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Xmas line-up confirmed by BBC

by RXTV-newsdesk
David Tennant in Around The World in 80 Days

The BBC has revealed its linear and on-demand programme highlights for Christmas and the New Year, as it fights back competition from global streaming giants.

Beyond the usual and arguably stale mix of EastEnders, Strictly, Call The Midwife, Doctor Who and Mrs Brown’s Boys, BBC One is serving up a range of brand new drama, family entertainment and shows. These include two David Attenborough specials, the new drama adaptation of Around the World in 80 Days starring David Tennant (pictured above) and Jamie Dornan in The Tourist. And for the first time in its 10 year history, there will be a Death in Paradise Christmas Special.

On BBC Two, there’s a long lost episode of the Morecambe and Wise show, plus three music specials featuring Madonna, Lady Gaga and Adele.

BBC Four’s Christmas Lectures from the Royal Institution features Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, taking a deep dive into the fascinating and varied world of viruses.

Details of the exact times for all shows will be confirmed by the BBC in the coming days.


BBC One

Around The World In 80 Days

An epic adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in 80 Days comes to BBC One and iPlayer this Christmas. The eight-part series starring David Tennant as the intrepid explorer Phileas Fogg, Ibrahim Koma as the mercurial Passepartout and Leonie Benesch as young journalist Abigail ‘Fix’ Fortescue.

The Tourist

The Tourist BBC

Jamie Dornan (pictured above) stars as a British man who finds himself in the glowing red heart of the Australian outback, being pursued by a vast tank truck trying to drive him off the road. An epic cat and mouse chase unfolds and the man later wakes in hospital, hurt, but somehow alive. Except he has no idea who he is. With merciless figures from his past pursuing him, The Man’s search for answers propels him through the vast and unforgiving outback.

Full of shocking, surprising, funny and brutal turns, The Tourist is set in a world populated by quirky, enigmatic characters and off-beat comedy punctuates high-stakes action. At its heart however, is a story of self-discovery with a ticking timebomb underneath: as The Man starts to uncover the mystery of who he was, he’s also forced to ask who he is now – and fast. Will he unlock the secrets of his identify before those who are trying to kill him catch up with him?

Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas

The Flight Before Christmas sees Shaun’s seasonal excitement turn to dismay when a farmhouse raid to get bigger stockings for the Flock inadvertently leads to Timmy going missing. Can Shaun get Timmy back before he becomes someone else’s present? Prepare for a ‘Santastic’ adventure as everyone learns the true value of Christmas!

Superworm

Superworm is a comic hero with a difference. Super-long, super-strong and big-hearted, he and his best friend Butterfly are always helping all the other garden creatures – whether he’s saving baby toad from a major road, rescuing beetle from down a well, or even becoming a skipping rope to entertain some bored bees. Superworm too often takes all the credit. When the wicked Wizard Lizard hears about Superworm’s special skills, he decides to kidnap Superworm to help him find treasure. Despite everything, with her friend in deep trouble, Butterfly comes to the rescue, convincing the other creatures to help her with a daring plan… 

The first-rate voice cast will be headlined by Oscar-winner Olivia Colman as Narrator and Emmy nominee Matt Smith playing the hero, Superworm.

A Very British Scandal

Written by Sarah Phelps, A Very British Scandal focuses on the divorce of the Duke (Paul Bettany) and Duchess of Argyll (Claire Foy), one of the most notorious, extraordinary and brutal legal cases of the 20th Century. Famed for her charisma, beauty and style, Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, dominated the front pages as a divorce featuring accusations of forgery, theft, violence, drug-taking, secret recording, bribery and an explicit polaroid picture – all played out in the white-hot glare of the 1960s media.

The Girl Before

The Girl Before tells the story of Jane played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who gets the chance to move into a beautiful, ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect played by David Oyelowo. There’s just one catch: occupants have to abide by his list of exacting rules. Jane starts to feel the house changing her in unexpected ways, but when she makes the shocking discovery about her predecessor Emma played by Jessica Plummer, she’s forced to confront unnerving similarities. As the two women’s timelines interweave, Jane begins to question if her fate will be the same as the girl before… also stars Ben Hardy.

