This Christmas Radio 4 continues its Neil Gaiman dramatisations with a new adaptation of Norse Mythology on Boxing Day, with a world-class cast including Diana Rigg and Natalie Dormer.
Gaiman appears elsewhere on the schedule as he chooses his favourite writings, songs and art, in With Great Pleasure At Christmas. Other highlights include Lampedusa’s The Leopard, broadcast throughout New Year’s Day, Ambridge’s adaptation of The Canterbury Tales, performed by the cast of The Archers, Mary Beard in Amo Amas Amusical, and a comedy drama by award-winning writer Ian Martin - The Hartlepool Spy - which stars Michael Palin, Toby Jones and Gina McKee.
On Christmas Eve, A Festival Of Nine Lessons And Carols comes as always from King’s College, Cambridge, and on Christmas Day Radio 4 explores the experience of being that famous soloist in Once In Royal. The Today Programme once again welcomes Guest Editors, who this year include Angelina Jolie, David Dimbleby and 'Outer Space': they will explore a range of subjects when they take the helm throughout the festive period.
Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology
TX details: Wednesday 26 December, 3pm-4.30pm
"And the game begins anew…"
As the nights draw in and frost begins to crackle in the air, Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology comes to Radio 4, inviting listeners into a world of gods and monsters, fiery endings and new beginnings, tricks and trust.
Diana Rigg, Derek Jacobi, Colin Morgan and Natalie Dormer lead an exceptional cast, inviting us into these stories of old betrayals - and new hope.
Meet the trickster god Loki and his astonishing children: the giant wolf Fenrir, Jormungundr the snake that encircles the world, and Hel, the little girl who grows up to be Queen Of The Dead. And Odin the all-father, who sacrificed his eye to see the future; Freya the understandably angry, most beautiful of all the gods and always being gambled for by unwanted suitors. The stories take us to the very end of the world, Ragnarok.
The cast also includes Luke Newberry, Nonso Anozie, Rhashan Stone, Don Gilet, Nathaniel Martello-White, Tayla Kovacevic-Ebong, Lucy Doyle, Michael Bertenshaw, Lewis Bray, Alexandra Constantinidi, Cameron Percival, Saffron Coomber and Neil Gaiman himself.
Asked what can we learn from the Norse gods, Neil Gaiman (pictured above) says: “What is so marvellous about the gods is how human they are - there is no infallibility. They are the gods of a cold place and they are always on guard against characters who are even colder - the frost giants. They’re very ‘us’, they’re incredibly human and it is that humanity that makes them fascinating.”
Actor Natalie Dormer says: “It’s great fun when you step into realms of fantasy, and radio is the perfect place for fantasy because you don’t need the million dollar CGI effects. The listeners’ imaginations do everything, so I really do think that radio is incredibly well suited to it - especially this time of year. Christmas time is the storytelling time of year, families together, gathered around the fire as our teller has us in this. The Gaiman productions always get an incredible cast, it’s a pleasure to be a part of it.”
This year’s Today Programme guest editors in order of appearance will be:
David Dimbleby - Broadcaster
Kamila Shamsie - Winner of the Women’s prize for fiction 2018
Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho - Founder of DotEveryone.org.uk
Angelina Jolie - Humanitarian, director and actor
Chidera Eggerue aka The SlumFlower - award-winning blogger and author
Andrew Roberts - Historian
They will each guest edit the Radio 4 Today Programme between 22 December and 1 January.
Beginning the guest editor takeover is veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby who will focus on the present state of democracy and politics in the UK. The programme will also look at the role of the arts outside London.
Next, on Boxing Day, is Kamila Shamsie, the British-Pakistani writer who penned the award-winning novel Home Fire, which reimagined the Greek myth of Antigone. She will explore issues including Pakistani politics and refugees.
On the 27 December, Baroness Martha Lane Fox, co-founder of lastminute.com and executive chair of DotEveryone.org.uk will be in the editor’s chair. She will be looking at the influence Silicon Valley has over our lives and will be asking how tech can solve the most important challenges society faces. In advance of the programme, Baroness Fox, who is on the board of Twitter, will also crowd source ideas on social media.
The following day the United Nations Refugee Agency’s Special Envoy, Angelina Jolie, will invite a series of guests who are pioneers in their fields to discuss solutions to violence against women in conflict zones and the global refugee crisis. She will explore themes of justice, accountability and international leadership, hearing directly from refugees and survivors of conflict themselves.
