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Week ahead

21 December 2012

TV HIGHLIGHT: Goodbye to Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams reflects on his ten years as Archbishop, and on the art and architecture of Canterbury Cathedral.

BBC2 New Year's Day 5.30pm

RADIO HIGHLIGHT: Belief Joan Bakewell's guests include General Lord Dannatt, Loretta Minghella and former US President Jimmy Carter.


Radio 3 Christmas Eve 9.25pm;

Christmas Day 10pm;

Boxing Day 9.40pm;

Thursday 9.10pm;

Friday 9pm


Friday 9pm (BBC2) Westminster Abbey The part played by the Abbey in national life is explored (3/3).

Sunday and Monday 9am (BBC1) David Suchet: In the footsteps of St Paul David Suchet (far right) tracks the man who brought Christianity to the Gentiles.

Sunday 4.30pm (BBC1) Songs of Praise David Grant hosts carols and Christmas readings.

9pm (ITV1) Joanna Lumley: The search for Noah's Ark Joanna Lumley travels over three continents to explore the origins of an ancient story.

Christmas Eve 3.55pm 6.15pm (BBC2) Carols from King's A specially recorded sesrvice from King's College, Cambridge, with the nativity story told in the words of the King James Bible (repeated on BBC2 at 10.45am on Christmas Day).

10.15pm (ITV1) Christmas Carols on ITV Aled Jones and the cast of Coronation Street retell the nativity story.

11.45pm (BBC1) Midnight Mass from Leeds Cathedral A service live from St Anne's RC Cathedral in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Christmas Day 10am (BBC1) Christmas Day Eucharist A morning service live from St Mary's, Redcliffe, Bristol.

11.40pm (BBC1) On Christmas Night The story of Christmas from St Luke's Gospel, read by the Paralympian Rachel Morris

5.25pm (BBC2) Arena: Sister Wendy and the art of the gospel The 82-year-old Carmelite nun reveals how paintings can connect the viewer to the gospel stories they depict.

7pm (BBC4) A Musical Nativity with John Rutter The composer conducts carols at Dorchester Abbey.

Boxing Day to Friday 8pm (BBC4) Royal Institution Christmas Lectures: The modern alchemist Peter Wothers looks at the ancient elements of air, water, and earth.

Sunday 30 December 3.30pm (BBC1) Call the Midwife As Christmas approaches, a baby is abandoned on the steps of the convent.

4.50pm (BBC1) Songs of Praise Alfie Boe and 5000 singers are at the Royal Albert Hall for hymns that reflect this historic year.

New Year's Day 12.15pm (BBC1) and 5.25pm (BBC2) The Archbishop of Canterbury's New Year Message Dr Williams's final such address.


Saturday 7.48am (R4) Thought for the Day Dr Williams's last "Thought" as Archbishop of Canterbury.

Sunday 6.05am and 11.30pm (R4) Something Understood Alan Hall reflects on the angelic in the everyday.

8.10am (R4) Sunday Worship A service from the Chapel of Unity, Methodist College, Belfast.

4pm (R3) Choral Evensong a repeat of last Wednesday's service from Lichfield Cathedral.

7pm (R2) Follow the Star Hardeep Singh Kohli investigates the Star of Bethlehem.

8.30pm (R2) Sunday Half-Hour Diane-Louise Jordan (above) presents an hour-long Christmas edition from Beverley Minster.

8.30pm (R3) Drama on 3: A new cycle of Mystery Plays A repeat of last week's retelling of five New Testament stories.

Christmas Eve 3pm (R4 and BBC World Service) A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols The traditional order of service, live from King's College, Cambridge (repeated on Radio 3 at 2pm on Christmas Day).

11.30-12.45pm (R4) Midnight Mass live from the RC Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool.

Christmas Day 9am (R4) Christmas Service from St Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London.

9pm (R2) Sing in Heavenly Peace: The true story of Silent Night Cliff Richard explores aspects of Franz Gruber's 1818 song.

Boxing Day 3.30pm (R3) A Meditation on Christ's Nativity John Tavener's Ex Maria Virgine, with the choir of Clare College, Cambridge, from 2008 (repeated on 30 December on Radio 3 at 4pm).

Sunday 8.10am (R4) Sunday Worship A service from St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow.

New Year's Day 10.05pm Belief Joan Bakewell talks to the actor Ben Kingsley.

Wednesday 3.30pm (R3) Choral Evensong live from St Peter's College, Oxford.


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