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

23 December 2022

BBC/Wingspan Productions/Barney Snow

Martin Renshaw, an organ rescuer, rebuilds an 1870 Bevington, 800 pipe organ, in The Organ Stops: Saving the king of instruments (Christmas Eve 9.10pm, BBC4)

Martin Renshaw, an organ rescuer, rebuilds an 1870 Bevington, 800 pipe organ, in The Organ Stops: Saving the king of instruments (Christmas Eve 9.10pm...

TV HIGHLIGHT: The Organ Stops: Saving the king of instruments The closure of churches has meant the loss of many instruments. This documentary follows the efforts of a small band of organ enthusiasts to save, restore, and rehome pipe organs.

Christmas Eve, 9.10pm BBC4

YouTube/Plating GraceYouTube/Plating Grace

RADIO HIGHLIGHT: Heart and Soul Colm Flynn meets the RC priest and TV chef Fr Leo Patalinghug (above) to discuss the spiritual importance of food at Christmas.

Christmas Day, 10.30pm World Service


TELEVISION: Christmas Eve 9.55am (BBC2) King of Kings The 1961 Hollywood biblical epic, starring Tab Hunter as Jesus.

6.55pm (BBC2) Carols from King’s Traditional music and readings from King’s College, Cambridge, led by the Dean, the Revd Dr Stephen Cherry.

7pm (ITV1) Royal Carols: Together at Christmas The Princess of Wales hosts a Christmas carol service at Westminster Abbey, attended by the King.

8.35pm (C5) Comedy Classic: The Vicar of Dibley A celebration of the comedy that starred Dawn French as the Revd Geraldine Granger, with insights from cast, crew, and fans.

11.40pm (ITV1) Christmas Carols A celebration from St Elisabeth’s, Stockport.

11.45pm (BBC1) Midnight Mass from Blackburn Cathedral A traditional service led by the Dean, the Very Revd Peter Howell-Jones. The preacher is the Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd Philip North.

Christmas Day 10am (BBC1) Christmas Morning Service from Blackburn Cathedral Live from Blackburn Cathedral, led by the Dean.

11am (BBC1) Songs of Praise Aled Jones presents carols from Llandaff Cathedral.

3pm (BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Radio 4, and World Service) The King’s Christmas Broadcast The King makes his inaugural annual address.

7.55pm (BBC1) Call the Midwife It is Christmas 1967, and the midwives treat a pregnant ex-convict.


11.15pm (BBC1) On Christmas Night The dancer Oti Mabuse (right) reads the story of the first Christmas, from St Luke’s Gospel.

Boxing Day 7pm (BBC4) Winter Walks The Revd Richard Coles heads to the North York Moors (repeat).

Boxing Day, Tuesday, Wednesday 8pm (BBC4) Royal Institution Christmas Lectures with Dame Sue Black The anatomist and academic reveals the huge leaps forward that forensic science has made (1-3/3).

New Year’s Day 12.55pm (BBC1) The Archbishop of Canterbury’s New Year Message Archbishop Welby offers a vision of a caring society.

1.15pm (BBC1) Songs of Praise A celebration of New Year’s Day from Llandaff Cathedral.

8pm (BBC1) Call the Midwife The new series opens in April 1968, with a new arrival, Sister Veronica (1/8).

Tuesday 10pm (C5) HMP Belmarsh: Maximum security A glimpse inside HM Prison Belmarsh, with the vicious conflicts that are part of daily life inside.

Wednesday 9pm (BBC2) Ukraine: The people’s fight In-depth footage from the film-maker Olly Lambert, who spent two months on Ukraine’s southern front line.

RADIO Christmas Eve 1pm (R3) Inside Music Gareth Malone discusses seasonal choral pieces.

3pm (R3) Christmas Eve Live with Sarah Walker Music and culture for Christmas Eve from countries including France, Ukraine, Italy, and Norway.

3pm (R4, World Service) A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols Live from King’s College, Cambridge, a service of carols, hymns, and readings.

11.30pm (R4) Midnight Mass Live from Leeds Cathedral The celebrant and preacher is the RC Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Marcus Stock.

Christmas Day 7am (R4) Christmas Service From Bath Abbey, where the congregation hears about the Abbey’s work with international visitors, and celebrates its links to the late Queen.

1pm (R3) A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols A repeat of yesterday’s service from King’s College, Cambridge.

1pm (Classic FM) The Nation’s Favourite Carol John Brunning presents this year’s poll.

3.05pm (Classic FM) Carols from Buckingham Palace Alan Titchmarsh presents the Choir of the Chapel Royal, in a concert recorded on 19 December.

7pm (Classic FM) Christmas Carols Unwrapped Anne-Marie Minhall explores the stories behind much-loved carols.

Boxing Day 9am (R4) Start the Week Tom Sutcliffe leads a discussion on the transformative power of awe.

9pm (Classic FM) Music for the Festival of Lights Rabbi Thomas Salamon presents music connected to the Jewish faith to mark today’s end of Hanukkah.

Wednesday 9am (R4) The Reith Lectures: The four freedoms discussion Anita Anand is joined by the 2022 Reith lecturers, including Lord Williams, as they discuss what Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms mean in a modern context.

4pm (R3) Choral Evensong Live from Croydon Minster on the feast of the Holy Innocents.

8.45pm (R4) One to One Gillian Burke (below) asks why the song structure, chord progressions, harmonies, and key changes of gospel music have such a profound impact (repeat).

BBC/Pete DaddsBBC/Pete Dadds

New Year’s Eve 8pm (R4) Archive on 4: #TheQueue Mark Thomas examines the “humble queue”, as exemplified by the thousands who waited at the Queen’s lying in state.

New Year’s Day 8.10am (R4) Sunday Worship The Archbishop of York preaches on the 250th anniversary of John Newton’s hymn “Amazing grace”. The service is led by Canon Rachel Mann.

3pm (R3) Choral Evensong A repeat of this week’s service from Croydon Minster.

7.30pm (R3) Drama on 3: The Journey of the Magi A nativity story reimagined in words and music, based on an original poem by W. R. Rodgers.

10.30pm (R4) Heart and Soul Grace Tsoi visits Thailand to hear the story of the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, who is often credited with popularising mindfulness.

Bank Holiday Monday 4.30pm (R4) Beyond Belief Aleem Maqbook discusses the story of Lisa, a Carmelite nun, who left her convent after 24 years when a monk asked her to marry him (1/7).

Bank Holiday Monday to Friday 10.45pm (R3) The Essay: Behind the Veil — The Story of Irish Nuns Olivia O’Leary, a convent-educated lapsed Catholic, explores how the position of nuns in Irish society has changed over her lifetime (1-5/5).

Tuesday 11.30am (R4) Out of the Ordinary Jolyon Jenkins investigates the sale of Christian religious relics — both bogus and supposedly genuine (1/3) (repeat).

Wednesday 4pm (R3) Choral Evensong A carol service for the Epiphany from Clare College, Cambridge, recorded on 24 November.

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