Dodger is returning for its second Christmas special on BBC One, with a nod to King Charles' coronation and a guest cast including Paul Whitehouse, Simon Callow and Nicola Coughlan as Queen Victoria, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.
Once again written by the husband and wife team of Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery, the latest festive instalment of the Bafta-winning comedy is titled Coronation, and sees Fagin and his gang attempting their biggest heist yet, stealing Queen Victoria's crown from her coronation ceremony.
Alongside Derry Girls star Coughlan as the monarch, Callow as the Archbishop of Canterbury and Whitehouse - who starred in Down The Line and Bellamy's People for the BBC with Thomas and Montgomery - as Royston, chief of the yeoman guard, the 55-minute special also features Dan Skinner as Maurice the beefeater, Alex Macqueen as crown jeweller John Bridge and Toby Stephens (Vexed) as US President Martin Van Buren.
Christopher Eccleston and Billy Jenkins reprise their roles as Fagin and Dodger in the Oliver Twist prequel, with Lenny Rush (Morgan), Ellie-May Sheridan (Polly), Connor Curren (Tom), Mila Lieu (Tang), Javone Prince (PC Blathers), Tony Way (Jon The News) and Ed Kear (Neville) also returning.
Thomas and Montgomery, back as PC Duff and Minnie Bilge respectively too, said: "Dodger just keeps getting bigger and better - look at that glittering guest cast! We are overjoyed to be back in the top hat and what a thrill to pack another Coronation into an already regal year."
Produced by BBC Studios Kids & Family Productions in association with Universal International Studios, Dodger has run for 13 episodes on BBC One, CBBC and iPlayer since debuting in 2022, winning in the scripted category of last year's Bafta Children and Young People Awards.
Produced by Lauriel Martin (Smothered) and executive produced by Thomas and Montgomery with Mark Freeland, the commissioning editor for the BBC is Amy Buscombe, with Sarah Muller, senior head of BBC children's commissioning 7+. NBCUniversal Global Distribution is handling international sales.
Muller said: "Dodger and the gang have delighted audiences with their hilarious antics and we're so pleased they're back with a fabulous cast and even more fun and spectacle."