Taking the helm on 29 December will be Chidera Eggerue, aka The SlumFlower and author of What A Time To Be Alone and the creator of #saggyboobsmatter
Acclaimed British historian and Winston Churchill biographer Andrew Roberts will then edit the programme on 31 December. He will look into the history of British and American politics and also give listeners insight into Churchill’s famous bow tie.
Finally, on New Year’s Day, there will be an out of this world feel to the Today programme as it edited by 'Outer Space'. Everything from alien life, commercial space flights and a future world where we all live and work in space will be explored.
Each editor will take responsibility for around half of the programme’s output, with the support of Today producers and reporters to bring their ideas to air. The usual day and night editors are on hand to make sure that the material is newsworthy and meets the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines.
Sarah Sands, Editor of Today, says: “The tradition of Christmas guest editors is part of the programme’s tapestry. We aim to challenge and to enlighten and the wide range of perspectives will bring a seasonal richness to the Today programme.”
The programme has welcomed various guest editors over the years including Prince Harry, Melinda Gates, Speaker John Bercow, Sir Tim Berners Lee, Sir Lenny Henry, Nicola Adams, Tracey Emin, Professor Stephen Hawking and Sir Richard Branson.
The Canterbury Tales
TX details: Saturday 29 December & Saturday 5 January, 2.30pm-3.30pm
Doyenne of Ambridge amateur theatricals Lynda Snell presents a thrilling new adaptation of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.
Join the characters of BBC Radio 4’s The Archers as they take to the stage to portray Chaucer’s tales of courtly love, deadly rivalry and boisterous sex, with a little bit of magic thrown in for good measure.
The cast of Ambridge stalwarts includes:
Ruth Archer ….. Felicity Finch
Justin Elliott ….. Simon Williams
Lynda Snell ….. Carole Boyd
Jim Lloyd ….. John Rowe
Susan Carter ….. Charlotte Martin
Kirsty Miller ….. Annabelle Dowler
Eddie Grundy ….. Trevor Harrison
Lilian Bellamy ….. Sunny Ormonde
Jazzer McCreary ….. Ryan Kelly
Harrison Burns ….. James Cartwright
Ed Grundy ….. Barry Farrimond
Rex Fairbrother ….. Nick Barber
Kirsty Miller ….. Annabelle Dowler
Emma Grundy ….. Emerald O’Hanrahan
Plus a mystery appearance from an unexpected Ambridge resident…
Pictured: L-R: Ryan Kelly, Carole Boyd, Emerald O’Hanrahan, Annabelle Dowler
Dramatised by Nick Warburton
Director: Kim Greengrass
Producer: Alison Hindell for BBC Radio 4
Desert Island Discs
Lauren Laverne’s Christmas castaway is comedian and television presenter Alan Carr.
TX details: 23 December, 11.15am
Other guests revealing their Desert Island Discs in December will be:
2 December: Tom Kerridge, Michelin-starred chef 9 December: Gary Barlow, multi-award winning songwriter and lead singer of Take That 16 December: Mariana Mazzucato, economist and author
With Great Pleasure At Christmas
TX details: Tuesday 25 December, 7am-8am
Writer Neil Gaiman takes us on a tour of his favourite selection of writing, song, entertainment and art. Along the way he'll talk about his life and his career, featuring a range of special guests.
Producer: Beth O’Dea for BBC Radio 4
TX: Tuesday 1 January throughout the day
“Everything must change so that everything can remain the same.”
Set in 1860s Sicily against the invasion of Garibaldi’s Redshirts and the Italian Risorgimento, this is the story of Prince Fabrizio, who foresees the inevitable downfall of his aristocratic family as the times change around them. In the midst of civil unrest and revolution, the prince’s status in the island’s class system is undermined by the emergence of the newly wealthy locals, and choices must be made between the old and familiar, and the imminent arrival of the new order.
Told with wit and beauty, this is the only book by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, who himself was the very last prince of Lampedusa and a descendant of the real-life Don Fabrizio. Published posthumously in 1958, it was immediately acclaimed as a masterpiece and became an enduring best-seller.
Every Christmas Eve at two minutes past three, a choirboy steps up to the microphone and sings the first verse of Once In Royal David’s City. For many people this iconic moment signals the start of their Christmas, as they wrap their final presents or rustle up some mince pies whilst listening to the Festival Of Nine Lessons and Carols From Kings College Cambridge.
