BBC and ITV strike Christmas Day specials deal

The BBC and ITV have struck a deal to ensure their Christmas specials won't clash.

Popular BBC One series 'Call The Midwife' and ITV1's period drama 'Downton Abbey' were initially set to overlap by an estimated 15 minutes during their Christmas Day special episodes, but the two broadcasters have now reached an agreement to make sure both can be watched in full.

An insider revealed: ''It is the season of goodwill and there was a realisation that the audience would lose out if there was a clash.

''Think of it as a special Christmas present for viewers.''

The 75 minute episode of 'Call The Midwife' will now been shown at 7.45pm, leaving enough time for viewers to switch over to ITV1 at 9pm for 'Downton Abbey'.

It was revealed earlier this month that 'Downton' will return for a new eight-episode long series in February 2013, and fans can expect a full spectrum of emotions and lots more ''drama''.

Gareth Neame, the show's executive producer, said: ''Viewers can look forward to more drama, comedy, love, hatred, jealousy, rivalry, ambition, despair and romance.''

Laura Mackie, director of drama at ITV, added: ''We're thrilled to welcome back a drama series that has become a much anticipated part of all our lives every autumn and achieved success around the globe.

27-11-2012

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