BBC Unveils its Red-Button Interactive TV Schedule for Christmas and New Year

--Highlights Include "Doctor Who" Commentary, Bon Jovi Performance, Elton John Interview

The BBC has announced the line-up of content that will be available through its red-button interactive TV service over Christmas and into the new year:

  • Starting at 9:30AM on December 24th, during BBC One's airing of the animated "Doctor Who" special, "Dreamland" (which premiered under the red button--see the article published on itvt.com, November 12th), and starting at 7:00PM on December 27th and January 3rd, during BBC Three's re-broadcast of the two-part "Doctor Who" special, "The End of Time," digital viewers will be able to press red to access episode commentary. The "Dreamland" commentary will be provided by writer, Phil Ford, and director, Gary Russell; and the "End of Time" commentary will be provided by producer, Julie Gardner, and writer, Russell T Davies. (Note: This red-button service will not be available on the UK's free-to-air digital satellite platform, Freesat.)
  • From December 27th through January 2nd, digital viewers will be able to press red to access a set played by rock band, Bon Jovi, at the BBC Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House last month. The content will be available on Sky around the clock, and will also be available on Virgin Media around the clock except 6:30-8:30PM on December 27th, 6:30-9:30PM on January 1st, and 1:00-6:00AM on January 2nd. It will be available on Freeview at the following dates and times: December 27th: 6:00AM-6:50PM; December 28th: 12:10-9:50AM and 12:10-2:20PM; December 29th: 12:10-10:35AM and 12:25-2:00PM (December 30th); December 30th: 3:00-7:35PM; December 31st: 4:10AM-1:40PM, 4:10-6:20PM, and 8:40-11:35PM; January 1st: 1:00AM-6:50PM and 9:00PM-1:25AM (January 2nd); January 2nd: 5:15-8:50AM and 11:10AM-12:50PM. (Note: Not available on Freesat.)
  • Immediately after the show, "2009 Unwrapped with Miranda Hart"--billed by the BBC as "an idiosyncratic look back at the defining cultural, political and televisual moments of the year, remembering the events that shaped the world in 2009...or at least would have shaped the world had they actually happened!"--and at various other dates and times, digital viewers will be able to press red to access exclusive extras. This red-button service will be available at the following dates and times: December 30th: 10:55PM-4:00AM (December 31st); January 1st: 12:30-4:00AM (Sky only); January 2nd: 1:35-2:40AM; January 3rd: 9:00PM-4:00AM (January 4th) (Sky and Virgin only); January 4th: 9:00PM-4:00AM (January 5th) (Starts at 11:10PM on Freeview); January 5th: 9:00PM-4:00AM (January 6th) (Sky only). (Note: Not available on Freesat.)
  • Starting at 11:45PM on December 31st, digital viewers in other parts of the UK will be able to press red to access BBC Scotland's New Year celebration, "Hogmanay Live 2009." (Note: Not available on Freesat.)
  • From January 8th through 15th, 7:00AM-7:00PM, digital viewers will be able to press red to access a special quiz, designed to mark the return of the children's character, Tracy Beaker, to CBBC. The quiz, which will be hosted by actress Lisa Coleman (aka "Cam"), will test viewers' knowledge of previous Tracy Beaker series. (Note: Not available on Freesat.)
  • Through December 25th, digital viewers will be able to press red to test their knowledge of the events of the past 12 months by playing the "'Newsround' End of Year Quiz" from the long-running children's news magazine, "Newsround." On Sky, the service is available 7:00AM-7:00PM (except on December 24th, 9:00-10:45AM); on Virgin, the service will be available 7:00AM-7:00PM from December 22nd (except on December 24th, 9:00-10:45AM); and on Freeview, it will be available at the following dates and times: December 21st: 7:00AM-6:35PM; December 22nd: 7:00AM-7:00PM; December 23rd: 7:00AM-2:00PM and 3:00-7:00PM; December 24th: 7:00-9:00AM, 10:45AM-2:00PM and 3:00-7:00PM; December 25th: 7:00AM-1:50PM and 4:10-7:00PM. (Note: not available on Freesat.)
  • Through December 27th, digital viewers can press red to access a weekly updated selection of videos designed to supplement the BBC Two three-part Christmas special, "Victorian Farm." According to the corporation, the videos showcase, among other things, "the secrets of traditional gift and festive decoration making," and 19th century recipes and Christmas games. All 25 of the supplemental videos are available on the BBC's Victorian Christmas Web site (bbc.co.uk/victorianchristmas), together with printable templates and designs for making Victorian Christmas crackers, cards, gift boxes, tree ornaments, mince pies and more. The "Victorian Christmas" red-button service is available on Sky and Virgin around the clock through 4:00AM on December 27th. On Freeview, it is available at the following dates and times: December 21st: 10:55PM-6:00AM (December 22nd); December 22nd: 7:10-9:50PM; December 23rd: 4:10-6:00AM and 7:10PM-6:00AM (December 24th); December 24th: 8:55PM-6:00AM (December 25th); December 25th: 10:10-2:20PM (December 26th); December 26th: 6:10PM-4:00AM (December 27th). (Note: Not available on Freesat.)
