BBC Christmas Day schedule sparks 'defund' row as line-up including Mrs Brown's Boys ridiculed: 'Utter s***e!'

Ncuti Gatwa's Doctor Who

Ncuti Gatwa's Doctor Who will debut on the BBC on Christmas Day

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 06/12/2023

- 11:49

Updated: 06/12/2023

- 12:29

The Beeb has revealed what licence fee payers can expect on December 25

The BBC has come under fire after it confirmed its festive viewing schedule for Christmas Day.

Among the primetime line-up are shows such as Doctor Who, Michael McIntyre's The Wheel, EastEnders and the seemingly indispensible Mrs Brown's Boys.

Prior to its release, the BBC's Chief Content Officer, Charlotte Moore, lauded the array of content the Beeb was putting on to screens this Christmas.

"This year’s Christmas line-up on the BBC is an extravaganza of must-watch shows," she said in a statement. "Join us as we welcome a brand new Doctor and wave goodbye to our beloved sitcom Ghosts.

"Alongside a spectacular range of entertainment, drama, comedy and factual programming across the festive fortnight. It’s essential viewing for everyone as we bring friends and families together across the UK."

However, what Moore described as "essential viewing" has been panned by a number of would-be viewers on social media.

Michael McIntyre's The Wheel

Michael McIntyre's The Wheel will be back on Xmas Day


The schedule kicks off at 3pm when King Charles III will address the nation which is followed at 3:10pm by Toy Story 4.

The Strictly Xmas special then airs at 4:40pm with Ncuti Gatwa's Doctor Who debut airing at 5:55pm.

At 6:50pm is Michael McIntyre's The Wheel, 7:45pm is the series finale of Ghosts, 8:15pm welcomes Call the Midwife, and at 9:45pm is EastEnders.

The day is then finished off with Mrs Brown's Boys at 10:45pm.

Critic and regular BBC contributor Scott Bryan confirmed the line-up and timings with his followers on X, formerly Twitter, and it didn't take long for fellow users to share their less-than-encouraging reactions to the schedule.

One person quizzed: "Would it really be too much to ask for them to schedule something better than Call The Midwife, EastEnders and Mrs Browns Boys on Christmas Day AGAIN? Just as a little treat, like."

A second sarcastically hit out: "Are Michael McIntyre and the fella who plays Mrs Brown slipping the BBC money under the table or something."

While a third outraged member of the public blasted: "Defund the BBC... Zero effort on the biggest day of the year!"

"Can someone please explain the continued allure of Mrs Brown’s Boys to the Christmas schedulers," a fourth pleaded while a fifth echoed: "If you want to understand why the UK is in this current dire state, look no further than what people will be watching on BBC1 on Christmas Day."

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"Surely no one watches the telly anymore. Look at this utter s***e," a sixth probed while another weighed in: "The year-to-year variety of the BBC1 Xmas Day schedule never fails to disappoint. This schedule could be from any of the last 5 years. Even further back if you remove 'The Wheel'."

However, amid the fury were pockets of support for the schedule, including one person who commented: "Apart from Mrs Browns Boys (who on earth finds THAT funny?)- PERFECT!!"

And a second praised the new dawn of Doctor Who: "Channel 4 winning the Christmas Day schedules and it's not even close. Dr Who is nice on BBC One for those that like it though." (sic)

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