Entertainment

BBC unveils its Christmas offering across radio and podcasts

Radio 2 Breakfast Show host Zoe Ball will celebrate five decades of Annie Nightingale in broadcasting.

Paloma Faith, James Acaster and Zoe Ball feature across the BBC’s Christmas slate of radio and podcasts.

The festive period will see the broadcaster air a series of seasonal specials across BBC Sounds and its various radio stations.

On Radio 1, Annie Mac will continue her end-of-year tradition of revealing the Hottest Record Of The Year.

Hyundai Mercury Prize 2019 – London
Annie Mac (Ian West/PA)

On 1Xtra Ghetts, Big Zuu and HER feature as guests in the 12 Days Of Christmas With… series.

Radio 2 will air an hour-long special with country music star Dolly Parton, while Breakfast Show host Ball will celebrate five decades of Annie Nightingale in broadcasting.

The Today programme on Radio 4 will welcome guest editors including Bake Off judge Prue Leith, author Margaret Atwood and director of the Wellcome Trust Sir Jeremy Farrar.

Also on Radio 4, the Archers will celebrate its 70th anniversary with a special episode, New Year’s Day quiz, documentary and more.

Graham Norton Show – London
Gwendoline Christie (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Dame Penelope Wilton and Gwendoline Christie will join Neil Gaiman in an adaptation of his fairy-tale, The Sleeper And The Spindle.

And Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders star in new comedy, What Ever Happened To Baby Jane Austen?

On BBC Sounds, there will be festive specials of podcasts including Fortunately… With Fi And Jane, The YUNGBLUD Podcast and James Acaster’s Perfect Sounds.

Seasonal music mixes from Faith, Dizzee Rascal, Rita Ora and more will also feature.

Stan & Ollie Photocall – London
James Acaster (Ian West/PA)

Anya Chalotra (The Witcher) and Chance Perdomo (Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina) will star in a new podcast thriller available as a boxset, The Cipher.

Listeners can also access A Promised Land by Barack Obama and The Midnight Library by Matt Haig via the service.

Charlotte Moore, BBC chief content officer, said: “This Christmas, more so than ever, we’ve created perfect soundtracks that are full of festive cheer and stardust, celebrate our most loved shows, make space for reflection and tell extraordinary stories both real or imagined.

“In what’s been a difficult year, millions of people have turned to our stations and Sounds for company through long periods of isolation and so we want to give our listeners schedules filled with special treats and surprising guests to celebrate the festive season.”

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