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Downton and Mrs Brown in Xmas duel

ITV's traditional blockbuster Downton Abbey is to go up against ratings hit Mrs Brown's Boys in the battle for Christmas Day viewers.

The two-hour Downton special faces EastEnders and an edition of the Irish comedy, starring Brendan O'Carroll, on BBC One on the evening of December 25.

Mrs Brown's Boys was the biggest programme on Christmas Day last year pulling in an audience of 9.4 million according to overnight ratings, while the action in Albert Square drew 7.8 million and Downton had seven million.

BBC One's festive special of Doctor Who - which sees the Doctor meeting Santa Claus (played by Nick Frost) will be up against Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs At Christmas.

Another favourite, the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing special will face competition from a new episode of You've Been Framed and will also overlap with the O'Grady programme. A 70-minute edition of Miranda will be up against an hour-long episode of Coronation Street.

ITV will capitalise on interest in the annual 3pm screening of the Queen's Speech by broadcasting the first of a two-part series The Queen's Garden - hosted by Alan Titchmarsh - straight after.

On Christmas Eve, ITV will be broadcasting the free-to-air TV premiere of James Bond hit Skyfall, which is the highest grossing film ever at the UK box office, while on BBC One there will be a screening of family drama The Incredible Adventures Of Professor Branestawm, starring Harry Hill.

Here are some of the evening highlights for the two main channels on Christmas Day:

:: BBC1:

1700 Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special

1815 Doctor Who

1915 Miranda

1950 Call The Midwife

2100 EastEnders

2205 Mrs Brown's Boys

:: ITV:

1720 New You've Been Framed! At Christmas

1750 Paul O'Grady: For The Love Of Dogs At Christmas

1850 ITV News And Weather

1900 Emmerdale

2000 Coronation Street

2100 Downton Abbey

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