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Episode 1

Radio 2 goes on a journey to celebrate local voices and different carolling traditions around England and Wales. Across the country, pockets of people have been keeping alive Christmas traditions that were lost to most hundreds of years ago. This Christmas, they're inviting you to step into their homes, pubs and churches, to share their festive sounds.

Hark, Hark! the carollers are coming. In the month before Christmas the village pubs of small towns around Sheffield are packed with the merrymaking of enthusiastic singers. Sheffield-born folk singer Kate Rusby invites you to come out of the cold and warm yourself by the fire as you eavesdrop on a centuries-old tradition of secular Christmas carols, songs and lyrics that locals - including multiple Radio 2 Folk Award-winner Eliza Carthy - fiercely claim as their own.

The other presenters in this four-part series are Billy Bragg who explores West Country festive traditions; Julie Fowlis who hears some Welsh Plygain singers; and Bellowhead's Jon Boden who lends his voice to a good old knees-up in Leigh-on-Sea.

Release date:

30 minutes

Last on

Mon 21 Dec 2009 22:00