Attenborough And The Mammoth Graveyard (w/t)

Four years ago a couple walking round a freshly dug gravel pit just outside Swindon noticed something unusual protruding from the mud. It was the top of a huge fossilised leg bone of a mammoth. Sally and Neville Hollingworth, both keen amateur fossil hunters, had stumbled across the discovery of a lifetime – a mammoth graveyard in the old prehistoric riverbed of the Thames.

They returned to dig up more mammoth bones, made more exciting was Sally’s discovery of a stone ‘hand axe’ created by an early human. Sally and Neville’s finds appear to be hundreds of thousands of years old andcould offer an extremely rare glimpse of life deep in the Ice Ages.

When Sir David Attenborough heard about their remarkable finds, he was keen to see them for himself. Since he was a boy, he has been smitten with the lure of hunting fossils. He joins biologist Prof. Ben Garrod and a team of archaeologists and palaeontologists as they carefully excavate the quarry where the bones were found. The site raises many questions: Why were the mammoths here? How did they die? Could the ancient humans have killed them? Leading experts in the fields of evolution, both human and mammoth, provide clarity in understanding of our relationship with this iconic ice-age giant.

As the team finds more stone tools lying side-by-side with more mammoth bones they realise this could be a once in a generation discovery offering a unique window into prehistoric Britain.

Attenborough’s Wonder Of Song

Sir David Attenborough chooses his favourite recordings from the natural world that have revolutionised our understanding of song. Each one – from the song of the largest lemur to the song of the humpback whale to the song of the lyrebird – was recorded in his lifetime. The oldest, when he was just five. The most recent, only a few years ago. And one was made by him. “There are seven recordings of song that have particular interest for me,” he says. “Some are lovely, some are surprising and one almost broke my heart. But all of them broke new ground”.

Death In Paradise Christmas Special

Fans of Death in Paradise are in for a Caribbean Christmas treat this December with the first ever feature length episode. Concluding the tenth anniversary celebrations, the festive 90-minute special, which stretches from a grey damp drizzly London all the way to the warm sparkling beauty of idyllic Saint Marie, will see the return of Danny John-Jules as charismatic Officer Dwayne Myers, for this celebratory episode.

Call The Midwife

Series 11 begins with a Christmas special set in December 1966. Christmas promises to be a memorable one at Nonnatus House as Lucille (Leonie Elliott) and Cyril (Zephryn Taitte) prepare for their upcoming winter wedding. The Nonnatus team are faced with their busiest Christmas Day ever as the Maternity Home is filled with expectant Mums to be, each with their own challenging case. Luckily Mother Mildred (Miriam Margolyes) is on hand to support the team.

Doctor Who New Year’s Day Special

The Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and friends will kick-start 2022 with an action-packed spectacular episode set to air on BBC One on New Year’s Day. The festive special will feature guest stars Aisling Bea (This Way Up, Living With Yourself, Quiz), Adjani Salmon (Dreaming Whilst Black, Enterprice) and Pauline McLynn (Father Ted, Shameless).

Sarah (Aisling Bea) owns and runs ELF storage, and Nick (Adjani Salmon) is a customer who visits his unit every year on New Year’s Eve. This year, however, their night turns out to be a little different than planned…

Worzel Gummidge

Two brand new one-hour films directed, created and starring Mackenzie Crook: Twitchers and Calliope Jane – inspired by the classic books by Barbara Euphan Todd – are coming to BBC One and BBC iPlayer this Christmas.

The Weakest Link Christmas Special

The Weakest Link is back on BBC One this Christmas, with a brand new host. BAFTA award winning comedian Romesh Ranganathan will bring his own twist to one of the world’s most iconic quizzes. Romesh is joined by 8 celebrities, each with their own connection to Christmas who will have to work as a team to try to win a maximum prize of £50,000 for their chosen charity.

Each round one player will be voted The Weakest Link by their fellow contestants and will leave with nothing. After a final head to head one celebrity will be crowned The Strongest Link and will take the prize.

Michael McIntyre’s Christmas Wheel

Bafta Award-winning Michael McIntyre hosts this special festive episode of The Wheel. Three famous faces – actor Danny Dyer, Radio and TV presenter Zoe Ball and comedian, actor and writer David Walliams – compete to complete The Wheel in an attempt to win money for their chosen charities this Christmas.

