set to be another dark Christmas in Albert Square this year, as Ian Beale is attacked and left for dead in the Queen Vic in a new “whodunnit?”.

The fallout will see Walford in turmoil with many under suspicion of dealing the brutal blow and desperate to cover their tracks.

Meanwhile, secrets and lies are on the menu this Christmas for the Carters, as Linda falls victim to temptation and turns elsewhere for comfort, and Denise faces a fearsome face from her past…

Miranda’s Celebrity Night In

Miranda Hart hosts a new entertainment show full of Christmas games and fun as three of her favourite celebrity couples play against each other in a host of riotous and outrageous challenges from inside their homes.

Black Narcissus

FX/Miya Mizuno

Mopu, Himalayas, 1934. A remote clifftop palace once known as the House Of Women holds many dark secrets. When the young nuns of St. Faith attempt to establish a mission there, its haunting mysteries awaken forbidden desires that seem destined to repeat a terrible tragedy in this new three-part drama.

Strictly: The Christmas Countdown


With a traditional Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special out of the question this year thanks to the pandemic, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will be fronting a special show counting down the 25 most memorable dances of all time, voted for by the public.

From the perfect 40s, the trophy-winning routines and dances that have made us laugh, the pair will also be joined by the judges and the professional dancers, who will kick things off with a brand new Christmas-themed group number.

The Repair Shop At Christmas

Christmas has arrived at The Repair Shop where its team of passionate and skilled craftspeople are beavering away, repairing and rescuing four beloved festive treasures.

Among the stories on the special episode include that of Steve and Amanda, who bring their cherished rocking horse to the barn. The toy was a Christmas gift for their daughter Tamsin when she was five years old. Tragically, just two years later, their little girl passed away. The horse is now being given a new lease of life to be gifted to their nine-year-old daughter, Hetty, to play on and remember the older sister she never met.

Vicky McClure’s Dementia Choir At Christmas

Two years after Vicky took to the stage at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham with her choir of people all living with dementia to perform in front of an audience of 2000, the Line Of Duty star tells the choir’s lockdown story.

There will then be a very special Christmas performance with members of the English National Opera at the London Coliseum for one choir member.

Worzel Gummidge: Saucy Nancy

BBC/Leopard Pictures/Amanda Searle/Matt Burlem

Worzel Gummidge is returning for another adventure after the success of last year’s festive special.

When Worzel Gummidge, Susan and John visit a scrapyard, Worzel overhears the grumbling of a foul-mouthed old friend – the carved ship’s figurehead, Saucy Nancy. She has been languishing, unsold in the yard for years and longs to return to the sea. Worzel and the kids promise to get her there, but will her ship be waiting?

Mary Berry Saves Christmas

Mary Berry
Mary Berry
BBC/Endemol Shine UK/Craig Harman

The original Great British Bake Off judge will teach three hopeless non-cooks to create surprise festive feasts for those closest to them with the help of three celebrity sous chefs – The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades, comedian Tom Allen and presenter Angela Scanlon.


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