Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

600 hours of TV repeats dominate festive schedules

TV viewers are set to see a bumper crop of ghosts of Christmas past this year with almost 600 hours of repeats on the main channels over the festive period.

The BBC's two main channels will broadcast around 270 hours of repeats, with BBC2's Christmas Day schedule including re-runs of Blackadder and Dad’s Army.

The broadcaster said that viewers say they appreciate seeing “much-loved” shows again.

Channel 4 is due to show more than 190 hours of repeats and old films. ITV is also set to feature more than 100 hours of old favourites during the fortnight, with film classics over the festive season including the Marilyn Monroe film caper Some Like It Hot and The Railway Children, according to early schedules seen by The Daily Telegraph.

The BBC highlighted its “sleigh-load” of new festive programmes, including David Tennant's two-part Doctor Who finale. The broadcaster said it will also show new comedies from the Catherine Tate Show to Victoria Wood's Midlife Christmas, the Gruffalo, the Royal Shakespeare Company's award-winning production of Hamlet which also stars Tennant, Songs of Praise and Big Sing Christmas Special from the Royal Albert Hall.

A BBC spokesman said: “We are showing a wide range of original programming on both channels this Christmas and there are no repeats in prime time on BBC One from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day.

“However, we are told by our viewers that they also appreciate being able to see some much-loved programmes again and therefore repeats have a place in the mix alongside new programmes for an enjoyable Christmas schedule.”

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