Blankety Blank

Bradley Walsh hosts a fun-filled festive special of the legendary gameshow. A panel of six celebrities to fill in the missing BLANKS and help win some brilliant prizes for some very lucky contestants. He’s joined by Angela Rippon, Richard E Grant, Tom Allen, Sarah Millican, Mel B and Danny Jones.

I Can See Your Voice Christmas Special

The addictive play-a-long singing game show is back on the BBC for a fun-filled festive special. Paddy McGuinness hosts and is joined by Celebrity Investigators, Jimmy Carr, Alison Hammond and Amanda Holden plus special guest Leona Lewis. The player hoping to win £10,000 is joined by Gabby Logan and together they will need to tell the difference between the good and bad mystery singers, without ever hearing them sing a note! With seasonal lip sync songs and festive cheer, it’s the perfect game to play with the family this Christmas.

Not Going Out

Not Going Out returns to BBC One this Christmas with a trip to the Panto. Lee Mack’s multi award-winning hit show, and longest running sitcom on air, will return this December.

It is Christmas and Lee (Lee Mack) is not happy that Lucy (Sally Bretton) had booked tickets to the Pantomime. Especially given the star of the show is Lucy’s teenage crush, Jason Donovan.

The Hit List

It’s time for a star-studded Christmas Special of The Hit List! The three teams joining Marvin and Rochelle Humes for this festive episode are Actors and EastEnders stars Jake Wood and Tamzin Outhwaite, Choirmaster Gareth Malone and Saxophonist Yolanda Brown and comedians Alex Brooker and Ellie Taylor; but who will sleigh the competition and get the chance to win £10,000 for their chosen charity? Get ready to play along and shout out the answers at the telly!

The Wall Vs Celebrities Christmas Specials

Hosted by Danny Dyer, with questions voiced by TV legend Angela Rippon, the ultimate combination of strategy, general knowledge and luck returns to BBC One this festive season with two celebrity specials.

The first episode is an EastEnders special, as Walford favourites Maddy Hill and James Bye take on the biggest game on TV. Will The Wall play grinch on this festive occasion or can Maddy and James win big for their charities?

The second episode to air over the festive period features award winning stand-up comedian Sarah Millican alongside her husband and fellow stand up Gary Delaney, as they take on The Wall in a bid to walk away with a cash prize for their chosen charity.

In addition, these two episodes will also see the debut of an exciting new game changing feature on The Wall – Superdrop. Superdrop will see seven green balls drop all at the same time from the 4-storey monolith, meaning the potential to win serious readies is even more real. But then they must face seven red balls ‘the evil Superdrop’ that could wipe all their cash away. A thrilling addition to an already epic game.

Top Gear – Driving Home For Christmas

In this festive episode, Chris Harris, Paddy McGuiness and Freddie Flintoff aren’t choosing their own cars, but instead choosing for one another. Yes, it’s time for Top Gear Secret Santa!

After unwrapping their presents in Bethlehem (that’s Bethlehem, Wales, obviously), our three wise(ish) men and their gifts set off on a Yuletide voyage across Britain, stopping off to play the traditional Christmas parlour game of ‘High Speed Visual Charades’, and deliver a truly enormous tree to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath. Because nothing says ‘Merry Christmas’ like a thousand kilos of Norway Spruce on the Royal Crescent. Then, in the words of the great Chris Rea, it’s time for the presenters to do some drivin’ home for Christmas. Home, of course, being the Top Gear test track, magically transformed into a veritable winter wonderland of speed…

The Repair Shop

Christmas is just around the corner, and tucked away in a frosty corner of the British countryside, the Repair Shop barn is already bustling as the dedicated team of Christmas craftspeople prepare for their biggest and busiest ever holiday season.

In the Repair Shop this Christmas, the team takes on a very special mechanical doll, a traditional German decoration, an ageing harmonium, and a train set all the way from Kenya. Treasured Christmas keepsakes are not the only items on the menu this Christmas at the Repair Shop, as Secret Santa has again challenged every expert to create a gift from scratch for one of their barn mates. As secret plans are made in each nook and cranny of the barn, inspired creations begin to emerge, including a gingerbread replica of the Repair Shop itself!

