There’s no Dickens or Downton on telly this Christmas, but this three-part adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s hugely popular 19th-century novel promises to be a real treat.

The coming of age story follows the four March sisters Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth through snowball fights and hairdressing disasters, falling in love and dealing with hardship.

And as mother Marmee (Emily Watson) guides them through life, will they blossom or will their mistakes prove costly?

Murder She Wrote legend Angela Lansbury steals the show as opinionated Aunt March, and Michael Gambon also features as the family’s kindly neighbour, Mr Laurence.

Continues tomorrow.