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Downton Abbey to clash with EastEnders on Christmas Day (2013)

Downton Abbey

Story by Jack Foley

THE Christmas Day episode of Downton Abbey will be aired directly against EastEnders, according to TV schedules.

ITV’s popular period drama will be screened at 8.30pm (GMT), the same time as BBC One’s flagship soap, in a repeat of last year’s clash.

On that occasion, when the first hour of Downton overlapped with EastEnders, final audience figures gave the soap the edge, with 11.2 million viewers compared to Downton‘s 10.2 million.

This year’s Downton will move the action to 1923 and focuses on the Crawleys’ wayward family member Rose being presented at Buckingham Palace, a grand occasion that sees Cora’s mother Martha – played by Shirley MacLaine – return to the drama.

It will also see another Hollywood actor, Paul Giamatti, making his Downton debut as Martha’s brother Harold, who was in trouble with the law at the end of the last series – but unseen as High Bonneville’s character went to America to help him out.

Lady Edith, meanwhile, will be “wrestling with a moral dilemma”.

Another big Christmas Day TV clash sees Doctor Who going head to head with an hour-long Coronation Street, which will both be screened at 7.30pm (GMT).

The keenly-anticipated seasonal Doctor Who will see Matt Smith battling several deadly enemies, including the Daleks and the Cybermen, before regenerating into Peter Capaldi.

Another seasonal favourite, Call The Midwife, will feature as part of BBC1’s strong Christmas Day line-up.

Next story: Laurel & Hardy to be subject of new BBC drama