TV and Radio

Radio review: Tune in for Christmas - and tune out the madness

Simon Callow presents his Dickensian Christmas on BBC Radio 3 on Christmas day

ALMOST there... stuff the turkey or, if you must, at least, open your ears to a little radio while you do so.

There is a wealth to hear out there and the beauty of now is that you can listen when you like to what you like.

For the artsy types, there is Simon Callow's Dickensian Christmas on December 25. Dickens is credited with helping shape the modern Christmas - remember Ebenezer Scrooge throwing back the curtains, leaning out the window and shouting to a little Victorian boy: "Hey you there... what day is this?"

"Why it's Christmas day, sir."

The treat is all for your ears and it comes from St Luke's, Chelsea where Dickens got married.

In the unforgettable words of Tiny Tim, "God bless us, every one."

On RTE, Christmas Eve morning belongs to veteran radio presenter Joe Duffy who follows in the footsteps of Gay Byrne and hits Grafton Street for a live broadcast to soak up the atmosphere.

And later in the day, Santa Claus joins Derek Mooney to take calls and messages from Irish children.

But it will be worth listening out for Sunday Miscellany - a mixture of music and new Irish writing to soothe the savage beast that tends to wake up at this time of year alongside the frantic madness of the season.

RTE also offers Into the Mystic when Joseph O'Connor takes us on a journey around an Irish Christmas from dawn at Newgrange to a heaving O'Connell Street.

Listeners are also treated to Daniel O'Donnell's take on Christmas and, later, the Panti Bliss view.

On Christmas Eve on Radio Ulster, Sunday Sequence searches for the true meaning of Christmas from Belfast to Bethlehem... a chance to pause and reflect and just breathe.

Who cares that it's never chocolate box perfect? It's Christmas, it's a day - get down on your knees at the radio, tune in and tune out the madness.

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