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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 November, 2003, 10:11 GMT
Musical Christmas planned for BBC
Shane Richie on The EastEnders Christmas Party
Shane Richie will host The EastEnders Christmas Party
A musical theme is to dominate the BBC's Christmas TV schedules, with seasonal specials ranging from ballet to an EastEnders variety show.

The EastEnders Christmas Party will see stars like Liberty X and Lulu perform in the Queen Vic pub.

Singalong versions of The Sound Of Music and The Wizard Of Oz will be shown, while ballet The Nutcracker opera Die Fledermaus get screenings.

And sitcoms Only Fools and Horses and The Office end with festive specials.

"This year the BBC has an all-star line up of performances from the world's most talented entertainers," BBC Director of Television Jana Bennett said.

The Office Christmas special
The Office and Only Fools and Horses are ending for good this Christmas, but how should they finish?

"Great British comedy, dazzling arts spectaculars, West End musicals and country and soul music legends are just part of a diverse schedule."

The singalong films will allow viewers with digital or cable TV to call up on-screen lyrics and follow the words after a similar idea became a hit at cinemas.

A screen version of Matthew Bourne's innovative stage production of The Nutcracker will be on BBC One while Die Fledermaus and Prokofiev's ballet Cinderella will appear on BBC Two.

Digital channel BBC Three will screen Madness West End musical Our House and a musical version of comedy Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps while BBC Four will focus on soul and country music.

Absolutely Fabulous Christmas special
A special Absolutely Fabulous is among the comedy highlights
Non-musical Christmas highlights include the last ever episodes of Only Fools and Horses and The Office, plus French and Saunders, My Family and Absolutely Fabulous specials.

Michael Parkinson will host a Christmas Night With the Stars and Christmas films will include Iris, Stuart Little, What Women Want and Meet the Parents.

Comic drama will come in the form of The Young Visiters, a quirky look at Victorian London starring Jim Broadbent and Hugh Laurie and adapted from the 1919 novel by then nine-year-old Daisy Ashford.

And the classic Nina Bawden novel Carrie's War has been adapted for the screen, starring Pauline Quirke and Lesley Sharp.

A Restoration special and Celebrity Mastermind are among BBC Two's highlights while Bruce Forsyth will have a whole evening dedicated to him on the channel.


The Office and Only Fools and Horses are ending for good this Christmas. Tell us how you think the shows should end.

I think the Office should end with David Brent walking on water, demonstrating he was the 'messiah' after all.
Sally Lord, England

I do not think it will be the last ever Only Fools and Horses. I think there will be more to come from the Trotters.
Jonathan, Notts, UK

I would love if the Office would finish with a trip on a team building exercise for the inhabitants of Slough's premier paper traders.

All would seem to be going fine with life post-Brent and relationships are blossoming. Tim and dawn are getting serious, Gareth has grown under new management...that is until they are confronted with their Lifeskills Team Building Coach for the weekend....David Brent - and he has one goal for them to immediately to focus on - revenge...
David Howes, England

God save us all from the talentless soap stars trying to get a record deal; and for the BBC to make more money from spinoff merchandise like CD compilations.

If they have David Jason (one of the world's most talented actors) singing at the end of the Only Fools and Horses special then I may just have to turn off my television set forever. The EastEnders cast attempting to sing on the Children In Need night was cringworthy enough.
Fuse, UK

I thought Only Fools and Horses already had finished. It ran out of steam some time ago and dragging it out with pointless Christmas specials just spoils the memory of what was once a magnificent sitcom.

I don't think The Office needs a dramatic ending. The whole point of it is that it's undramatic: an office Christmas party offers endless scope for David and Gareth. I presume there'll be some romantic collision between Tim and Dawn but I wouldn't expect the programme to end with a clear resolution.
Gordon Dent, United Kingdom

How should these two shows end? As quickly as possible. Both are past their sell by date!
Stuart Pippen, U.K

Personally, I dont want either to end. I think Only Fools and Horses will be back and should be back, as although past its peak it helps make Christmas television special, and the cast are a joy to watch. The Office should end like it did on series two with a funny but poignant ending with the weak side of Brent showing through. Christmas TV looks great this year. Well done BBC.
tom , UK

Del inherits a fortune - and a title - from a long distant aristocratic relative, and becomes Lord Trotter of Peckham - and is once again filthy rich!
Suzy, London UK

As a wind up, Tim nominates David for an MBE for his services to paper. Unbelieveable as it seems, David is to be honoured in the news years honours list. This is a real boon for the soon to be jobless David and starts by firstly having a sign done for his desk 'David Brent MBE' and ramming the fact down as many peoples throats as he can. The show would end with David telling one of his none PC jokes to 'Liz' as David calls her. Saying that, the Duke of Ed loves him, and talks business with David, hoping to supply him headed paper.
Richie Maguire, England

I don't care how they're ending, I'm just glad that they are. It's about time we had something new and original rather than endless episodes of the same series (irrespective of whether its good or not).
Mark Way, UK

Pardon my ignorance but how many times has Only Fools and Horses ended already?

