The BBC has unveiled its slate for the festive period, with the new series of Luther, a remake of the classic Watership Down, a new Poirot and a big budget Les Miserables taking centre stage.
The six-part, non-musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s heartbreaking Les Miserables finds Dominic West as Jean Valjean, David Oyelowo as Javert and Lily Collins as Fantine in the epic tale of revolutionary France.
It also stars Olivia Colman and Adeel Akthar, and has been produced by Andrew Davies, who’s brought versions of War and Peace and Pride and Prejudice to the BBC.
Also featuring an all-star cast will be the new Watership Down, with James McAvoy, Nicolas Hoult, John Boyega, Olivia Coleman, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton, and Peter Capaldi among the voice cast presenting a new take on Richard Adams’ book.
Idris Elba’s DCI Luther, already being trailed on BBC One, will debut its fifth series, the Thor star reprising his grizzled detective, last seen on screen in 2015.
Meanwhile, a new version of Agatha Christie’s Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot will arrive in the form of US star John Malkovich.
Joined by Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint, they’ll star in The ABC Murders.
Food offerings will come from former Great British Bake Off stars Mary Berry and Nadiya Hussain, who will front Mary Berry’s Christmas Party and Mary Berry’s Country House at Christmas, and Nadiya’s Party Feasts on BBC One and BBC Two.
There will be a host of special Christmas episodes of Call the Midwife, Not Going Out, Mrs Brown’s Boys, Still Open All Hours, Strictly Come Dancing, Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show, and Hold the Sunset too, along with The Office star Stephen Merchant’s new comedy Click & Collect.
But as previously reported, Doctor Who will shift its usual festive spot from Christmas Day to New Year’s Day, with Jodie Whittaker and team taking on a ‘terrifying evil’ which has stalked the Earth for centuries.
And in something of a coup, two previously lost episodes of Morecambe and Wise will get their first airings, after being discovered in, of all places, a cinema in Sierra Leone.
Elsewhere, children should delight in another adaptation of one of Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler’s modern classics, Zog, with voices coming from Sir Lenny Henry, Tracey Ullman, Hugh Skinner, and Kit Harington.