Wednesday 20 Aug 2014
Viewers are invited to raise their voices and join Aled Jones and his guests for a spectacular Christmas Big Sing from London's Royal Albert Hall. Opera superstar Bryn Terfel sings the beautiful German carol Still, Still, Still; gospel diva Ruby Turner joins forces with the Adventist Vocal Ensemble; and Jodie Prenger, winner of the BBC's popular reality TV show I'd Do Anything, sings her version of O Holy Night.
Plus a choir of almost 1,000 voices and the Big Sing Orchestra lead a packed auditorium of more than 5,000 Songs Of Praise viewers in some of the best-loved Christmas carols, including Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, O Christmas Tree and Joy To The World.
Live from the Sheffield Arena, Sue Barker, Gary Lineker and Jake Humphrey present the biggest-ever Sports Personality Of The Year, bringing a celebration of the best moments from an exceptional year of sport.
The evening climaxes with the presentation of the most prestigious award in British sport when the Sports Personality Of The Year is crowned – an award chosen by the viewers live on the night from a shortlist of 10 contenders. This year's race promises to be one of the closest for years.
The year has seen Britain's Jenson Button crowned world Formula 1 champion for the first time, while England's cricketers regained the Ashes and their female counterparts claimed a clean sweep of the Ashes, the World Cup and the World Twenty20.
Jessica Ennis and Phillips Idowu both collected gold at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin; Andy Murray reached No. 2 in the world tennis rankings; Tom Daley won a world diving title at the age of just 15; and Ireland celebrated a first Six Nations grand slam in 61 years.
David Haye became Britain's first world heavyweight champion since 2003 by beating a seven-foot opponent; Beth Tweddle thrilled the home crowd with a gold medal at the World Gymnastics Championships; and Ryan Giggs inspired Manchester United to yet another Premiership title.
This year is the biggest in the 56-year history of Sports Personality Of The Year with an audience of nearly 11,000, and it's the first time the event has ever been staged in Yorkshire. The glittering cast list also includes many of the world's biggest sporting names – including many of the former winners such as Joe Calzaghe, Lord Sebastian Coe, Sir Chris Hoy, Paula Radcliffe, Sir Steve Redgrave and Dame Kelly Holmes.
As well as the main award of Sports Personality of the Year, other awards include a special Lifetime Achievement Award, which will honour one of the world's true sporting legends. And further awards will be made to the Team Of The Year, Coach Of The Year, Overseas Sports Personality, Young Sports Personality Of The Year, Sports Unsung Hero, the Helen Rollason Award for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity and a surprise Special Award.
Hortense struggles to adjust to her new life in London in the concluding part of Small Island, adapted from Andrea Levy's best-selling, award-winning novel of the same name and starring Naomie Harris, David Oyelowo, Ruth Wilson, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ashley Walters.
As she wakes up to the sound of rats running on the floor above the room she shares with Gilbert, Hortense realises that her sweet dreams of England's promise are over.
Having encountered racism throughout his stay in London, Gilbert worries about what might happen to Hortense and asks their landlady and friend, Queenie, to look after her. Queenie obliges and consequently witnesses the racist attitudes to Hortense first-hand.
Things continue on a downward spiral for Hortense when her hopes of becoming a teacher in England are dashed. Even though she has received a private education and teacher training in Jamaica, she finds herself coldly rejected by the education authority. However, even though Gilbert has dreamt of studying in England, he selflessly declares that he will give up his plans to study so Hortense can retrain. Grateful for his sacrifice, Hortense begins to see the finer qualities of the man she so casually married and wonders if she could, in fact, one day love Gilbert.
Meanwhile, Queenie is shocked when she comes home to find Bernard on her doorstep, years after he went missing. His return forces Queenie to think seriously about how she will handle the dark secret that she has been harbouring.
Bernard struggles to cope with Gilbert and Hortense living in his house and a furious argument ensues after he is caught rifling through their room. The commotion sends a pregnant Queenie into labour and Hortense has to deliver the baby while Gilbert tries to find a doctor.
Shocked to discover the baby is black, Hortense jumps to the wrong conclusion and runs into the night. However, Gilbert convinces Hortense that he is not the father and they both return to Queenie's side. Queenie knows that she cannot keep her baby and turns to the Josephs for the ultimate sacrifice that will bind them together for the rest of their lives.
Hortense is played by Naomie Harris; Gilbert by David Oyelowo; Queenie by Ruth Wilson; Bernard by Benedict Cumberbatch; and Michael by Ashley Walters.
Small Island is simulcast on the BBC HD channel – the BBC's High Definition channel, available through Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.
Jonathan Edwards introduces live coverage of the senior women's race at the European cross-country championships, as three-time junior winner Steph Twell leads the British challenge in Dublin.
Twell ended her junior career at last year's event in Brussels with an unprecedented third successive individual title, helping Great Britain clinch a record haul of 12 medals. Twell has endured a difficult first year in the senior ranks but is vying for an upset against Dutch defending champion Hilda Kibet and recently crowned world steeplechase gold medallist Marta Dominguez of Spain.
There is also full coverage on the Red Button of the junior and Under-23 races from 10.15am, as well as Mo Farah's attempt to regain the men's senior title from eight-time champion Sergey Lebid at 2.25pm. Highlights of Mo Farah's race will be shown during the mid-session interval of the snooker at approximately 3pm.
Commentary is provided by Steve Cram and Brendan Foster.
Ski Sunday returns for another winter season as Graham Bell and Ed Leigh host coverage of the Men's Super Giant Slalom from the French resort of Val D'Isere.
Last year's overall World Cup champion, Aksel Lund-Svindal of Norway, will be battling it out for the title with American legend Bode Miller and Didier Cuche of Switzerland – already a winner on the tour this year. It will be a busy year for the world's top racers as they gear up for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver next February.
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