Music for Christmas Day
6.50 Nativity Reading
The story of the Nativity according to the Gospels of St Luke and St John.
7.0 News, preceded by Christians awake
Music for Christmas Day
presents a sequence of words and music for Christmas morning.
7.50 Nativity Reading
Alec McCowan reads the story of the Nativity according to the Gospels of St Luke and St John.
8.0 News, preceded by Christians awake
Clive Jacobs introduces a special Christmas edition which takes a seasonal look at the Christian Church, 2,000 years after the birth of its founder.
9.0 News, preceded by O come, all ye faithful
Robert Hudson introduces a collection of Christmas bells from bell-towers across the UK, including Exeter Cathedral, Devon; St Mary's Church, Rougham, Suffolk;
Glasgow Cathedral, Scotland; St Philip and St James, Holywood, Co. Down; St George's Church, Poynton, Cheshire; St Botolph's Church, Aldgate, London.
The Queen speaks to the Commonwealth.
(Repeated at 1.0 pm)
Christmas Day Eucharist (Rite B) from Salisbury Cathedral
Celebrant the Rt Rev John Baker, Bishop of Salisbury
Preacher The Very Rev Sydney Evans, Dean of Salisbury
Epistle; John 4, vv 7-14 (JB)
Gospel: John 1, vv 1-14 (AV)
Hymns (A&MR): O come, all ye faithful (59); While shepherds watched (62); O little town of Bethlehem (65); Hark the herald angels sing (60)
Anthem: In the bleak midwinter (Darke)
Richard Briers unwraps a parcel of goodies in a programme of songs and comedy from past and present. Included in this jovial Christmas gathering are Cleo Laine, Joyce Grenfell, The Goons, The Glums, Hinge and Bracket, and Bing Crosby plus a few surprise guests.
(Broadcast at 9.30 am)
A look back at some of the issues, events and personalities for which 1983 will be remembered - such as the invasion of Grenada, the fighting in Lebanon, the General Election and Greenham Common.
Presented by Noel Lewis
A Radio News production by John Allen
(Broadcast on Christmas Eve at 10.15 pm)
Adapted from "The Pickwick Papers" and "Christmas Stories" of Charles Dickens by Constance Cox
With David March as Mr Pickwick and Nigel Graham as Dickens, the narrator.
On 23 December 1827 Mr Pickwick and his manservant Sam Weller set out with his friends, Mr Tupman, Mr Snodgrass and Mr Winkle upon a journey to Dingley Dell. There, as guests of Mr Wardle, they were to enjoy the festivities of a good old-fashioned Christmas.
Characters in the stories are impersonated by certain of our revellers:
Somebody's Luggage -
Miss Martin...Miss Isabella
Mistress of the George...Miss Rachel
A Young Man...Benjamin Allen
A Gentleman...Mr Winkle
The Bagman's Story -
Tom Smart...Sam Weller
The Widow...Mrs Wardle
The Chair...Mr Wardle
by Brian Sibley
Thora Hird and Peter Goodwright invite you to eavesdrop on some of the likely and unlikely conversations between ordinary folk who may or may not have taken part in the first Christmas story.
Christmas music with a medieval flavour is supplied by Tarleton's Jig, arranged by Andrew Watts
Readings from the original story are by Peter Bartlett.
Kenneth Matthews finds roses in places other than his garden: on factory floors, on prehistoric walls, at parties and in poems always with a feeling of romance in the air, or at least, just around the corner.
...in which the struggle continues to find out which of the brains of Fleet Street can remember most about very little.
Simon Hoggart interrogates Alan Coren, John Wells, Joan Bakewell, Gillian Reynolds, David Taylor and Michael White
Festively compiled by John Langdon and the yuletide producer, Danny Greenstone
Dr Christopher Andrew presents a nostalgic medley of wartime radio from 40 years ago.
(Revised repeat on Boxing Day at 12 noon)
with Clive Roslin
Lord Soper visits a centre where food, clothing, comfort and warmth are provided by Crisis for homeless people.
Donations to: [address removed]
George Deacon steps behind the Christmas card to find out what Christmasses were really like in the village of Helpston 50 years ago and 150 years ago when it was the home of the poet John Clare.
The story of the R101
A serial in seven parts by David Beaty
Time and date had been irrevocably fixed. R101 would depart for India on the evening of 4 October 1930. For reasons he could not understand, Lord Thomson, Secretary for Air, found that people were dragging their feet...
(Repeated on Boxing Day at 5.0 pm)
As celebrated through the ages in life, literature, humour and song with Stephen Murray
In the old days, Christmas was a real festival. Children believed in Santa Claus and valued the modest gifts he brought. After the traditional lunch, everyone enjoyed Charades and nobody quarrelled.
Today Christmas is a commercial event with children greedy for expensive presents, adults greedy for food and drink and no thought for love and goodwill to men. True or false?
Glyn Worsnip has the answer with recorded evidence from past and present.
An adaptation for radio from the novel and the farce by Ben Travers.
[Starring] Joan Hickson as Mrs Bone, Freddie Jones as Major George Bone, Ian Lavender as Peter Wykeham, Phoebe Nicholls as Margaret Hickett and Margaret Tyzack as Mrs Spoker
In 1925 the divorce laws took it for granted that any unmarried couple who spent the night together must be guilty of adultery. Down Maiden Blotton in the Stag and Hunt, landlady Mrs Spoker, who doesn't allow hanky panky with unmarrieds, mistakenly forces an innocent couple into just such a bed of shameful sin.
A salute to Joey Bettany and Co, whose pranks at the Chalet School have enthralled girls for 60 years with Kate O'Mara and Helen McClelland
The Bishop of Middlesborough, The Rt Rev Augustine Harris, concludes his reflections on some of the themes of the Christmas Festival, with readings and music.
Truly traditional Christmas carols, predating the Victorian hymn book and still thriving in South Yorkshire village pubs, where they're sung with gusto every Christmas.
Presented by Kathy Staff
(Broadcast on Christmas Eve at 12.27 pm)