With the festive period beckoning, BBC Radio has announced whose dulcet tones, and diverse experiences, we can expect to hear in a star-studded range of special programmes on the BBC’s radio network over Christmas.
In perhaps its most impressive coup to date, BBC Radio 4’s Today programme will be edited by Angelina Jolie, who will join David Dimbleby as they explore a varied melange of topics.
David Dimbleby (Getty)
As well as being an A-List Hollywood actor, Jolie, 43, is a passionate philanthropist, having received an honorary Damehood in 2016 for her services to the UK’s foreign policy and campanging to end sexual violence in war zones. In May 2016, she was appointed a visiting professor at the London School of Economics as a contributor to their postgraduate degree on Women, Peace and Securtiy.
Radio 4 is also offering original drama in the shape of The Hartlepool Spy. With a ensemble cast including Michael Palin, Jim Moir, Toby Jones and Bodyguard’s own Gina McKee, the comedy-drama, written by Bafta and Emmy Award winning writer Ian Martin, tells the infamous folklore of how the residents of Hartlepool hanged a monkey after they believed it was a Napoleonic spy. The story also focuses around the relationship of the townsfolk, with corrupt mayor Tucker Palmer (played by Jones) at odds with narcissistic vicar Rev William Ferrier (Jim Moir).
The cast of the Archers are also embroiling themselves in the festive cheer, with Ambridge’s very own Lynda Snell, played by Carole Boyd, directing some of the nation’s best-loved soap characters.
Neil Gaiman’s epic, Norse Mythology, is also being adapted for Radio 4, starring Diana Rigg, Derek Jacobi and Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer.
And for those of you mourning a Doctor Who-shaped hole over Christmas (with the festive helping of the show now taking place on New Year’s Day), Radio 2’s own Jo Whiley will be interviewing the Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker, as well as Noel Fielding and Margot Robbie, in her Christmas slot.
On the big day itself, comedian Matt Lucas will be hosting a live Christmas Day celebration himself, joined by a selection of celebrity friends and guest – as well as his mum.
Bob Shennan, BBC Director of Radio & Music said: “This Christmas BBC Radio will offer an unrivalled collection of programmes featuring the finest DJs, musicians and actors.
“Across our stations teams have curated brilliant schedules with world-class talent – all of which are available on BBC Sounds.”