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Wednesday, 9 December 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Radio Times Festive Double Issue (19 Dec 2015 - 2 Jan 2016) (Credit: Radio Times)The Christmas double edition of the Radio Times is now generally available, containing all the programming details of the main UK channels for the festive period - including of course the premiere of The Husbands of River Song on Christmas Day itself at 5:15pm, which features as one of "the very best of TV, Film and Radio this Christmas".

The magazine also features a two page interview with Peter Capaldi, during which he talks about the departure of Jenna Coleman this year:
I found it really sad, as Jen's a great girl an a great actress. I used to love being in the Tardis with her, we'd just have a laugh, you know? And that's all I want out of work, I'm afraid, to go along and have a nice time. While playing the most iconic character in the history of British television!

As well as this Christmas's new episode, Doctor Who continues to be available to watch on other digital channels/ After a short break Watch returns with a daily dose of the tenth Doctor from the 20th December leading up to a double dose of Christmas specials on the day itself as he encounters The Next Doctor through to The End of Time; post-Christmas it's the turn of the eleventh Doctor to dominate the afternoon schedules. Meanwhile, Horror Channel continue their latest run though the 'classic' era, with Christmas Day seeing the fourth Doctor end up dealing with the Horror of Fang Rock.

However, there's more fourth Doctor action on BBC4 on the 28th/29th December as the channel broadcasts The Face of Evil! As Patrick Mulkern observes in the Radio Times:
The Face of Evil seems like a random selection from the archive, but BBC4 wanted a serial that aired in festive days of yore and this four-parter began on New Year's Day 1977.

Odds on Who

With the Christmas Day scheduled firmly locked down, bets are firmly in the running as to how those shows will fare with viewers. Here are the average odds across the various agencies at the time of writing:

Time        BBC One                              Odds     ITV                                Odds   
3:00pm The Queen 32/1
3:10pm Brave - Cameraman to the Queen -
4:10pm Countrywise Winter Wonderland -
4:35pm BBC News and Weather -
4:45pm Stick Man -
5:00pm For The Love Of Dogs 100/1
5:15pm Doctor Who 24/1
6:00pm ITV Evening News -
6:15pm Strictly Come Dancing 14/1 You've Been Framed With Bells On -
6:45pm Emmerdale 115/1
7:30pm Call The Midwife 26/1
7:45pm Coronation Street 27/1
8:45pm Eastenders 11/2 Downton Abbey 3/1
9:45pm Mrs Browns Boys evens
10:45pm Michael McIntyre's Big Christmas Show - Our Cilla 71/1

Mrs Brown's Boys is the runaway favourite at present which is unsurprising as it has been the highest rated show three years in a row, with second placed Eastenders topping the chart in 2010 and 2011. The odds currently place Doctor Who as the fifth most likely to top the chart: in 2009 The End Of Time (part one) arguably achieved the top spot on Christmas Day, when the combined viewers on BBC One (11.57m) and the simulcast BBC HD (0.47m) made a total of 12.05m versus The Royle Family's combined total of 11.92m and Eastenders of 11.67m.

Last year none of the Christmas shows managed to break the 10 million mark, with Doctor Who ending up in sixth place with its 8.28m viewers. Could Alex Kingston's return in The Husbands of River Song lead to the crown once again being in the show's grasp once the consolidated ratings are known? It won't be too long to find out, and in the meantime readers can watch out for the launch of our annual Guess the ratings competition soon!

FILTER: - Broadcasting - Radio Times - Series Specials - UK