Nine modern short stories for Christmas, specially written, beautifully told and accompanied by festive songs.
In 1928 the BBC began broadcasting The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College Chapel. The service, held on Christmas Eve, includes readings from the Bible and carols and is broadcast around the world on Radio 4. Each year a new carol is commissioned.
This is a companion piece devised specially for Radio 2 - a more modern collection of first-hand experiences of, myths about and reflections on the festive season. It also includes a specially commissioned re-working and recording of a Christmas song - not a carol - for this programme.
Bob Hoskins, Zoe Wannamaker, Sean Bean and Noddy Holder are among those who lend their voices to these alternatives to the traditional religious stories that are magical, humorous, poignant and thought-provoking original works. Whether it's Christmas in a doorway or away from home in Afghanistan, visiting a school play in Liverpool or a parent in a retirement home, each story is beautifully crafted by writers that include Willy Russell, Ian McMillan and Simon Armitage.
The nine stand-alone stories will be broadcast on the Ken Bruce Show and The Jeremy Vine show, one each per day in the week before Christmas before being brought together in a special hour-long omnibus programme on Christmas Eve.