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The Christmas Session

A blend of folk tradition and burlesque fun as Bellowhead, The Unthanks, Thea Gilmore, Lisa Knapp, and others perform seasonal songs of their own alongside yuletide favourites.

BBC Four celebrates merry midwinter in unique style, with an exhilarating blend of folk tradition and burlesque fun. Energetic 11-piece Bellowhead and Mercury-nominated alternative folkies The Unthanks get together with the impressive young singers Thea Gilmore and Lisa Knapp, plus other special guests.

Steered by genial host Paul Sartin, the assembled artists perform seasonal songs of their own alongside yuletide favourites, ranging from folk ballads and carols to parlour songs and carousing dance numbers, with everyone coming together for a final knees-up.

Filmed at the atmospheric Shoreditch Town Hall, the setting evokes an old music hall combined with a festive Victorian family parlour, bedecked with garlands, period lamps and fireplace. Even the audience are dressed up in old-fashioned finery and prove themselves ready to kick up their heels.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 16 Dec 2018 00:55

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Lizzie Jones (The Unthanks trumpet player)

    Silent Night

  • Bellowhead

    Ding Dong Merrily on High

  • Bellowhead

    Whiskey is the Life of Man

  • The Unthanks

    In the Bleak Midwinter

  • Thea Gilmore

    That'll Be Christmas

  • Bellowhead

    Mistletoe Bough

  • Sam Lee and Jon Boden

    On Christmas Day

  • Lisa Knapp

    Coventry Carol (with Jim Moray and Becky and Rachel Unthank)

  • Jim Moray

    Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel

  • Belshazzar’s Feast

    Sans Day Carol Medley

  • The Unthanks

    Tar Barrel in Dale

  • The Unthanks

    Betsy Bell

  • Bellowhead

    Sloe Gin Set

  • Ensemble

    Jingle Bells


Role Contributor
Producer Serena Cross
Director Janet Fraser Crook


  • Thu 17 Dec 2009 21:00
  • Thu 17 Dec 2009 23:30
  • Fri 18 Dec 2009 03:05
  • Sun 20 Dec 2009 22:30
  • Christmas Eve 2009 17:15
  • Christmas Eve 2009 22:30
  • Christmas Day 2009 03:00
  • Fri 10 Dec 2010 22:00
  • Sat 11 Dec 2010 02:00
  • Sat 18 Dec 2010 20:00
  • Sun 19 Dec 2010 03:15
  • Christmas Eve 2011 00:35
  • Tue 27 Dec 2011 01:55
  • Sun 16 Dec 2018 00:55

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