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Kirsty Young's Christmas listening

Michael Caine in the Radio Times

They don't call it 'the legendary Christmas issue' for nothing. The Radio Times at Christmas is a genuine publishing event. Still, in the age of the web and free listings pull-outs, the 274-page issue (the first to feature two different covers since 1923) will sell well over 2 million copies and clear nearly £5 million in revenue from the cover price alone. And around the country millions will get their felt-tips and their ballpoints out to ring the programmes they'll be listening to or watching over the 14 days it covers.

Kirsty Young

So I asked a select group of top Radio 4 people to get their own copies out and ring the Radio 4 programmes they're planning to listen to over Christmas and the New Year, starting today with broadcasting phenomenon and Desert Island Discs presenter Kirsty Young. Here are her choices. Fascinatingly, on page 242 of her double issue, she reveals that Michael Caine, Sunday's Desert Island Discs guest, is in her top three guests of all time.

And if you'd like to join in and tell the world your Radio 4 choices from the double issue, get your own copy out, ring the programmes you're going to listen to and upload pics to your favourite picture sharing site (Facebook, Flickr, Twitpic... there are many). Or just tell the world in a comment here on the blog, on Twitter or on Facebook. Whatever you do, tag it #MyXmasOn4.

Over the next few days I'll be posting the Radio Times selections of Julian Worricker (You and Yours presenter), Eddie Mair (PM presenter), Mark Damazer (Radio 4 Controller), Even Davis (Today presenter), Libby Purves (Midweek presenter), Tim Davie (Director of BBC Audio and Music) and Quentin Cooper (Material World presenter). I nearly secured Martha Kearney's selections today but she left London early to get to North Yorkshire for Any Questions ahead of the snow. Hope she made it.

Kirsty's selections from the legendary Christmas issue:

  • Desert Island Discs with Michael Caine, this Sunday at 1115. "In the top three guests - ever", she says.
  • The News at Bedtime, 1815, Christmas Eve: "Comedy gold. A must."
  • Woman's Hour, with Jane Garvey,1000, Christmas Eve: "I will be wrapping and Jane will be the perfect friend to do it with even though we've never met."
  • Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show, New Year's Day, 1130. Kirsty says: "Without question my absolute favourite radio programme... aside from Today... Obviously!"

Steve Bowbrick is editor of the Radio 4 blog

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