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Coming up over the next two weeks on TV and on radio

17 December 2021


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge talk to members of the congregation in Westminster Abbey before a carol service that will be broadcast on ITV at 7.30pm on Christmas Eve

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge talk to members of the congregation in Westminster Abbey before a carol service that will be broadcast on ITV at 7.3...

TV HIGHLIGHT: Royal Carols: Together at Christmas The Duchess of Cambridge hosts a carol service at Westminster Abbey to celebrate those who have supported their communities through the pandemic. Christmas Eve, 7.30pm ITV

RADIO HIGHLIGHT: The Ambridge Mystery Plays Lynda Snell takes charge of a new two-part adaptation of the medieval dramas. In a promenade production around Ambridge, it begins with the nativity (1/2). Boxing Day, 3pm Radio 4


TELEVISION: Friday 8.45pm (PBS America) Trouble in Amish Paradise Two Amish men begin to question some aspects of their culture.

Saturday 9.25am (BBC2) King of Kings The 1961 biblical epic, starring Tab Hunter.

Sunday 1.15pm (BBC1) Songs of Praise: Christmas at Westminster Abbey Katherine Jenkins looks forward to Christmas with favourite carols from the Abbey.

Tuesday 9pm (ITV) Philip: Prince, husband, father A portrait of the Duke of Edinburgh, using archive footage and audio recordings.

Wednesday 8pm (BBC1) The Great British Celebrity Sewing Bee The Revd Kate Bottley makes a Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer fancy-dress outfit.

Thursday 8pm (BBC2) Blackburn Sings Christmas with Gareth Malone The musician creates a choir from staff of the Royal Blackburn Hospital and other key workers.

Christmas Eve 11am (ITV) Nativity Rocks! A film in which a primary school prepares for its latest festive production.

6.15pm (BBC2) Carols from King’s The traditional celebration from King’s College, Cambridge (repeated Christmas Day, BBC2, 8.45am).

11.45pm (BBC1) Midnight Mass from St Chad’s Cathedral From the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Birmingham.

11.45pm (ITV) Christmas Carols From St Elisabeth’s, Reddish, Greater Manchester.

Christmas Day 10am (BBC1) Christmas Day Service The Bishop of Coventry, Dr Christopher Cocksworth, and the Dean of Coventry, the Very Revd John Whitcombe, lead a service of music and carols.

BBC/Windfall Films/Paul WilkinsonThe UK Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam and guests give this year’s Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 8 pm, BBC4)

8pm (BBC1) Call the Midwife The TV drama returns for a Christmas special: Lucille and Cyril prepare for their wedding.

Boxing Day 1.15pm (BBC1) Songs of Praise Claire McCollum meets the Irish singer Daniel O’Donnell on his 60th birthday.

Monday 11pm (PBS America) The Unshakeable Hagia Sophia The history of the 1500-year-old building in Istanbul, which began as a basilica and is now a museum.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 8pm (BBC4) Royal Institution Christmas Lectures with Jonathan Van-Tam The UK Deputy Chief Medical Officer and guest lecturers look at the world of viruses (1-3/3).


RADIO: Saturday 10.30am (R4 FM) Soul Music Emotional reactions to Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols (6/6).

Sunday 6.05am (R4 FM) Something Understood Mark Tully explores the story of Jesus’s birth.

8.10am (R4 FM) Sunday Worship The Revd Emily Hyland leads a service on the theme of forgiveness and the incarnation, with the Chapel Choir of Methodist College, Belfast.

10.30am (World Service) Heart and Soul Kenya’s official astronomer, Susan Murabana, looks at the relationship between faith, spirituality, and the cosmos.

11am (R3) EBU Christmas around Europe The first instalment of music from the European Broadcasting Union’s annual Christmas event.

3pm (R3) Choral Evensong A repeat of this week’s service from Sacred Trinity, Salford, recorded on 26 November.

Monday to Friday 12.04pm (R4) Joseph and the Three Gifts: An angel’s story A retelling of the Christmas story by Brian Sibley, beginning with the story from Joseph’s angle (1-5/5).