The tradition of opening the service with a lone treble voice is well-known. What is not well-known is the fact that the Musical Director chooses this soloist just before the transmission begins, giving a 12 or 13 year-old boy just minutes to compose himself before singing solo and live to an audience of millions across the globe.
Once In Royal explores this event, as a number of former soloists talk about their experience including Rupert Peacock (who is studying for his A levels), Rodney Williams (who sang the solo in 1954 and went on to sing in the Westminster Abbey choir for the funerals of Lord Mountbatten and Princess Diana), Jon Wimpeney (now studying Computer Science) and composer Bob Chilcott (who sang the solo three times in the mid-1960s). In addition we hear from 100 year-old David Briggs, who sang in the first broadcast Festival Of Nine Lessons and Carols in 1928 and later became headmaster of the choir school.
Other Contributors: Jill Etheridge (House Master for the choristers at King’s College School) and retiring Musical Director Stephen Cleobury.
Producer: Helen Lee for BBC Radio 4
Amo Amas Amusical
TX details: Monday 31 December, 4pm-4.30pm
Accompanied by a Chorus Of Trolls and a Chorus Of Women, Mary Beard uncovers the deliberately concealed story of two Victorian sisters who wrote an iconic Latin textbook, setting it against the ugly 19th and early 20th century opposition to women’s Higher Education and the abuse of clever women today.
Strikingly original high-fibre fun, with Victorian verses - Latin and English - set to music by the up-and-coming composer Emily Levy and performed in the Radio Theatre.
Kennedy’s Revised Latin Primer was the iconic textbook when learning Latin was essential to becoming a gentleman. Its author was always assumed to be Benjamin Hall Kennedy, Professor of Greek at Cambridge.
Mary Beard uncovers the truth - that Kennedy’s two unmarried daughters, Marion and Julia, largely wrote it. She draws on original archives, confirming beyond doubt their role in writing the mnemonic verses used for learning grammar and often sung to hymn-tunes. These are sung by a Chorus Of Women.
Against their story, Mary sets the long history of the opposition to women acquiring degrees - riots and banners but also toxic 'light verse”' published in student magazines. These are sung by a Chorus Of Trolls.
Did this intimidating atmosphere cause Marion and Julia to work anonymously? Mary draws parallels with contemporary trolling of clever women. Its language is unbroadcastable, so a female scholar has translated it into Latin, which the Trolls sing
In a harmonious finale, the combined Choruses sing about Latin nouns common both to male and female - hoping for a time when the gender wars are no more.
Sir Derek Jacobi reads a classic Inspector Maigret mystery by Georges Simenon.
On Christmas Day, as the snow begins to fall in Paris, Inspector Maigret receives two unexpected visitors. A young girl claims to have seen Father Christmas in her room, behaving strangely and cutting a hole in the floor. He agrees to investigate...
Read by Sir Derek Jacobi
Written by Georges Simenon
Translated by David Coward
Producer: Mair Bosworth for BBC Radio 4
The Hartlepool Spy
TX details: Tuesday 25 December, 2.15pm-3pm
A comedy-drama by Emmy-winning writer Ian Martin, with a cast including Michael Palin, Jim Moir, Toby Jones, Gina McKee and Monica Dolan.
1804. Britain is at odds with Europe and at war with France, again. Paranoia is at boiling point. Sensational rumours flood the country. Napoleon’s spies are everywhere.
When times are tough, people look for strong leadership. Alas, the people of the North Eastern fishing town of Hartlepool have a corrupt mayor, Tucker Palmer (Toby Jones) and a narcissistic vicar, Rev William Ferrier (Jim Moir). The two men can’t stand one another, each (correctly) suspecting the other of lining his pocket at the expense of the parish, and each in competition for the favour of local land-owner aristo Lady Embleton (Gina McKee).
One Sunday morning, Lady Embleton, Mayor Palmer and his formidable wife Mrs Palmer (Monica Dolan) are in the front pew as Ferrier delivers an impassioned sermon about the vain delusions of those with earthly power, when news comes from the harbour. A French ship has been spotted and it’s heading their way.
Cast: CAVENDISH ….. Michael Palin REVD FERRIER ….. Jim Moir MAYOR PALMER ….. Toby Jones LADY EMBLETON ….. Gina McKee MRS PALMER ….. Monica Dolan GARVEY ….. Jason Forbes Other parts played by Robin Berry and Laura Elphinstone With Robin Berry as THE MONKEY
Written by Ian Martin
Producer: Sam Ward
A BBC Studios production for BBC Radio 4
An Audience For The Queen
In this programme Professor Kate Williams, herself something of a royal historian, chronicles the appearances of the Queen on stage and screen, from the Coronation to the latest series of The Crown. In what way do these representations offer a guide to the Queen's popularity, and public attitudes towards the monarchy?
