Downton Abbey and EastEnders go head-to-head

Michelle Dockery

Downton star Michelle Dockery

Newly-released schedules show 'Downton Abbey' and 'EastEnders' will go head-to-head on Christmas Day (25.12.15) at 8.45pm

'Downton Abbey' and 'EastEnders' will go head-to-head on Christmas Day (25.12.15).

Audiences will have to choose whether they want to watch the final episode of the period drama on ITV or an explosive episode of the BBC soap at 8.45pm.

The two shows went up against each other last year in the slightly later timeslot of 9pm, with 'EastEnders' winning the ratings battle.

Joining 'Downton' on ITV's festive schedule are episodes of 'Emmerdale' and 'Coronation Street', as well as a special tribute show to the late Cilla Black.

Meanwhile, BBC1 has a number of Christmas specials scheduled on the big day, including 'Doctor Who', 'Strictly Come Dancing', 'Call the Midwife' and 'Mrs. Brown's Boys'.

Channel 4's evening offerings include a festive edition of 'Alan Carr's Chatty Man' and a kids special episode of 'Gogglebox'.

Elsewhere over the festive season, ITV will broadcast 'The Sound of Music Live' on December 20, and 'ABBA Christmas Party' on Christmas Eve (24.12.15), while on New Year's Day (01.01.16), they will be hoping to draw ratings with 'The Big Quiz - Coronation Street and Emmerdale'.

However, they face competition on January 1 as BBC1 will air the special episode of 'Sherlock', which is set in Victorian times.

Meanwhile, BBC2's highlights include 'We're Doomed: The Dad's Army Story' - a drama about the creation of the classic comedy - on December 22, and 'Top Gear: From A-Z', a look back at the programme in recent years, airs on Boxing Day (26.12.15).


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