The BBC is raising the curtain for a very special virtual pantomime this Christmas, featuring an all-star cast and a host of original hand-drawn illustrations from legendary artist Quentin Blake.

Cinderella: A Comic Relief Pantomime For Christmas is written by the Dawson Brothers (Big School, Funtime), the BBC is promising surprises and cameos aplenty, including “an incredibly famous person wearing an incredibly unconvincing horse costume”.

This brand new virtual adaptation promises to be the starriest show on TV this Christmas and is the perfect opportunity for viewers to donate to Comic Relief projects, if they feel able to.

The Comic Relief projects will include working to help people living with hunger, struggling with their mental health or feeling lonely or unsafe this Christmas.

Exec producer and Comic Relief co-founder Richard Curtis said: “We’re hugely grateful to BBC Two and the amazing cast for allowing us to do our first ever pantomime. 

“It’ll be very funny and merry – and also a great seasonal opportunity to raise crucial funds for the projects that will help the most vulnerable people, at home and abroad - especially now when Covid has made things harder than ever for many.”

When is Cinderella: A Comic Relief Pantomime for Christmas on TV?

Olivia Colman Getty
Olivia Colman makes her panto debut as the Fairy Godmother

Watch Cinderella: A Comic Relief Pantomime for Christmas on BBC Two on Christmas Eve at 8.15pm.

The 60-minute film will also be available on BBC iPlayer.

Who is in the cast?

Academy Award winning acting royalty Olivia Colman (The Crown, Fleabag, The Favourite) will be making her panto debut as Fairy Godmother.

She will be joined by Guz Khan (Man Like Mobeen, Four Weddings and a Funeral) as Buttons, Tom Hollander (Rev, Us, The Night Manager) as Baron Hardup and her Crown co-star Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech, Harry Potter) as Lady Devilia.

Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy plays Cinderella,  Rege-Jean Page (Roots, Bridgerton) is Prince Charming, Jimmy Akingbola (Rev, In the Long Run) voices Dandini and actual real life sister and brother Daisy May and Charlie Cooper (This Country) are The Evil Step Sisters.

Aisling Bea (This Way Up, Quiz) will play Mrs Snitch, Tom Davis (King Gary, Murder in Successville) is Mr Snatch and David Walliams (Britain’s Got Talent) plays Major Domo.

In addition, there will be music from multi award winning and word renowned music artists - Sam Smith and Leona Lewis - plus there will be a host of cameos too from lots of famous faces including Rosie Jones, Lord Alan Sugar, Claire Foy, James Blunt, David Tennant, Sir Mo Farrah and Hugh Bonneville.

Plus, there is an incredibly famous person making their Pantomime debut as a rather unconvincing horse.. but who is Wheezy Jeff? Tune in on Christmas Eve to find out…

The cast of the Comic Relief pantomime on Zoom BBC
Which A-list star is playing Wheezy Jeff in the panto?

What else is on TV this Christmas?

Despite Covid filming restrictions throughout the year, all the broadcasters are pulling out the stops for a bumper Christmas of TV.

Julia Donaldson’s Zog and the Flying Doctors, a Christmas Call the Midwife special and returns of the classic entertainment series Blankety Blank and comedy favourite Vicar of Dibley are all on the BBC.

The Masked Singer returns to ITV on Boxing Day, the Great British Bake Off is doing a seasonal special on Channel 4 and Channel 5 has a new episode of All Creatures Great and Small.

On Sky One with NOW TV, you can watch Dawn French in cosy Christmas special Roald and Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse on Christmas Eve and David Walliams' latest fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk: After Ever After.

Check out our full Christmas TV listings and highlights in our 2020 Xmas preview >

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