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Drama to light up your Xmas.

It's one of the first things most of us do every Christmas - sit down with the TV guide and put a big circle around the shows we simply don't want to miss.

Well, here's a little help to plan your festive viewing, with some of the best shows on the Drama channel over the holidays.

From a spy movie to set your heart racing on Christmas Eve, to the festive adventures of the Call the Midwife gang and an award-winning Jane Austen adaptation to see in the New Year, this is drama to come home to.

CHRISTMAS EVE

The 39 Steps 11.20am

Christmas just isn't Christmas without a brilliant spy movie - and that doesn't have to mean yet another Bond film.

The 39 Steps is a thrill-a-minute adaptation of John Buchan's classic novel about murder, espionage and skulduggery on the eve of the First World War. Rupert Penry-Jones (below) plays Richard Hannay, an engineer and former intelligence officer who is plunged into international intrigue when a British agent is found dead in his flat.

Suspected of murder, and with British forces and German spies on his tail, Hannay faces a race against time to prove his innocence and crack the code in a notebook the dead man handed him before he was shot dead.

Ballet Shoes 9.20am

This charming film version of the classic 1936 novel, starring Emilia Fox and Harry Potter actress Emma Watson (above), tells the story of the orphaned Fossil sisters, and their dreams of writing their names in the history books.

Pauline, Petrova and Posy have been taken in by eccentric paleontologist Gum, played by Richard Griffiths, and are looked after by his niece Sylvia.

The story of the girls and their struggles to make their mark at stage school, and to keep a roof over their heads after Gum mysteriously disappears, is an all-time classic.

Pride and Prejudice 11am

What better way to kick off the new year than with one of the greatest period dramas ever made?

Packed with award-winning performances and gorgeous period detail, this faithful adaptation of Jane Austen's iconic love story stars Colin Firth as Mr Darcy, Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth (below) and Alison Steadman as Mrs Bennet, alongside an all-star cast.

CHRISTMAS DAY

Call the Midwife 3pm

With its charming cocktail of nuns, nurses, midwives and salt of the earth East Londoners, Call the Midwife was an instant British TV classic from the very first episode.

In this Christmas special, set in 1959, the nurses prepare local children for the seasonal panto, while Chummy and Patsy take charge of a home for expectant single mothers after finding Sister Maltby, who had been in charge, drunk on duty.

With a hunt for a Christmas tree, a secret Santa and some heartwarming lessons about love and devotion, this wonderfully festive episode is the perfect way to spend Christmas afternoon with the family.

BOXING DAY

Catherine Cookson: The Man Who Cried 12pm

Abel Mason is a man caught in a loveless marriage with a harridan wife who constantly berates him and beats their son Dick. When the one woman he loves dies at the hands of her husband - after he was sent a letter by Mason's wife exposing the affair - Abel leaves her for good, hitting the road and taking young Dick with him.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 23, 2017
Words:553
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