Entertainment

BBC Radio to celebrate life of Bernard Cribbins over Christmas period

BBC Radio and BBC Sounds are releasing their schedules which include shows with festive specials and celebrity guests.

The life of Bernard Cribbins will be celebrated by the BBC over the Christmas period.

The veteran actor, who starred in the Carry On films, Doctor Who and the 1970 film The Railway Children, died in July aged 93.

Radio 4 Extra will have a series of programmes and broadcast interviews about Cribbins – who also acted in radio adaptions of The Jungle Book, The Wind In The Willows and The Silver Chair – on December 29.

BBC Radio and BBC Sounds are releasing their schedules for the festive period, which include Sir Cliff Richard speaking to Radio 2’s Sara Cox at Abbey Road Studios in London.

Platinum Jubilee
Chris Eubank and Sir Cliff Richard during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant in front of Buckingham Palace (Hannah McKay/PA)

The station’s listeners will also hear gospel music with singer Mica Paris, a seasonal French soundtrack with First Dates star Fred Sirieix and a West End Christmas special with singer Elaine Paige.

There will also be a sing-along in Anneka Rice’s Junior Choice, which celebrates its 70th anniversary, and on Christmas Day radio DJ Steve Wright will count down an exclusive Top 40 chart of Christmas number ones.

On Radio 1, Clara Amfo will reveal her hottest record of the year and The Official Chart Show With Jack Saunders will unveil the Christmas number one.

Elsewhere, on Radio 4’s Today programme Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Jamie Oliver, Sir Jeremy Fleming, Dame Sharon White, Lord Ian Botham and Anne-Marie Imafidon will take over as guest editors.

Steven Spielberg, Cate Blanchett and Kirsty Young are among Lauren Laverne’s castaways over the festive period on Desert Island Discs.

Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year 2022
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe will be a guest editor on the Today programme (Ian West/PA)

TV chef Delia Smith also joins Sheila Dillon in her kitchen for a special festive edition of The Food Programme while Mark Gatiss and Reverend Richard Coles go on a ghost hunt in Danny Robins’ Uncanny Christmas episode.

Agatha Christie is reimagined with the new Marple: Three New Stories while Charles Dickens’ ghost story The Signalman gets a retelling from theatre director and playwright Jonathan Holloway.

Absolutely Fabulous actress Jane Horrocks also opens up her diaries to give an insight into her love affair with rock singer Ian Dury.

On BBC Radio 6 Music, Icelandic singer-songwriter Bjork, English singer-songwriter Self Esteem, real name Rebecca Lucy Taylor, American singer John Grant and Canadian electro singer Peaches, real name Merrill Nisker, will do festive takeover shows.

Radio 3 will see a special rendition of A Christmas Carol with Mel Giedroyc and BBC Singers, Inside Music presented by choirmaster Gareth Malone and Horatio Clare’s annual Sound Walks.

Rocky Horror Show Live Afterparty
Absolutely Fabulous actress Jane Horrocks opens up her diaries to give an insight into her love affair with rock singer Ian Dury (Ian West/PA)

5 Live sees festive specials by Colin Murray, Nihal Arthanayake, Stacey Dooley, and Elis James and John Robins, who all present shows over the Christmas period.

Meanwhile, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales will have West End star Louise Dearman and Big Band singer Matt Ford doing concerts in Cardiff and Swansea.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra will have a premiere of The Hound Of The Baskervilles with Mark Gatiss, who played Mycroft Holmes in Sherlock, and comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson.

From the BBC World Service, there will be a midwinter audio drama The Dark Is Rising, starring Sense And Sensibility actress Harriet Walter and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy actor Toby Jones.

1Xtra will also be hosting an on-air Christmas Party on December 1 featuring some surprise guests and special live performances.

There will also be Christmas episodes of BBC Sounds’ shows You’re Dead To Me, Pressed, Uncanny, The Big Green Money Show, and Scarlett Moffatt Wants To Believe.

Comedian Romesh Ranganathan, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! star Babatunde Aleshe and singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor will also add their mixes to Back To Back Sounds Christmas and New Year long listens.