Monday to Friday 10.45pm (R3) The Essay: The meaning of ritual Madeleine Bunting explores ritual, the decline of religious practice, and the new rituals that have replaced Sunday worship (1-5/5).

BBC/Wall to Wall/Saskia RusherDavid Baddiel presents Sending Mum Abroad (Monday 11am, Radio 4 FM)

Monday 11am (R4 FM) Sending Mum Abroad David Baddiel looks at why some people in Europe are choosing to send their elderly relatives abroad — sometimes as far away as Thailand — for 24-hour dementia care.

2.30pm (R3) Radio 3 Christmas Carol Competition Petroc Trelawny presents the six finalists in the carol competition live from the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios.

4.30pm (R4) Beyond Belief Ernie Rea and guests, including the Revd Lucy Winkett, discuss Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols (5/7).

Tuesday 11.30am (R4) Moving Pictures Cathy FitzGerald looks at Botticelli’s Mystic Nativity (view the hi-res image at bbc.co.uk/moving pictures) (3/3).

3pm (R4) Short Cuts Josie Long presents festive sound adventures (6/6).

3.30pm (R4) Three Vicars Talking The Revd Richard Coles, the Revd Kate Bottley, and Canon Giles Fraser describe their experiences of officiating at Christmas (repeat).

Wednesday 9am (R4) The Reith Lectures Professor Stuart Russell concludes by arguing for a new model for Artificial Intelligence (4/4).

3pm (R3) Afternoon Concert The BBC Singers perform modern carols live from Temple Church, London.

4pm (R3) Choral Evensong Live from Croydon Minster.

BBC/Burning Bright Productions/Phil SummersRuby Wax Talking Human (Wednesday 11 pm, Radio 4)

11pm (R4) Ruby Wax Talking Human The comedian, and guests including a Buddhist monk, talk about being happy and being human (2/4).

Thursday 11.30am (R4) Faith in Music Sir James MacMillan considers Gustav Mahler’s complex faith life (2/3).

8pm (Classic FM) Carols from St Paul’s Cathedral An evening of carols and readings, recorded on 7 December.

Christmas Eve 3pm (R4) A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols The traditional service live from King’s College, Cambridge (repeated Christmas Day, Radio 3, 1pm).

11.30pm (R4) Midnight Mass: Live from Salford Cathedral The Roman Catholic Bishop of Salford, the Rt Revd John Arnold, celebrates and preaches from his cathedral.

Christmas Day 9am (R4) Christmas Service A service recorded in Bethlehem and led by the president of Bethlehem Bible College, the Revd Dr Jack Sara, a leader of the Jerusalem Alliance Church.

1pm (Classic FM) The Nation’s Favourite Carol Will “O holy night” top the list for the sixth time?

12.15am (R4 FM) Christmas Meditation Adrian Chiles reflects on the meaning of Christmas.

Boxing Day 8.10a, (R4) Sunday Worship The Revd Lucy Winkett leads a Christmas gospel celebration.

3pm (R3) Choral Evensong From Merton College, Oxford, on the feast of St Stephen, first broadcast on 26 December 2018.

Bank Holiday Monday 4.30pm (R4) Beyond Belief Ernie Rea and guests ask, how much do we really know about Satan? (6/7).

8.05pm (World Service) The Climate Question Could imagery convey the climate crisis better than the written word?

Wednesday 4pm (R3) Choral Evensong From St Mary’s Collegiate Church, Warwick, recorded on 21 September.

8pm (R4) The Moral Maze Lord Williams is one of Michael Burke’s guests (5/5).

11.30am (R4) Faith in Music Sir James MacMillan explores the faith life of Ralph Vaughan Williams (3/3).

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Forthcoming Events

6-7 September 2022
Preaching as Pilgrimage conference
From the College of Preachers.

27-28 September 2022
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The HeartEdge Conference in Manchester includes the Theology Slam Live Final.

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