Andrew Dipper

BBC reveals its 2014 Christmas comedy line-up

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Rik Mayall, Greg Davies, House of Fools and more.

The BBC has released details of its Christmas comedy programme for 2014, which includes a tribute to the late Rik Mayall.

Lord Of Misrule looks back at the career and characters of the rocket-fuelled comic. Narrated by Simon Callow, the programme features contributions from those who knew and admired him, including Michael Palin, Simon Pegg, Lenny Henry, Ruby Wax and Ben Elton – though not Ade Edmondson.

Harry Hill makes his acting debut in the family drama The Incredible Adventures Of Professor Branestawm, which tells the story of an absent-minded inventor who causes chaos with his hare-brained creations; and in David WalliamsThe Boy In The Dress, 12 year-old Dennis wishes he could escape his boring grey life, until a chance view of Kate Moss on a magazine cover introduces him to a whole new world.

Al Murray is joined on BBC Four by three guests for another look back at vintage British cinema in Great British Spy Films, featuring the likes of Alfred Hitchcock and Powell & Pressburger. This will be accompanied by classic films such as The 39 Steps, The Good Shepard and The Ipcress File.

Agnes Brown is, unfortunately, back again with a two-part Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas special; in Citizen Khan, Mr Khan is given the honour of placing the star on top of the Sparkhill inter-faith Christmas tree; and Not Going Out reaches a dramatic crescendo as the ‘will-they-won’t-they’ tension between Lee and Lucy reaches new heights.

In Cuckoo it is Christmas time for the Thompsons in Lichfield, and Lorna is full of yuletide spirit…in more ways than one; and in Still Open All Hours, Granville is running the business with his son Leroy and Nurse Gladys is dispensing motherly advice.

And in her final two episodes, we find Miranda where she left off – with two proposals; one from Gary and one from Mike. Who will she choose?

Two BBC Two comedies will be making their Christmas debuts this year: in The Wrong Mans, Sam and Phil are now 4000 miles from home, and must make the difficult choice of whether to remain forgotten or return to Bracknell. In Vic & Bob’s House of Fools, it’s Christmas Eve and Vic and Beef can’t wait to start the party, but Bob’s celebrations are cut short when a special present is unexpectedly engulfed in flames.

John Bishop and Michael McIntyre also host shows. Bishop’s Christmas Show will be “an all-singing all-dancing extravaganza from the West End”, where he will be joined by an array of talent from music and comedy; and in McIntyre’s Very Christmassy Christmas Show, the stand-up is joined by celebrity guests who share their seasonal stories, both good and bad.

There are also Christmas specials planned for Would I Lie To You, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, QI, Mock The Week, featuring Ed Byrne, Sara Pascoe and Josh Widdicombe.