The Great British Christmas Sewing Bee

Brand new host Sara Pascoe throws a Christmas Sewing Bee extravaganza. To help her get into the festive spirit, she welcomes celebrity sewer Rev Kate Bottley, actors Antony Cotton and Kiell Smith-Bynoe, plus presenter Anneka Rice into the Sewing Room. Under the watchful eye of judges Esme Young and Patrick Grant, the four brave celebrities follow a pattern for a Christmas jumper, they transform a charity shop bundle into fancy dress outfit and create dresses from Christmas past. Only one celebrity can be granted their Christmas wish to win the coveted Christmas Sewing Bee award before they gather around the piano for a sing-song.

MasterChef Champions Special

For the very first time, five of the most memorable amateur champions return to the MasterChef kitchen in a cooking contest to rival any other. The competitors are: Tim Anderson – Champion 2011, Ping Coombes – Champion 2014, Saliha Mahmood-Ahmed – Champion 2017, Kenny Tutt – Champion 2018, and Irini Tzortzoglou – Champion 2019. Each of them is back to show how far their food and careers have progressed and to compete for the title of MasterChef Champion of Champions 2021.


BBC Two

Beauty and the Beast: A Comic Relief Pantomime for Christmas

“Oh no it isn’t”, “Oh, yes, it is.” The world’s funniest AND most star-studded pantomime is back! The return of the popular Comic Relief Pantomime written by Ben Crocker and The Dawson Bros.

Last year’s Cinderella starred Regé-Jean Page, Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter, Guz Khan, Anya Taylor Joy and 007 himself, Daniel Craig as the horse Wheezy Jeff. And they raised nearly £900,000 for Comic Relief. Now it’s back as some of the original stars return alongside an exciting new stellar cast to light up BBC Two’s screens at Christmas.

But what will the cast do with the classic, Beauty And The Beast? There promises to be some clever cameras tricks, surprising moments of comedy and of course big guest stars popping up.

The Mezzotint

It’s 1922 and in the heart of an old English college, Edward Williams receives an engraving of an unknown country house. An imposing facade. A sweeping lawn. And, just perhaps, something else…? Laced with M. R. James’ trademark terror, The Mezzotint will guarantee a chill in the air for viewers this Christmas. Rory Kinnear (Years & Years, No Time To Die) stars as Williams, alongside Robert Bathurst (Cold Feet, Downton Abbey) as Garwood, and Frances Barber (Doctor Who, Semi-Detached) as Mrs Ambrigail. The Mezzotint also stars John Hopkins (Poldark, Lucky Man), Emma Cunniffe (Roadkill, Unforgotten), Nikesh Patel (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Indian Summers), and Tommaso Di Vincenzo (Dracula).

Mandy

What is the true essence of Christmas? Is it the glimmer in a schoolboy’s expectant eye as he opens his pillowcase on Christmas morning and tucks into a delicious walnut and a bruised tangerine? Is it the wide smile on a publican’s face as he welcomes merry revellers with a vat of warm mulled wine he’s made in a sort of electric keg he normally puts oxtail soup in?Or, is it a Christmas episode of a TV show that is slightly longer than usual to make it appear “special”? Find out the answer in this Christmas episode of Mandy, starring Diane Morgan as our eponymous heroine.

Two Doors Down

Two Doors Down returns with another festive special of the hit comedy centred around a family and their insufferable neighbours.

Having been away in the Highlands last year, we’re back on home turf in Latimer Crescent. And it’s all merry and bright over at Michelle and Alan’s as they welcome the neighbours for a wee pre-Christmas get together… But the festive atmosphere soon turns a little fraught.

Beth and Eric sit themselves down on the sofa and are given on-the-spot invitation to spend Christmas with Gordon’s parents in Yorkshire, which in turn causes Christine to feel vulnerable. Gordon irritates Ian with all his fussing, and Cathy – as ever – is desperate to find the ‘real’ party, with poor Michelle then in turn struggling to keep the evening on track.

There are brief glimmers of harmony when the neighbours play a silly kazoo game and decide to do something special for Christine – but Alan’s attempt to de-stress Ian backfires when Gordon goes and ruins things for everyone.

Frankie Boyle’s New World Order 2021

Frankie Boyle returns with his New World Order end of year special where, with the help of his guests, he’ll dissect the bewildering year that was 2021. The show features Frankie at his satirical best as he reviews and discusses all the big stories from the last 12 months along with a selection of unbelievable clips.

