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Fortnight ahead

22 December 2016

Neal Street Productions/BBC/PBS

Popular: Call the Midwife won the Radio Times Faith Award at the Sandford St Martin Awards for Religious Broadcasting, in June

Popular: Call the Midwife won the Radio Times Faith Award at the Sandford St Martin Awards for Religious Broadcasting, in June

TV HIGHLIGHT: Call the Midwife The Sisters and staff of Nonnatus House respond to an SOS call from a mission hospital in South Africa (photo).
Christmas Day 8pm, BBC1


RADIO HIGHLIGHT: Christmas Service: Surprised by an Angel A service from Durham Ca­thed­ral in which Canon Angela Tilby considers the spiritual signi­ficance of Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North.
Christmas Day 9am, Radio 4




(BBC1) Father Brown The underlying theme in the first of the new series about the crime-solving priest is that miracles happen at Christmas (1/15).
2.40pm (BBC1) On Angel Wings An animated version of Michael Morpurgo’s nativity story (repeat).

Christmas Eve
(BBC2) Carols from Kings The now customary televisual celebration from King’s College, Cambridge (repeated Christmas Day, BBC2, 11.40am).
9pm (ITV) Grantchester The Revd Sidney Chambers returns in a Christmas special. The chara­c­ters are based on The Grantchester Mysteries, by James Runcie.
11.45pm (BBC1) Midnight Mass from St Chad’s Catholic Cathedral A Roman Catholic mass live from Birmingham.
11.45pm (ITV) Christmas Carols on ITV Aled Jones visits St Chad’s, Rochdale, for a candlelit service.

Christmas Day
(BBC1) Christmas Day Service from Bristol Cathedral A live sung eucharist with Mozart’s Missa Brevis in B flat.
11am (BBC1) Songs of Praise: Christmas Big Sing Aled Jones presents a 5000-strong con­gregation singing Christmas carols at the Albert Hall.
2.20pm (C4) It’s a Wonderful Life The classic Frank Capra film about George Bailey (James Stewart) and his guardian angel.
8.30pm (BBC2) Gospel Christmas Festive music from the British gospel scene from St John-at-Hackney, London.

Boxing Day to Wednesday
8pm (
BBC4) Royal Institution Christmas Lectures: Supercharged — fuelling the future Professor Saiful Islam explores how to generate energy without destroying the planet (1-3/3).
Monday 8pm (BBC2) An Island Parish The new series is set on Anguilla, in the Caribbean (1/6).


(R4) The Listening Project A conversation between a Buddhist Father Christmas and a Baptist chaplain about how they spend Christmas morning in a hospice.

Christmas Eve
(R4) The Nativity An improvised version of the story by children from schools in Co. Down, Northern Ireland.
3pm (R4 and World Service) A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols The traditional service from King’s College, Cambridge (repeated Christmas Day, Radio 3, 2pm).
6pm (Classic FM) The Prince’s Foundation for Children and Arts Christmas Carol Concert Carols recorded at Cadogan Hall, London.
8pm (Classic FM) The Spirit of Christmas: Live at the Liverpool Phil­harmonic The annual carol concert, with readings from John Suchet.
11.30pm (R4) Midnight Mass The first mass of Christmas, live from Westminster Abbey, on the 950th anniversary of the coronation there of William the Conqueror.

Christmas Day
(R4) Something Understood Mark Tully discusses benevolence with the Revd Professor June Boyce-Tillman.
7am (R2) Good Morning Christmas Clare Balding’s guests include the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
10.30am (World Service) Heart and Soul Rajini Vaidyanathan meets Fr Michael Pfleger, the RC priest who fights gun crime in Chicago.
12pm (R3) Private Passions Michael Berkeley’s guest is the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, who reveals the music that has sustained him through his life.
1pm (Classic FM) The Nation’s Favourite Carol John Brunning presents this year’s poll of listeners’ 30 favourite carols.
3.05pm (Classic FM) The Bucking­ham Palace Carols Concert for the Royal Household The annual concert in the Palace ballroom for the Queen’s staff.
5pm (Classic FM) The Story of Carols Anne-Marie Minhall tells the stories behind some of the famous carols.
12.15am (R4) Christmas Meditation The performance poet Harry Baker looks back on the 24 Christmases he has ex­­perienced in his life.

Boxing Day and Tuesday
(R4) Some Hay in a Manger A two-part comedy dramatisation of the nativity story, based on corres­pon­­dence between a camel and a donkey (1-2/2).

Boxing Day
(R4) Start the Week Andrew Marr visits Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, to examine the sixth-century manu­script of the St Augustine Gospels.
8pm (R4) Beyond Belief Ernie Rea and guests discuss how religious traditions relate to austerity and abundance (6/8).

(R4) The Infinite Monkey Cage Christmas Special Brian Cox and Robin Ince’s guests include the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines.

(R4) Slaughter of the Innocents Tim Montgomerie reflects on the collect for Holy Innocents’ Day, with guests in­­cluding Cardinal Vincent Nichols and the theologian Martin Palmer.
3.30pm (R3) Choral Evensong Live from St Gabriel’s, Pimlico.
6.15pm (R4) The Rogues Gallery at Christmas Sir Lenny Henry plays the part of a migrant who finds himself in an old people’s home, where the secrets of Christmas are revealed.

(R4) Correspondents Look Ahead A group of BBC journalists forecast what is likely to happen over the coming year.

(R3) Choral Evensong A service for Epiphany from King’s College, London.

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