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BBC confirms Doctor Who's Christmas Day time slot

millie gibson as ruby sunday, ncuti gatwa as the doctor, doctor who christmas special
BBC confirms Doctor Who's Christmas Day time slotLara Cornell - BBC

Doctor Who spoilers follow.

The BBC has officially confirmed when Doctor Who's festive special will air this year – including its time slot.

As suspected in previous reports, Doctor Who will return to a central spot on the BBC's Christmas listings with the airing of 'The Church on Ruby Road' on December 25, AKA Christmas Day.

For 2023, it is scheduled for 5.55pm on BBC One. The episode will also be available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Along with this news, the BBC has also reiterated that this Christmas special will be the "first epic adventure" of the Ncuti Gatwa era as the Fiftteenth Doctor – though it has now been confirmed that Ncuti will pop up first in the remaining Doctor Who 60th anniversary episode, airing on Saturday (December 9).

ncuti gatwa as the doctor, doctor who christmas special
James Pardon - BBC

Related: Doctor Who's The Star Beast special fixes the show's biggest mistake

As its title suggests, the upcoming Christmas episode will see the debut of Ruby Sunday, played by Millie Gibson, as the new Doctor's companion.

In a teaser for the episode, the BBC has revealed that little is known about Ruby Sunday as she was abandoned on Christmas Eve as a baby. But her world is about to be turned around, when she encounters the Doctor – and they set off on their first adventure together...

'The Church on Ruby Road' will also see a cameo return from Davina McCall, nearly 19 years after her previous Doctor Who appearance in 2005's 'Bad Wolf'.

Showrunner Russell T Davies announced last year that he was busy at work on another special aimed, to air on Christmas Day in 2024.

Davies has also since revealed that next year's special will feature Bridgerton's Nicola Coughlan in a still-mysterious guest role.

Doctor Who airs on BBC One in the UK and Disney+ elsewhere.

Classic episodes of Doctor Who are now made available via BBC iPlayer in the UK as well.

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