The BBC has today announced that production has wrapped on hit family comedy drama Dodger, which we can now confirm is one of the latest titles to film at The Bottle Yard Studios and on location in Bristol, assisted by the city’s Film Office.

Dodger is set to return to CBBC and BBC iPlayer for three fun-filled adventures including a Christmas special and is a hilarious, optimistic and fast-paced show, which follows the exploits of the infamous pickpocket Dodger.

After its successful first series run on CBBC, BBC iPlayer and BBC One, Billy Jenkins (Peaky Blinders, The Crown) returns as Dodger, alongside Fagin played by Christopher Eccleston (The A Word, The Leftovers). Ellie-May Sheridan (Call The Midwife), Aabay Ali, Connor Curren and Mila Lieu also reprise their roles in the gang. Leading actors David Threlfall (Shameless, Housewife), Alex Kingston (Doctor Who), Rhys Thomas (The Fast Show, Brian Pern), Javone Prince (No Time To Die, Horrible Histories), Lucy Montgomery (Disenchantment), Saira Choudhry (Life, No Offence), James Fleet (Vicar of Dibley), Lenny Rush (A Christmas Carol, The Dumping Ground) and Sam C Wilson (Hanna) also join the specials.

New exciting guest stars include Anita Dobson (EastEnders, Casualty), Robert Lindsay (My Family), Mark Benton (Waterloo Road), Rufus Jones (Home), Matthew Holness (Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace) and Jane Horrocks (Absolutely Fabulous) to name a few.

Produced by Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group, for CBBC and BBC iPlayer, each 45-minute episode will focus on a self-contained plot, picking up from series one which ended with Dodger being deported to Australia in a ship filled with convicts. The specials are written by Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery, with Thomas also directing all three.

The first episode shows Dodger’s ingenious escape back to London to reunite with Fagin and the gang and pull off their very own great train robbery!

The second special will take viewers on a festive adventure, as Dodger embarks on a secret rescue mission and the gang organise a festive hijack of 200 turkeys, whilst also unwittingly crashing a Christmas party at none other than No. 10 Downing Street.

The third and final special will see some of the gang being rehabilitated through the power of education, after they’re caught red handed and sent to a very smart British public school. Filled with even more fun-filled antics, who will race to save the day and rescue the gang?

The specials will air on CBBC and BBC iPlayer, following the success of series one, which was the most watched CBBC commissioned programme in the last 12 months.

Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery said: “We are thrilled to be back for three exciting specials and even more thrilled to assemble such an amazing cast. We had great fun taking these characters on more adventures and we thank the BBC for giving us the platform to do so.”

Amy Buscombe, Commissioning Editor, BBC Children’s says: “We’re delighted that Dodger’s first outing was enjoyed by so many children and their families, and can’t wait to see what rip-roaring adventures Dodger and the gang have in store for us next!”

Mark Freeland, Executive Producer for Universal International Studios, says: “It’s so great to see the rag-tag Dodger gang back so soon for three Specials on the BBC. We’re aiming to give families some really thrilling, feel-good and downright funny entertainment.”

The Dodger specials were created and written by Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery. They were commissioned for CBBC by Commissioning Editor, Amy Buscombe and are produced by Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group. Mark Freeland is Executive Producer for Universal International Studios. Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery also serve as Executive Producers, with Marcus Collier as Producer. NBCUniversal Global Distribution is handling international sales.

(Image credit: BBC)