The Office is so good it should end, whiles it still ahead of its game and very funny indeed, not drawn out to a dull repetitive embarrassment like the resurrected 'Ab Fab'
Brucey B, UK

Hopefully The Office will be well and truly tied up allowing no return. It should be allowed to finish on a high. As one of the best comedies in recent years it should go out with a bang and leave everyone holding it in high regard.

Only Fools and Horses however has already had several 'last ever episodes'. It should have finished years ago when they became millionares. Everything since has ruined a potentially great ending to a fantastic program and the shows have become increasingly less funny.
Stuart, UK

I thought Only Fools and Horses ended "for good" several Christmases ago - you know, the one where they actually did become millionaires. But they brought it back again...
Antony, UK

Don't we get a 'last ever' Fools and Horses every Christmas? It's part of TV tradition, surely? I think this years 'last ever' Fools and Horses should end 30 minutes after starting. Not drawn out - not too calculated or clever, and forget the nostalgia vote. Just go for gags.
Vasqueth, England

I think all the characters should be killed off to make sure I never have to suffer another Christmas special again!
Paul W, England

The Office should end as it began, quiet and downbeat. Only Fools and Horses should end with finality - ideally with death. It's always been atrocious and needs to be put out of its misery.
Alan, Ireland

Only Fools & Horses should never end....but I guess as it must, it should end with the cast on a lifeboat at sea to remember Uncle Alberts death. The backdrop should be sunset... then suddenly a freak storm hits them and all you see is the boat go under. The series could play out to pictures of the cast over the years appearing on the screen as loved memories... all together at last.
Kirsty Maddox, England

Wernham Hogg go bust, and all their desks and chairs are bought by Del and Rodney at auction for a knockdown price. David Brent and Gareth Keenan steal the Reliant van in desparation and both shows end in a show-down on Beachy Head.
Simon Greenwood, UK

So, Only Fools and Horses is ending for good is it? I'm sure I've heard that one before.
Helen, Exeter, UK

The shows must always go on! But it will be sad to see Only Fools and Horses end this Christmas, as its been a great show for many years with great story lines.
Ella, uk

The government should force The Office to restructure, bring in Dave Brent as a consultant doing the same job for twice as much money and then make him Chairman of the company with a juicy PFI contract - or is that too far-fetched?
Ken, UK

Swiftly.
Mark Lavender, UK

They shouldn't end. Period. They are two of the best TV Shows on TV and are far better than all the repeats that are on. Coupling should gets its own TV show for Xmas.
Steve, UK

Fools and Horses should have ended with the Millenium trilogy. The most recent episodes were awful. The Office should never end!
Steve Harris, UK

Only Fools and Horses should have finished two seasons ago when Dell and Roders finally found their fortunes! It used to be a classic but is very tired now.
Christopher Westerman, England

Only Fools And Horses should end with the entire country being put in a time machine and transported back to 1988, which was the last time the programme was funny or relevent.
Russell Jones, UK

Only Fools and Horses is one of my all time favourite programmes, and I am so sad that it is ending! I wonder if Wife Swap and 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here will have what it takes to still be around in 15 years. I doubt it!
Collette Rodgers, Ireland

For God's sake please put them to rest! These programmes are long past their sell by date and we have enough creative talent to bring on something new. The actors in these shows are of retiring age or past it so let some young talent into the club.
Colin, Germany

Any ending to this great series will be a sad day for comedy; by far the best way to finish would be with a return to the glory days of OFAH (Del as a yuppie; Rodney and the hearse; the inflatable dolls; Miami Twice). John Sullivan's best writing was around this time and the series has waned somewhat over the past few years. Whatever the outcome - let's have some tears, but a lot of laughter.
Fay, UK

Del and Rodney find the long lost father and he turns out to be Prince Philip!They have a joyful reunion with their half bruvvers and go to live in the palace.....
Mary Calleja, Spain

The Office should end with some good honest humour and decent jokes. There's hardly been any up to now, at least in the episodes I've been unlucky enough to watch. I can't see what all the fuss is about. Bring back real comedy!
Phil, UK

Both shows should end on a good note but in the case of Only Fools it should finish so there's no opportunity to bring it back to life in a few years time. It's a show that has had amazing success over the years, but because of relentless repeats of previous episodes its formula has become too familiar and tiresome.

The writers and producers of the show are extremely talented people who should put their skills in to creating a greater variety of comedy entertainment for the viewing public. As for The Office it's wise to end while it's on top as it has a too limited scope to develop any further. I'm sure a number of fans would be happy to see the receptionist and her office admirer finally get off with each other!
Paul Haslehurst, UK

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SEE ALSO:
Porridge star back for TV special
17 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
The Office back for Christmas
27 May 03  |  Entertainment
Ballet comes back to BBC One
01 Apr 03  |  Entertainment
BBC dominates Christmas viewing
26 Dec 02  |  Entertainment


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