BBC unveils Christmas radio line-up starring Michael Sheen, Mary Berry and Jeremy Irons

Sheen will guest-edit BBC Radio 4's Today programme, with special broadcasts set to include never-before-heard Agatha Christie tapes and Tony Robinson reading a Lewis Carroll classic

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Actor Michael Sheen will be one of the Today programme’s star guest editors between Christmas and New Year.

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Sheen, best known for his portrayal of Tony Blair in the films The Queen and The Special Relationship, will oversee an edition of the BBC Radio 4 morning news show on Monday 28th December.

Also lined up to guest edit the programme during the week between Christmas and New Year is lawyer Miriam González Durántez, the wife of former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

This year will mark the 12th time the Today programme has handed over the editorial reins to public figures for the Christmas period. The other names are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

The BBC has also announced its radio Christmas highlights this evening, featuring Jeremy Irons, Mary Berry, Tony Robinson and more…


Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats (Radio 4)

Oscar-winner Jeremy Irons reads TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats poems on Radio 4, 78 years after their first BBC Radio broadcast on Christmas Day in 1937.

The poems, which inspired West End musical Cats, follow the adventures of Eliot’s much-loved characters including Growltiger, Mungojerrie, Rumpleteaser, Old Deutoronomy, Mr Mistoffelees, Macavity, Gus and Skimbleshanks.


Agatha Christie: Speaking Her Own Words (Radio 4 Extra)

Radio 4 Extra has been given exclusive access to the Queen of Crime’s personal dictaphone tapes and interviews with her grandson Mathew Prichard, which can be heard on radio for the first time. The tapes were made when she dictated her autobiography. 


Mary Berry: At Home for Christmas (Radio 2)

Mary Berry invites Liza Tarbuck to her home for festive food, Mary’s music and a helping of nostalgia on Christmas Eve on Radio 2.

The Great British Bake Off presenter will share her recipes for the ideal Christmas dinner, including her very own chestnut and apricot stuffing, frangipane mince pies, leek and stilton soup, mincemeat loaves and mulled wine. She will also reveal her top tips for the perfect roast potatoes and parsnips.

Berry will play her favourite festive music by artists such as Dean Martin, Perry Como, Shakin’ Stevens and Wham!, along with her own choices of warming hymns. 

“Christmas is a time for sharing and a great excuse to indulge your family and friends with your favourite recipes,” Berry said. “There are so many wonderful ingredients to use and dishes to make. I’m looking forward to showing Liza around my kitchen and sharing a few of my family traditions, including my recipe for the perfect mince pies, which really are quite special!”


The Hunting Of The Snark (Radio 4)

Tony Robinson narrates this new adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece, following a strange assortment of characters on their quest for an elusive beast. Led by a bell-ringing Captain, the motley crew braves terrifying danger in their chaotic pursuit of a creature known as the Snark. Accompanied by especially composed music and songs, this surreal tale questions whether anything is really what it seems. 


6 Music’s Chemical Christmas (BBC 6 Music)

Lauren Laverne is joined by Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands, AKA The Chemical Brothers, for a three-hour special.

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The electronic duo will be picking some of their favourite tracks, discussing the changing face of dance music, telling some choice tales of their two decades together and why 2015 was the year they decided to pursue solo projects.