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Christmas on the BBC

Aaqil Ahmed

Head of BBC Religion & Ethics

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Tatiana Maslany and Andrew Buchan star as Mary and Joseph in Tony Jordan's adaptation of The Nativity for BBC One this Christmas.

With less than a month to go before Christmas Day (where has this year gone?), the first week of December has certainly blustered in with what can only be described as a uniquely Baltic flourish.

This is my second Christmas as the BBC's Head of Religion and Ethics and Commissioner for Religion TV, a job that I am extremely honoured to hold. As I write, across "Frozen Britain" (a BBC News term, not mine) the snow is falling across most of the country as fast as the temperatures outside, and the bookies odds on a white Christmas are changing daily.

In addition to the inevitable news of the gridlocked roads, stranded trains and lorries, closed schools and general commuter mayhem have come some brilliant and heart-warming stories of both seasonal goodwill and the Great British spirit rising to the occasion - battling on against the elements to help others, and to keep the country moving.

Of course as the temperatures drop outside, even the most hardy of us look forward to slumping on the sofa and watching television. As usual this year to both mark and celebrate the significance of Christmas, the BBC has some really fantastic programmes to offer across both TV and radio, from stunning original drama to worship and inspiring musical celebration.

I am particularly pleased to tell you about a new commission from BBC Religion and Ethics for Christmas Day afternoon. BBC Two's Carols From Winchester is an hour long special which will feature some of the best-loved Christmas carols and classical Christmas music.

And don't miss Tony Jordon's stunning new drama for BBC One, The Nativity, starring Tatiana Maslany and Andrew Buchan as Mary and Joseph. The drama, over four half-hour episodes, shows the Nativity from a fresh viewpoint and tells the traditional tale known to millions from a very human perspective.

Whatever the weather throws at us in the next few weeks, I hope you have a fantastic Christmas and that you manage to watch/listen to some of the BBC's Christmas programming and, more importantly, that you enjoy it.

More details of BBC Religion and Ethics programming over Christmas.

Aaqil Ahmed is he BBC's Head of Religion and Ethics and Commissioner for Religion TV

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