Live At The Apollo

This December, the BAFTA nominated Live At The Apollo returns with its sixth Christmas special, welcoming some of the biggest and best comedic talent to the stage for some festive funniness.

Live At The Apollo is back for a 16th series with seven all new episodes, welcoming an array of established and up-and-coming stand-ups to the world-famous Apollo stage. At the forefront of its genre, the roll call of stand-ups who have performed in front of the renowned Live At The Apollo lights plays out like a who’s who of comedic royalty and this series is no different.

Mortimer And Whitehouse: Gone Christmas Fishing

Paul Whitehouse’s Christmas gift to Bob Mortimer this year is to take him on a quest to catch an elusive English Salmon. So the pair head to the beautiful rivers Eden and Tyne around Newcastle to start their Gone Christmas Fishing seasonal adventure.

They are accompanied as always by fishing dog Ted and are joined along the way by some very special guests. Together they discover and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, to spend quality time with those you love, both on and off the riverbank. There are plenty of laughs, a few tears and some big surprises in this hour-long special episode, which will leave you well and truly immersed in the Christmas spirit.

The Morecambe and Wise Show 1970 – The Lost Tape

As a Christmas treat for comedy fans, this is a complete episode of The Morecambe and Wise Show, that had been considered ‘lost’ for over 50 years. Eric’s son Gary Morecambe discovered the programme in an unmarked film can in 2020, and now it has been lovingly restored and can be enjoyed in full for the first time since being first broadcast on October 8th 1970.

The show, written by the legendary Eddie Braben, was episode one of Eric and Ernie’s first series to appear on BBC One, and was originally watched by over 14 million viewers. As well as some classic sketches from Eric and Ernie, the show also features songs and music from Paul Anka, Patricia Lambert, Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen, and the boys themselves rounding things off with a burst of “Bring Me Sunshine.”

The Ranganation Christmas Special

Romesh Ranganathan, winner of the 2021 BAFTA TV Award for Comedy Entertainment Performance, returns alongside his celebrity guests, the Ranganation themselves and of course his mum Shanthi to take a festively funny and topical look at modern Britain in a special Yuletide edition of The Ranganation.

Joining Romesh in the studio are presenter and TV personality Scarlett Moffatt and comedian Josh Widdicombe. Viewers can expect lively festive chat and of course a dose of optimistic entertainment on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer this Christmas.

The Hairy Bikers Go North For Christmas 

The Hairy Bikers are back on the road, and this time they’ve got their sights set on creating the most fabulous Northern festive feast for their nearest and dearest. 

Dave Myers and Si King hail from opposite sides of the North and feel it’s been far too long since their families have been together around one table for a proper celebration. So they’ve hatched a plan to ride the backbone of the North, the Pennines, from top to bottom, to meet, taste and be inspired by the best food artisans and producers around. They’ll then create a Christmas dinner using ingredients they find, to treat their families to the best Northern Xmas ever.

This is a Hairy Bikers’ Christmas dinner with a twist. From unusual starters – Turkey Doner Kebab – to gourmet marshmallows and award-winning Christmas Puds that contain an incredible 21 ingredients. This will be a fabulous festive feast, Hairy Bikers-style to suit three generations of both the King and Myers families.

Mary Berry’s Festive Feasts

Dame Mary Berry is ready to teach three truly hapless cooks how to create a fantastic Christmas Feast to surprise someone special. 

The kitchen novices are invited to Mary’s home to share their ambitions for the feast and tell her all about the deserving person they want to spoil. 

After selecting some recipes that are sure to impress, they will be trained up by Mary herself. She’ll demonstrate tricky techniques while giving her pupils helpful critique and pointers along the way.  But once they wave goodbye to Mary and head home, it’s up to them to practice in their own kitchens… will they be able to replicate Mary’s​ mouth watering dishes?

Luckily for them, keen to make sure the feast runs smoothly – and to add an extra sprinkle of Christmas magic – Mary’s enlisted the help of two celebrity Elves, Alex Jones and Patrick Grant, to help the trio. 

