Strictly and Mrs Brown’s Boys among Christmas special announced by BBC

The BBC has announced its Christmas and New Year shows for 2022 with Strictly Come Dancing and Mrs Brown’s Boys making their return.

Last year, Strictly’s Christmas special proved a ratings hit, claiming the most viewers outside of the Queen’s festive message.

The celebrity dancing show saw pop star Anne-Marie and her professional dance partner Graziano Di Prima win, watched by an average of 5.8 million viewers, according to figures from the BBC.

Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas special

BBC One sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys, which is often a ratings hit despite being pilloried by many critics, returns with specials over both Christmas and New Year.

Last year’s show did not feature in the top 10 for overnight viewing figures, despite 3.8 million viewers tuning in to the 2020 special.

This Is Local London: Festive specials of Strictly Come Dancing and Mrs Brown’s Boys announcedFestive specials of Strictly Come Dancing and Mrs Brown’s Boys announced (Image: PA/BBC)

It won the Bafta for best-scripted comedy in 2012, the Writers Guild Great Britain award in 2014 and has been named most popular comedy TV programme at the National Television Awards five times.

BBC’s Call The Midwife Christmas Special is another BBC staple returning for 2022.

In its 75-minute festive show, the midwives move the maternity clinic into new premises, as the period show covers December 1967.

The Bafta-winning comedy Detectorists also returns after a five-year break for a 75-minute special.

Eastenders and Graham Norton Show to air Christmas specials

There will also be specials of The Graham Norton Show, EastEnders, Bad Education, Ghosts, Malory Towers, Great British Sewing Bee, Motherland, Sir David Attenborough’s Dynasties II and Frozen Planet II, The Cleaner, The Repair Shop, Antiques Roadshow and Inside No 9.

There will be game show specials of Blankety Blank, The Weakest Link, House Of Games, The Hit List, Question Of Sport, Pointless, The Wheel, University Challenge, Would I Lie To You and QI.

Elsewhere, Happy Valley returns for its third and final series, set in West Yorkshire and starring Sarah Lancashire as Sergeant Catherine Cawood.

The six-part series will be the final chapter of the Happy Valley story, created by Sally Wainwright.

Meanwhile, the final chapter of the trilogy His Dark Materials will also be broadcast over the Christmas period, starring Ruth Wilson and James McAvoy.

The adaptation of Philip Pullman’s novel is a co-production between the BBC and US station HBO.

Charlotte Moore, BBC chief content officer, said: “Nothing brings people across the UK together like Christmas on the BBC and this year we’ve got a world-class line-up like no other.

“Get ready to escape and be entertained with an incredible range of new festive shows across every genre. Live or on demand, there’s something for everyone.

Top Of The Pops returns for a Christmas Day special hosted by Radio 1’s Clara Amfo and Jack Saunders as does Jools’ Annual Hootenanny.

Eurovision runner-up Sam Ryder will also host a New Year’s Eve party for the first time.

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