Beeb hopes Del Boy will top ratings

Britain’s favourite wideboys Del Boy and Rodney will lead the Beeb’s battle for ratings this Christmas according to the BBC festive line-up which was unveiled today.

Britain’s favourite wideboys Del Boy and Rodney will lead the Beeb’s battle for ratings this Christmas according to the BBC festive line-up which was unveiled today.

The Cockney favourites return to the small screen for the first time in five years in the three brand new episodes.

The specials will reveal what happened after the Trotters left Sotheby’s £6.2m the richer from the sale of an antique watch and has Del Boy’s son Damien now aged 10.

But viewers will have to be patient as only one episode of Only Fools and Horses will be shown this Christmas with the other two being screened over the next year or two.

And the much reported link up with ITV that would have seen Del Boy on hit quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is definitely off.

A BBC spokesman said a request by ITV for a repeat episode fee could not be funded out of licence fee-payers’ money and a different storyline had been written.

Other highlights over Christmas and New Year include a remake of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle dinosaur classic, The Lost World.

Bob Hoskins, Peter Falk and James Fox head the cast, along with Walking With Dinosaurs technology, for the two-and-half-hour two-parter.

Cartoon aardvark Hamilton will entertain young and old in the animation special Hamilton Mattress while movie premieres include animation favourites Toy Story and Antz, Flubber starring Robin Williams, and the Mask of Zorro with Catherine Zeta Jones and Antontio Banderas.

Gwyneth Paltrow makes a double showing with the screenings of the films Sliding Doors and Shakespeare in Love.

Lenny Henry returns with new characters in a special while Alistair McGowan serves up a festive feast with a host of favourite faces.

Author of the moment, JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame, stars in an Omnibus special while Stephen Fry goes In Search Of Paddington Bear.

BBC2 highlights include a day dedicated to ballet, the television adaptation of Trevor Nunn’s stage production of The Merchant of Venice and a The Weakest Link special.

Bollywood movies in an Asian weekend and a repeat of the classic documentary Cathy Come Home are among treats on offer on digital channels.

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