On the big day, while temperatures rise in the kitchen as the novices prepare their dishes, Mary and her Elves are on hand to assist in the hope that the guest of honour, along with their family and friends, are served up a truly fantastic Festive Feast, and one to make Dame Mary proud. 

Andi Oliver Taste Of Home Christmas Special 

Andi Oliver is a chef and passionate foodie and she’s eaten in some really amazing places – but what really excites her isn’t fancy restaurants, it’s the special meals and food celebrations people cook at home. Most of all at Christmas. 

Andi believes there’s no better way to get to know people – or truly understand the place where they live – than by cooking and sharing a meal with them. So in this joyful festive special, Andi is going to meet three very different families, all from the same great city of Glasgow, as they create celebratory feasts for their nearest and dearest.  

Only Connect Christmas Special

Victoria Coren Mitchell is back in the host’s chair for a one-off special of Only Connect: the series where knowledge will only take you so far. Patience and lateral thinking are also vital.

Two favourite teams from previous series return for an evening of cheese, wine and Christmas quizzing. It’s a festive affair as the Turophiles take on the Corkscrews in a competition to draw together the connections between things which at first glance, seem utterly random. So raise a glass and join Victoria Coren Mitchell if you want to know what connects…

Quentin Blake: The Drawing Of My Life

BBC Two celebrates one of Britain’s best-loved artists: the illustrator and author Sir Quentin Blake. He tells the story of his creative life in his own words – and, of course, with his own pictures – by making a major new work exclusively for this film. Viewers will see him fill a thirty foot long canvas with classic characters and key moments from his career.

The programme features contributions from famous collaborators and admirers, among them, Michael Rosen, Lauren Child, Chris Riddell, Josie Long, David Walliams, Steven Appleby, Dapo Adeola and Emma Chichester Clark. In a rare new interview, Felicity Dahl gives fresh insights into Quentin’s famously fruitful collaboration with her late husband Roald. Joanna Lumley, Peter Capaldi and Ore Oduba read extracts from some of the 500 books Blake has illustrated.

Inside The Factory – Christmas Cards

In this new Inside the Factory Christmas Special Gregg Wallace visits the Woodmansterne card factory in in Watford, Hertfordshire. We Brits spend a staggering 1.7 billion pounds on cards annually, but we are really enthusiastic for greetings in the festive season! Spending a whopping 900million pounds on them every year. Gregg is following one of this factory’s bestselling cards, The Red Stag.

Madonna at the BBC

A look back at a selection of magical Madonna moments on a range of BBC shows – from her first ever Top of the Pops appearance with Holiday in 1984, right up to the present day. This collection covers Madge’s journey from Material Girl to Queen of Pop. It captures how, over the years, her ability to combine charisma, controversy and classic pop tunes has made her a female icon and a true global superstar.

Madonna: Truth or Dare

A behind-the-scenes look at Madonna’s 1990 Blonde Ambition tour, which saw the Queen of Pop perform to 800,000 people across Japan, the USA, Canada, Sweden, Spain, the UK, Italy and France. This intimate film, which was last broadcast on the BBC in 2003, explores Madonna’s relationships with her dancers, crew, family and friends – including her famous encounters with Warren Beatty, Sandra Bernhard and Kevin Costner. It features performances of songs including Express Yourself, Oh Father, Like A Virgin, Holiday, Live To Tell, Vogue, Causin’ A Commotion, Keep It Together and Family Affair.

Adele at the BBC

Adele has broken records, won numerous awards and has recently released her highly anticipated fourth album, 30. This programme takes a trip back into the BBC’s archives to look again at how it all started for one of the 21st century’s biggest music stars. This is a chance to enjoy all Adele’s  biggest hits and to relive her early performances on a selection of BBC programmes. These performances include her first ever TV appearance on Later…with Jools Holland, in 2007, on which she sang Daydreamer – a debut that announced a new star was born.

Lady Gaga at the BBC

From the moment her debut single Just Dance hit the top of the UK charts, Lady Gaga has captivated music fans across the world. This collection of her appearances on the BBC over the years underlines exactly why she’s considered one of the most creative, innovative stars of the 21st century. Whether she’s performing Poker Face solo, dressed like no-one before her or since, or duetting Anything Goes with Tony Bennett on Strictly Come Dancing, the range of performances demonstrate her versatility and her continuous ability to surprise her fans.

