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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 November 2007, 11:02 GMT
Piper reprises Pullman role on TV
Billie Piper
Piper recently starred in ITV2's The Secret Diary of a Call Girl

Actress Billie Piper is to return to the role of Sally Lockhart this Christmas as the BBC adapts a second Philip Pullman book for television.

She will appear in drama The Shadow in the North as part of the corporation's festive line-up, a year after starring in Pullman's The Ruby in the Smoke.

A special edition of comedy Extras will feature cameos by singer George Michael and actor Clive Owen.

And films on BBC One will include Shrek II, Finding Nemo and Meet the Fockers.

The BBC also promises that "the biggest secret in Walford is set to be unwrapped in spectacular style" with an EastEnders storyline which will see a "nasty surprise" left under the Christmas tree of newlyweds Bradley and Stacey.

In Strictly Come Dancing Sequins, Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly will round off the current series of their dancing show with a special one-off edition.

David Tennant and Kylie Minogue
Minogue has already said starring in Doctor Who was "an incredible thrill"
There will also be a version of that programme for children on CBeebies.

Another drama on BBC One will be Ballet Shoes, featuring Victoria Wood, Emma Watson and Emilia Fox in an adaptation of a novel by Noel Streatfeild.

The channel will also broadcast its much-publicised festive episode of Doctor Who, in which pop star Kylie Minogue stars as a waitress on the Titanic alongside David Tennant.

It has already announced that Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles are being reunited as the sitcom To the Manor Born - last seen 26 years ago - is revived.

Over on BBC Two, Top Gear's Richard Hammond will interview US stunt motorcyclist Evel Knievel for a one-off programme, while chef Heston Blumenthal demonstrates ways in which his scientific approach to cooking can be adopted at Christmas.

An Arena documentary is to follow veteran entertainer Ken Dodd as he embarks on a nationwide tour.

Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles
To the Manor Born originally ran for three series from 1979 to 1981
The channel will screen recent productions of Romeo and Juliet plus The Tales of Beatrix Potter by the Royal Ballet, along with the Royal Opera House's staging of Carmen.

The BBC is to broadcast two editions of Songs of Praise over the festive season, along with two services live from Worcester Cathedral - one will be on-air as Christmas Day begins, while the other will be seen later that morning.

BBC Three is presenting Liverpool Nativity, which will tell the story of Christmas in a contemporary setting, as well as a season of Quentin Tarantino films and comedy from The Mighty Boosh.

And there will be a season celebrating dance on BBC Four, including Dance Britannia, billed as "the definitive story of popular dance in Britain", plus a number of films starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

SEE ALSO
Piper series up for adult award
20 Nov 07 |  Entertainment
Doctor faces Sontarans once again
04 Nov 07 |  Entertainment
Manor reborn for one-off special
30 Oct 07 |  Entertainment
ITV2's Piper drama is ratings hit
28 Sep 07 |  Entertainment
Kylie takes on Titanic Who role
11 Jul 07 |  Entertainment
Extras to bow out with final show
19 Mar 07 |  Entertainment

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