The programme is studded with archive - from the feature film of the Coronation, narrated with pomp and circumstance by Sir Laurence Olivier, through theatrical plays such as Handbagged and The Audience, to television dramas such as Walking The Dogs, in which Emma Thompson played the Queen as she confronted an intruder in her Buckingham Palace bedroom.
We hear from Helen Mirren, who has come to identify closely with the Queen; and Claire Foy, who recently received a Golden Globe for her role in The Crown. And we go on the set of The Crown to speak to William Conacher, dialect coach, who regularly trains actors in how to 'speak Queen'.
Producer: Susan Marling
A Just Radio Ltd production for BBC Radio 4
A Festival Of Nine Lessons And Carols
TX details: Monday 24 December, 3pm-4.30pm
A live broadcast from the Chapel of King's College, Cambridge in the Festival’s Centenary year.
For many around the world, A Festival Of Nine Lessons And Carols, live from the candlelit Chapel of King's College, Cambridge, marks the beginning of Christmas. It is based around nine Bible readings which tell the story of the loving purposes of God. They are interspersed with carols old and new, sung by the world-famous chapel choir who also lead the congregation in traditional Christmas hymns.
A specially-written carol by the composer Judith Weir will be premiered during A Festival Of Nine Lessons And Carols this year. A new carol has been commissioned for the Christmas Eve service every year since 1983, so this new work entitled O Mercy Divine for choir and cello will be the 36th such carol commissioned by King’s College. Judith Weir is an alumna and honorary fellow of King’s who currently holds the post of Master Of The Queen’s Music.
This year’s choices include a number of pieces which were sung in 1918. Every organist of the College is represented by a composition or an arrangement.
Broadcast live around the world, the famous Christmas Eve service attracts millions of listeners each year. Commissioned carols from previous years have included carols by Judith Bingham, Diana Burrell, Tansy Davies, Jonathan Dove, Carl Rütti, John Tavener and many others. The series, instigated by Stephen Cleobury in 1983, represents part of a longstanding contribution by the College to contemporary choral writing.
Hymn: Once in Royal David's City (desc. Cleobury) Bidding Prayer read by the Dean Up! Good Christen Folk (Piae Cantiones) First lesson: Genesis 3 vv 8-19 read by a Chorister Adam Lay Ybounden (Ord) Jesus Christ the Apple Tree (Poston) Second lesson: Genesis 22 vv 15-18 read by a Choral Scholar In Dulci Jubilo (arr. de Pearsall) I Saw Three Ships (arr. Simon Preston) Third lesson: Isaiah 9 vv 2, 6-7 read by a representative of Eton College Nowell Sing We Now All And Some (Medieval) Unto Us Is Born A Son (arr. Willcocks) Fourth lesson: Isaiah 11 vv 1-3a, 4a, 6-9 read by a Fellow A Spotless Rose (Howells) The Lamb (Tavener) Fifth lesson: Luke 1 vv 26-38 read by the Master over the Choristers Joys Seven (arr. Cleobury) Bogoróditse Dyévo (Arvo Pärt) Sixth lesson: Luke 2 vv 1-7 read by the Mayor of Cambridge What Sweeter Music? (John Rutter) Stille Nacht (arr.Ledger) Seventh lesson: Luke 2 vv 8-16 read by the Director of Music In The Bleak Midwinter (Darke) While Shepherds Watched (desc. Cleobury) Eighth lesson: Matthew 2 vv 1-12 read by the Vice-Provost O Mercy Divine (Judith Weir) (King’s College Commission 2018) Sir Christèmas (Mathias) Ninth lesson: John 1 vv 1-14 read by the Provost O Come, All Ye Faithful (arr. Willcocks) Collect and Blessing Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (desc. Cleobury)
Organ voluntaries: In Dulci Jubilo (BWV 729) (Bach)
Director of Music: Stephen Cleobury
Organ scholar: Henry Websdale
Producer: Philip Billson for BBC Radio 4
Graeae’s Amy Dorrit
TX details: Sunday 30 December & Sunday 6 January, 3pm-4pm.
