Belfast Telegraph

Gemma Collins and an ‘all-consuming silence’ among BBC Christmas highlights

The broadcaster has unveiled its line-up for BBC Radio and Sounds.

Gemma Collins (Ian West/PA)
Gemma Collins (Ian West/PA)

By Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Gemma Collins and an “all-consuming silence” are among the highlights of this year’s BBC Christmas line-up.

The broadcaster has unveiled its offerings for BBC Radio and Sounds.

The Gemma Collins Podcast “will delve into exactly how the GC gets festive”.

She will “treat”  listeners “to some Christmas classics, performed by the reality TV star and backed by a Christmassy choir”, on BBC Sounds.

On BBC Radio 3, a Slow Radio walk will take place from the west coast of Greenland.

Darcey Bussell will be heard on Private Passions (Ian West/PA)

Author Horatio Clare experiences “the silence and brutal force of the elements,” over three programmes, bringing to life “Greenland’s dramatic colours, stunning wildlife and vast skies” in Greenland: An Arctic Sound Walk.

“With specialist sound recording, we pick out the beating of ravens wings, the crackle of frozen streams, the screaming winds and the sudden all-consuming silence when everything stands still,” the BBC said.

Music captures the “light, the colours and the ever-changing atmospheres of the journey” in the programme, which begins on Christmas Eve and also looks at the country’s history,  culture and future.

Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy (BBC)

Other shows include Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy returning to 6 Music to play some “Tender radio for Tender Heads” on New Year’s Day.

Sherlock star Martin Freeman is also back at the station to present a series of three-hour programmes between Christmas and New Year.

Dame Darcey Bussell appears on Private Passions on Radio 3,  where the former principal dancer of the Royal Ballet and Strictly Come Dancing judge
talks about her career and the toll dancing has taken on her feet.

Martin Freeman (Ian West/PA)

Rick Astley and former Wham! star Andrew Ridgeley present shows on Radio 2.

Zoe Ball, Rylan, Anneka Rice, Paul O’Grady, Bryan Adams, comedian Matt Lucas and Joe Lycett also feature in the line-up.

JK Rowling will feature in a Christmas special of the panel show The Museum of Curiosity on Radio 4 and Sir Ian McKellen reads The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner  on Radio 4 Extra.

Sober Christmas, a Christmas episode of BBC Radio 5 Live podcast Hooked, will discuss the “coping mechanisms, funny stories and difficulties of how to get through the festive period when so much of the social aspect is centred around having a drink.”

James Purnell, BBC director of radio and education, said: “Across BBC Radio and Sounds, we’ll be celebrating the festive season with world class storytelling, some of the biggest stars of the year and music to suit every mood.

“There’s something for everyone in our line-up, and whether people listen live on-air or binge our great audio on-demand, I hope they come to BBC Radio this Christmas to discover and enjoy the best audio there is.”



From Belfast Telegraph