Dame Diana Rigg's final performance to debut on BBC at Christmas

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  • Diana Rigg
    Diana Rigg
    British actress (1938-2020)
Dame Diana Rigg in BBC drama Black Narcissus. (BBC)
Dame Diana Rigg in BBC drama Black Narcissus. (BBC)

Dame Diana Rigg’s final performance is to be shown as part of the BBC’s Christmas TV schedule.

The veteran star of stage and screen - best known for her roles in The Avengers, Game Of Thrones and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service - died aged 82 in September after being diagnosed with cancer.

Dame Diana stars as a nun in psychological thriller Black Narcissus, alongside Gemma Arterton.

Read more: Captain Jack Harkness to return for 'Doctor Who' Christmas special

Filming on the three-part drama - about a convent of Anglican nuns in the Himalayas who are overcome with sexual desire - was interrupted by the coronavirus epidemic and subsequent lockdown in March this year.

September 10th 2020: Actress Diana Rigg has died at the age of 82. She was born on July 20th 1938 in Doncaster, England, United Kingdom and died of cancer on September 10th 2020 at her home in London, England, United Kingdom. - File Photo by: zz/Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 6/10/18 Diana Rigg at The 72nd Annual Tony Awards held on June 10, 2018 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. (NYC)
Dame Diana Rigg died at the age of 82 this year. (AP)

The BBC’s Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore commended the "herculean efforts" in the editing room that means the drama will be able to be screened.

Based on a novel by Rumer Godden, Black Narcissus was previously made into a film in 1947 starring Deborah Kerr.

The erotic thriller was banned in Ireland but is now considered a masterpiece.

The BBC has also confirmed the popular Mrs Brown’s Boys will return with a new two-part Christmas special, showing Brendan O’Carroll Agnes Brown coming to terms with “the new normal” of the coronavirus pandemic, and life after lockdown.

Brendan O'Carroll stars in and writes Mrs Brown Boys (Credit: BBC)
Brendan O'Carroll stars in and writes Mrs Brown Boys (Credit: BBC)

And a new seasonal special of popular period drama Call The Midwife managed to be made after the first lockdown.

Moore said: "We were so relieved when they sent me a picture of them finishing production.

"With some shows it's been easier than others to get talent and everyone together, and with some shows it's taken a lot of effort. But I sensed a real camaraderie to make this happen."

Read more: Dawn French reviving 'Vicar Of Dibley' for Christmas lockdown special

The BBC has also confirmed new Christmas episodes of sci-fi drama Doctor Who, comedies The Vicar of Dibley, Not Going Out, Motherland, creative contest The Great British Sewing Bee and gameshow The Wall.

However, lockdown and social distancing measures have meant some shows were not possible.

The Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special will be a compilation of highlights, instead of a seasonal dance contest.

Moore added: "It's been a real struggle but I think people have really wanted to make sure these shows could get on air."

Watch: What happened when Diana Rigg stormed off the Game of Thrones set

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