  • On December 25th (starting at 2:00PM), December 31st (starting at 6:30PM), January 1st (starting at 7:00PM) and January 2nd (starting at 3:10AM), digital viewers can press red to access a karaoke app for the long-running BBC pop music show, "Top of the Pops." (Note: Not available on Freesat.)
  • On December 22nd, 10:00PM-4:00AM (December 23rd), digital viewers can press red to see a lighthearted debate between the stars of the BBC Two satirical music series, "Never Mind the Buzzcocks." (Note: not available on Freesat.)
  • Starting at 9:00AM on January 2nd, digital viewers can press red to watch a "visualization" of BBC Radio Five's "The Danny Baker Show." The visualization app presents viewers with video of Baker as he hosts his show, as well as text messages and pictures sent in by other viewers; access to a range of informational content, including the weekend's soccer tables, fixture lists, information on upcoming commentaries, sports news, and details of upcoming red-button content; and a range of what the BBC calls "unexpected content," including "spoof fixtures and unique animations as Danny sets up audience head-to-heads on the phone." (Note: not available on Freesat.)
  • In addition, at various dates and times in the first few days of the new year, digital viewers will be able to press red to see Baker interviewing singer, Elton John. The interview will be available on Sky from 9:05PM on January 2nd through 4:00AM on January 9th. On Virgin, it will be available at the following dates and times: 4:30AM-6:30PM on January 3rd; 4:30AM on January 4th through 2:30PM on January 8th; and 6:30PM on January 8th through 4:00AM on January 9th. On Freeview, it will be available at the following dates and times: January 3rd: 6:00AM-12:50PM; January 4th: 4:10AM-5:35PM; January 5th: 4:10AM-5:20PM; January 6th: 4:10AM-1:50PM and 11:10PM-5:30PM (January 7th); January 7th: 11:10PM-6:00AM (January 8th). (Note: not available on Freesat.)
  • On January 5th, following the food show, "The Hairy Bikers: Mums Know Best," digital viewers can press red to "spend some extra cooking time with one of the featured mums as she shares extra tips, recipes and a bit more motherly chat." This red-button service can be accessed from 8:55PM on Sky and Virgin, and from 11:10PM on Freeview. (Note: Not available on Freesat.)
  • From 6:00PM on December 27th through 4:00AM on January 4th (except between 5:00AM and 6:00AM), Sky and Virgin viewers can press red to access a year-in-review quiz from the popular BBC car show, "Top Gear." The quiz is also available on Freeview at the following dates and times: December 27th: 8:10PM-Midnight; December 28th: 6:10PM-Midnight; December 30th: 7:45-10:45PM; January 2nd: 11:10PM-5:00AM (January 3rd); January 3rd: 8:40PM-4:00AM (January 4th). (Note: Not available on Freesat.)
  • During the January 2nd broadcast of the game show, "The National Lottery: In It to Win It," digital viewers can press red to pit their wits against studio contestants. (Note: Not available on Freesat.)
  • On December 26th and 28th and on January 2nd from 2:30PM, digital viewers can press red to access the soccer news and results show, "Final Score," featuring Gaby Logan and various guests.
  • On December 27th and 29th, 12:45AM-12:00PM, digital viewers can press red to access the Football League round-up show, "The Football League Show." (Note: Not available on Freeview.)
  • On January 6th, digital viewers can press red to access live coverage of soccer's Carling Cup with audio options. (Note: Not available on Freeview.)
  • On January 3rd, 5:30-6:00PM, digital viewers can press red to access the World Cup skiing highlights show, "Ski Sunday Extra." (Note: Not available on Freeview.)
  • On December 21st, 6:45-10:40PM, digital viewers can press red to access live coverage of the Olympia Horse Show Grand Prix.
  • On December 26th, 2:00-4:00PM, digital viewers can press red to access live coverage of the Rugby Union: Scrum V match-up between the Scarlets and the Ospreys with audio options; and on December 31st, 1:50-4:00PM, they can access live coverage of the Newport Dragons vs the Scarlets, again with audio options. (Note: The Scarlets vs. Ospreys game will not be available on Freeview.)
  • From 6:00PM, December 26th through 1:00PM, January 2nd, digital viewers can press red to access "World Championship Darts: Classic Arrows," a show featuring classic darts finals from the past 30 years. (Note: Not available on Freeview.)
  • From January 2nd through 8th, digital viewers can press red to access live coverage of World Championship Darts from Frimley Green. The coverage will be available at the following dates and times: January 2nd: 1:30-11:00PM (Sky, Virgin and Freesat), 1:30-2:30PM and 4:30-11:00PM (Freeview); January 3rd: 1:30-11:00PM (Sky, Virgin and Freesat), 1:30-8:30PM (Freeview); January 4th: 5:45-11:00PM; January 5th through 7th: 5:30-11:00PM; January 8th: 6:30-11:00PM. This coverage, and all the sports coverage listed above, is offered through the BBC Sport Multiscreen, a 24/7 red-button application that provides up to five screens of extra coverage as well as round-the-clock headlines.

 

Region: 
North America