Follow the stars this Christmas with BBC Radio Wales
It’s no secret how much I adore Wales and how proud I am of my Welsh ancestry, it will feel like I am coming home for Christmas.Michael Ball
On Christmas Eve at 1pm join BBC Radio 2 presenter and jazz singer Clare Teal to deck the halls with boughs of holly at the BBC NOW Christmas Concert. Featuring the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales Clare performs yuletide favourites lead by conductor Gavin Sutherland.
To get the party started at midnight, Only Men Aloud at Christmas have festive favourites and timeless carols performed in their unique, inimitable style. An hour of sheer entertainment and joy to see the big day in!
Christmas Day highlights start at 8.30am with a very special Christmas Celebration from St Michael's Church, Aberystwyth, led by Reverend Mones Farah.
Then at 9am on Christmas morning Katherine Jenkins shares her own selection of songs and carols, with classics from Mariah Carey, John Lennon, Bryn Terfel - and of course the magnificent Katherine herself. She also recounts her own personal Christmas stories for a cosy and inspiring start to the day.
From noon there is more to delight music fans with Ball And Boe’s Christmas Cracker, when singing mega-stars Michael Ball and Alfie Boe join the team at BBC Radio Wales to present a Christmas extravaganza. The duo will take a trip down memory lane with all their favourite tunes, classic cracker jokes and the voices of the stars courtesy of impressionist Jon Culshaw. They will also reveal the perfect Christmas life hacks to help with those unwanted presents and leftover sprouts.
Michael Ball says: “Alfie and I cannot wait to present our Christmas show for BBC Radio Wales. He’ll be dinging his dong merrily on high and I’ll be roasting my chestnuts on an open fire… what’s not to love? It’s no secret how much I adore Wales and how proud I am of my Welsh ancestry, it will feel like I am coming home for Christmas. So why don’t we cwtch down together on the sofa and share some Christmas memories and music.”
For Welsh music buffs, John Peel’s Welsh Sessions at 6pm with the legendary Janice Long is a must. Janice presents the story of the Welsh bands and artists that were supported by DJ John Peel through sessions on his Radio 1 programme, in particularly Welsh language bands. Man, Yr Anhrefn, Llwybr Llaethog , Melys, The Pooh Sticks, Mal Pope and Super Furry Animals were all given a career boost by airplay and sessions recorded in the BBC Maida Vale studios and even John Peel’s home Peel Acres.
And at 7.30pm on Boxing Day another top pick for music fans is Tom and Beverley’s Gospel Christmas, a special evening of music and spiritual cheer with global superstars Sir Tom Jones and Beverley Knight. The blend of traditional gospel, carols and songs of spiritual intent from modern greats like Prince and Bob Dylan, performed by choirs and a house band from the British gospel scene, is an uplifting winter warmer.
For comedy lovers, merriment and mirth are guaranteed with the three-part comedy Missing Hancocks, broadcast at 6.30pm on December 27, 28 and 29, which recreates lost episodes of the classic show. These classic Hancock dramas have been newly recorded and written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson with Andrew Secombe, the son of the late Harry Secombe, joining the cast to play his father.
Pictured: Alfie Boe and Michael Ball