Following the acclaimed 2017 interpretation of The Midwich Cuckoos, Graeae and NPL join forces once again to present a radical new imagining of Charles’ Dickens classic Little Dorrit for BBC Radio 4, dramatised by April de Angelis and Nicola Werenowska.
Inequality and the overpowering burden of debt were Dickens’ key themes in Little Dorrit, which resonate just as powerfully today. This bold new version places women, disability and housing in the driving seat.
Amy Dorrit is a young woman fighting to get through A Level resits, whilst caring for her disabled father and coping with the demands of a varied group of tenants on the same council estate. When the threat of redevelopment looms large, the tenants have to fight for their homes, and Amy finds herself an unexpected leader and completely out of her depth.
Jenny Sealey, Graeae artistic director, and Polly Thomas, NPL co-producer, have formed a close creative partnership over many years to create radical new interpretations of classic texts for Radio 4, led by casts of D/deaf and disabled actors whose voices are otherwise rarely heard on radio.
Pictured: Amy Dorrit (Audrey Brisson)
Amy Dorrit ….. Audrey Brisson
Maggie ….. Kalijoy Perkins
Mrs Chaudry ….. Liz Carr
Wanda ….. Ania Sowinski
Tatia ….. Anna Elijasz
Flora ….. Tracey Anderson
Vienna ….. Matti Houggon
Mr Dorrit/voice of Dickens ….. John Kelly
Mr Blander ….. Wayne Norman
Arthur Chaudry ….. Narinder Samra
Benefits officer ….. Charles Mills
Adapted by April de Angelis and Nicola Werenowksa from Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
Directors: Polly Thomas and Jenny Sealey
Sign interpreters: Jude Mahon and Vikki Gee Dare
Access worker: Autumn Bonham Cox
Producer: Eloise Whitmore
Executive Producer: Jeremy Mortimer
A Naked Production/Graeae Theatre collaboration for BBC Radio 4
TX details: Sunday 23 December, 19:15 – 19:45
John Shuttleworth (pictured) has to combine his Christmas Broadcast with a visit to the local hospital, as his friend Alan the Opera Singer is in for tests.
John’s wife Mary, along with Ken Worthington and Joan Chitty, accompany him to the hospital for the day trip. Once the rather expensive fee has been paid in the hospital car park, the ladies go to the café and hospital shop while John and Ken visit the patient.
John has his trusty keyboard with him to play Alan a Christmas medley, but when he arrives at the ward, Alan is nowhere to be found and his bed is worryingly empty. As Ken begins to panic about Alan’s state of health, John sings his new song Going Rapidly Downhill to take his mind off Alan’s disappearance.
When Joan turns up with some mistletoe, John decides it’s time to go looking for Alan - especially as his tummy is rumbling.
Written and performed by Graham Fellows
Producer: Dawn Ellis
A Chic Ken production for BBC Radio 4
Conversations From A Long Marriage At Christmas
TX details: Monday 24 December, 11.30am-12pm
Joanna Lumley and Roger Allam play a couple who have been married forever. Children of the sixties, they’re still free spirits, drawn together by their passion for music and each other.
We follow their conversations as they prepare for Christmas à deux, open their Christmas cards, dissect their neighbours' relationships - and Joanna reveals she’s planned some rather surprising activities for Christmas Day. A late night phone call means that her Christmas wish may not be granted.
Image Credit: BBC / Matt Stronge
Writer: Jan Etherington
Producer: Claire Jones
A BBC Studios Production for BBC Radio 4
Lena Marsh, Live And Shticking!
TX details: Wednesday 26 December, 2.15pm-3pm
Lena Marsh is the self-proclaimed 'Broad of Broadway'. Now in her 90th decade she's in London to record a new Christmas album at the BBC, with the help of her showbiz chums including the legendary Michael Ball, Olivier Award-winning musical sensation Sharon D Clarke and Kevin Whately.
With a son and daughter who both want their mother dead, what could possibly go wrong in this festive action-comedy from the team behind hit Radio 4 comedy Incredible Women.
With guest cameos from Michael Ball, Kevin Whately and Sharon D Clarke.
Rebecca Front as Lena Marsh
Sharon D Clarke
Writer: Jeremy Front
Producer: Simon Nicholls
A BBC Studios Production for BBC Radio 4
Count Arthur Strong’s Radio Show! Christmas Special: Doorknobs And Matchsticks
TX details: Wednesday 26 December, 6.30pm-7pm
Arthur returns to BBC Radio 4 with a celebratory 50th episode of his long-running sitcom. The former variety star is understudy on a Christmas production of Bedknobs And Broomsticks. Will he ever get on stage?
