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The turkey TV battle: 'Doctor' Capaldi and Mrs Brown v Corrie and Downton

Peter Capaldi's first performance in Doctor Who is to go head-to-head with Coronation Street's festive edition.

Newly released Christmas Day schedules show that both hour-long programmes will be screened at 7.30pm with much attention focused on Who, with Capaldi expected to make his proper arrival in the show as the new regeneration of The Doctor when Matt Smith bows out.

The now traditional Christmas edition of Downton Abbey on ITV will go up against the combined might on BBC1 of EastEnders - which sees Danny Dyer joining the show - a Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Special and a 25-minute chunk of Michael McIntyre's Showtime.

The two channels usually pull out their big guns to win the Christmas Day ratings battle, with BBC1 generally claiming victory.

This year the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing seasonal edition will go up against a special of Paul O'Grady's For The Love Of Dogs, and Call The Midwife is scheduled against ITV's 60-minute Emmerdale.

Last year, EastEnders retained its usual position as the most-watched show based on overnight ratings, with an average audience of 9.4 million - 600,000 ahead of nearest rival Corrie.

Elsewhere in the BBC line-up will be the drama Death Comes To Pemberley, an adaptation of David Walliams's hit book Gangsta Granny, and the movie Toy Story 3.

Other festive ITV shows include a carol concert on Christmas Eve at 10.15pm hosted by Aled Jones, which will see him united with his young successor Jack Topping, the choirboy who is bidding for a Christmas number one after signing a deal with Decca.

On the same day the station will screen a documentary about Gary Barlow's Journey To Afghanistan and movie offerings over the holiday period include free-to-air premieres for Harry Potter And The Deathy Hallows parts one and two.

Controller of BBC1 Charlotte Moore said: "It's a schedule packed full of presents in the shape of a regeneration, a farewell from Matt Smith, the arrival of Peter Capaldi, and Christmas Day debuts from Danny Dyer and Mrs Brown."


1700 Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special

1815 Call the Midwife

1930 Doctor Who: The Time Of The Doctor

2030 EastEnders

2130 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Special

2205-2305 Michael McIntyre's Showtime


1715 Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs At Christmas

1815 Emmerdale

1915 ITV News And Weather

1930 Coronation Street

2030-2230 Downton Abbey

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