Jools’ Annual Hootenanny

Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra welcome in the New Year with Jools’ Annual Hootenanny 2021/2022. Joined by host of stellar guests, they’ll bring viewers a spectacular festive party, direct to their homes. This year’s show takes place at Riverside Studios in London and will see performances and interviews with a range of artists. There’ll be appearances from some of the musicians who have been making waves in 2021 as well as established household favourites.

Plus, as is tradition, Jools will be counting the seconds down to midnight, before the Pipes and Drums of the 1stBattalion Scots Guards play viewers into 2022.

A Musical Family Christmas with the Kanneh-Masons (w/t)

This Christmas,  BBC Two viewers are invited to join a very special festive celebration with the Kanneh-Mason family. The seven exceptionally-talented classical musical siblings will treat audiences to seasonal performances of their favourite Xmas music such as  ‘Mary’s Boy Child’, ‘We Three Kings’ and Tchaikovsky’s ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ plus beautiful covers of ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’ and ‘Hallelujah’. In addition, the programme follows the family as they prepare for their traditional Anglo-Afro-Caribbean-style Christmas celebrations in their Nottingham home.

Gareth Malone’s Christmas Concert (w/t) 

In this seasonal special, choirmaster Gareth Malone heads to Blackburn – one of the areas of the country hardest hit by Covid-19 – to create a concert that celebrates the work of NHS staff and other keyworkers. In the Royal Blackburn Hospital, and surrounding town, Gareth comes across a wealth of amateur musical talent. Working with them to devise and rehearse musical performances that reflect their experiences over the last year, he uncovers a range of moving stories about how the town has pulled together through the pandemic. The final concert will be an emotional thank you to the local hospital, an uplifting celebration of community, and a chance to bring some festive joy to the nation.   

New Year’s Day Concert Live From Vienna 2022

Petroc Trelawny is host for the Vienna Philharmonic’s annual New Year’s Day Concert from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna. In these uncertain times, the concert will look to send a   New Year’s greeting of hope to the world, as it welcomes back an audience to the hall following last year’s edition, which was impacted by the ongoing global pandemic.  

The 2022 New Year’s Concert is conducted by Daniel Barenboim, whose artistic collaboration with the Vienna Philharmonic began in 1989. He first appeared with the orchestra as pianist in 1956 and since then he has conducted many concerts with them, including the New Year’s Concerts 2009 and 2014.


BBC Four

2021 Christmas Lectures from the Royal Institution

In this year’s Christmas Lectures from the Royal Institution – Going Viral: How Covid Changed Science Forever – Professor Jonathan Van-Tam takes a deep dive into the fascinating and varied world of viruses.

Joined by expert British scientists who all played vital roles in the Covid-19 pandemic, he’ll reveal why new discoveries and advances – from early detection techniques to new vaccines – are set to change the future of medicine.

With millions of lives at stake and no treatments or vaccines to hand, they accelerated their research to achieve the impossible, racing to understand the virus’s biology, to find treatments and create vaccines that could bring the pandemic under control. And they succeeded. Within 11 months the first vaccine was produced – a process that often takes 10 years.

During the three-lecture series, Prof. Van-Tam will show how public health measures, combined with ground-breaking science will have an impact far beyond Covid-19, including breakthroughs that could help fight other infectious diseases, genetic disorders and even cancer. Data has been shared across the world and rapid clinical trials have tested the efficacy of new drugs. Biological and epidemiological science will never be the same again.

Winter Journey (w/t)

Built at the 2,300m summit of the Julierpass in south-east Switzerland is a tower, an extraordinary 30 metre high red wooden structure which was unveiled in late 2017. Out of time and place, it stands in splendid and magisterial isolation – but will be dismantled in August 2023 – a tribute to the fleeting nature of theatre performance. Whilst it remains in use, this film uses its many evocative spaces to stage the ultimate musical portrait of isolation: Schubert’s song-cycle Winterreise (or Winter Journey), telling of a young man’s wintry self-isolation as he wanders in the open, wracked with emotional turmoil. Shot by iconic filmmaker John Bridcut both inside the tower, and outside in the snow this is a personal journey for German-British baritone Benjamin Appl who sings sections of the work accompanied by pianist James Baillieu.


[BBC publicity]

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