Steve Delaney stars as Count Arthur, supported by a host of regular characters created by Mel Giedroyc, Terry Kilkelly, Alastair Kerr and Dave Mounfield.
Producer: John Leonard
A Komedia Entertainment production for BBC Radio 4
Jancis Robinson is on a festive mission to recommend wine to three famous guests. Wines are a bit like people. Some are bold and fruity, some elegant and refined; you’ll get ageing smoothies and sharp young things.
Jancis aims to find bottles that match or reveal things about three contrasting characters - their public personas or a more secretive, private self. What follows is a lively conversation about wine and personality; about a person’s taste, their passions and opinions.
On the way we’ll learn a lot about wine - about tasting, and style, about balance, acid and tannin; about winemaking and winemakers. It's a conversational masterclass from one of our foremost wine writers. But more than that - the bottle opens up conversations about people's lives and opinions on all sorts of things. Open up a bottle and you’ll open up a person.
Hollywood legend and British national treasure Sir Michael Caine, now 85, shares the wisdom, stories, insight and skills that life has taught him in his remarkable career.
One of our best-loved actors, Michael Caine has starred in a huge range of films, including some all-time favourites: from the classic British movies Alfie, Zulu and The Italian Job, to the Hollywood blockbusting Dark Knight trilogy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hannah And Her Sisters and Cider House Rules.
He knows what success takes - he's made it to the top of his profession from the toughest beginning. But as he says: "Small parts can lead to big things. And if you keep doing things right, the stars will align when you least expect it."
With brilliant new insight into his life and work and with his wonderful gift for story, this is Michael Caine at his wise and entertaining best.
Written and read by Michael Caine
Abridged by Jill Waters and Isobel Creed
Producer: Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4
TX details: Wednesday 26 December, 11.30am – 12pm
Writer Tom Basden reunites the cast of this critically acclaimed Radio 4 series six years on, as the group of aspiring political agitators once again apply their small minds to big problems. This Christmas one-off special sees the team reunite one last time to take on Donald Trump.
Tom Basden ..... Simon
Anna Crilly ..... Mel
Tim Key ..... Duncan
Jonny Sweet ..... Jared
Katy Wix ..... Phoebe
Producer: Julia McKenzie
A BBC Studios Production for BBC Radio 4
Radio 4 Christmas Appeal: Making A Difference
TX details: Sunday 2 December, 9.45am-10am
For over 90 years BBC Radio has partnered with the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields for a Christmas Appeal for their work with homeless people all round the country.
Feeling you have no-one to turn to is one of the most painful things about being homeless, so the people who advise and support and care for you after homelessness play a vital part in recovery. That’s why the theme of the Christmas Appeal this year is ‘Journey Together’.
Whether it’s housing the support workers all over the country who help their clients find and secure accommodation with grants from the Vicars Relief Fund, or outreach workers at the Connection in London who persuade people sleeping rough to come in to the day and night centre for help, or staff who run therapeutic groups like gardening and mindfulness meditation, these are the people who give back dignity and hope on the long journey back from homelessness.
In Making A Difference Aasmah Mir reports on some of the lives that have been changed by your donations.
Producer: Kate Howells for BBC Radio 4
Good News Stories
TX details: Monday 24 December – Friday 28 December, 10.45am-11am
A series of five short contemporary dramas by Katie Hims inspired by stories from the old and new testaments. There’s a plague of frogs, a visitation from an angel and even something that seems like a miracle.
Producer: Mary Peate for BBC Radio 4
The Haunting Of M.R. James
TX details: Monday 17 - Friday 21 December, 10.45am-11am; Saturday 22 December at 2.30pm-3.30pm
M.R. James produced his ghost stories at regular intervals, and read them to a Christmas audience of students and friends in his rooms at King's College, Cambridge, blowing out every candle but one.
Radio 4 presents a series by Neil Brand with dramatisations of five of the most powerful tales by this master of the ghost story -The Mezzotint, Casting The Runes, The Stalls Of Barchester Cathedral, A Warning To The Curious, Rats - followed by an overarching original drama, The Haunting of M.R. James.
The latter follows Montague Rhodes James through half a decade of his career as provost of King's and into a nightmare world in which he becomes convinced that he himself is being haunted by a malevolent and murderous spirit from the past... It’s almost as if his own stories are finally catching up with him.