Helen Boaden, Director of BBC Radio, has today announced the festive content highlights across BBC Radio, which range from the reveal of this year’s Christmas number 1 to opera and country music, and from The Chemical Brothers to poetry, The Calendar Girls and Icelandic Christmas myths.

Helen Boaden said: “BBC Radio creates the soundtrack to the festive season to millions of people around the country. Whether you’re peeling a parsnip, driving home for Christmas or desperate for the football commentary whilst stuck in a Boxing Day traffic jam, BBC Radio is perfect company.

“This year, BBC Radio will deliver distinctive and enchanting content across the Christmas period with exclusives, specials and truly world-class performances. Our music offer is unparalleled and our spoken word programmes will captivate, amuse and surprise. There really is something for everyone, and I hope that our listeners will enjoy this festive feast of delightful content.”

Pop Music Radio:

Greg James announces this year’s Christmas number 1 on Christmas Day on Radio 1

In a Radio 2 exclusive, Eagles frontman Don Henley brings his favourite country records to listeners for one night only on Radio 2

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

With a rare interview with the founder of Motown Records, Berry Gordy, Paul Gambaccini celebrates The Sound of Motown – 50 years On, on Radio 2

Pop star Mika in The Art of Song covers and plays his favourite records on Radio 2 on New Year’s Day

The Chemical Brothers join Lauren Laverne for a three-hour special on 6 Music’s Chemical Christmas

Róisín Murphy, Laurie Anderson and Peaches will bear their gifts of music, insight and originality as the Three Wise Women on 6 Music

BBC Radio 3:

Eddie Izzard shares his favourite classical music on Essential Classics on Radio 3

Krister Henriksson, known to many as Swedish detective Kurt Wallander, presents Saturday Classics as part of Radio 3’s Northern Lights season

Soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa invites Sean Rafferty into her home in Sussex to discuss her life and music on Christmas Day on Radio 3

Icelandic poet and author Gerður Kristný journeys into the curious world of Iceland’s Christmas myths as part of Radio 3’s Northern Lights season

English National Opera performs Verdi’s tale of love and revenge, The Force of Destiny, on Radio 3 on Boxing Day

Radio 4, Radio 4 Extra, 5 live and Asian Network:

Calendar Girls gets its radio premiere with Sian Phillips joining Ambridge Drama Queen Lynda Snell’s production, marking the 100th anniversary of the WI

Oscar-winning 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

Actor Michael Sheen OBE and lawyer Miriam González Durántez join Today as two of the festive Guest Editors

Patricia Greene MBE and Chris Hadfield join as festive castaways on the ever-sunny Desert Island on Radio 4

Blackadder star Sir Tony Robinson narrates a new adaption of Lewis Carroll’s classic masterpiece The Hunting Of The Snark on Radio 4

In Agatha Christie: Speaking Her Own Words, Radio 4 Extra has been given exclusive access to the Queen of Crime’s personal Dictaphone tapes with fresh interviews with her grandson Mathew Prichard

5 live examines The Full Force of Star Wars and how the franchise changed the film industry through its merchandising

Reporting Inside The Story – Reporter Nick Garrett looks back at some of the stories he’s covered in 2015 as a 5 live reporter around the world

Guz Khan presents a Boxing Day special show packed with Desi-fied Christmas Carols and the Guz-mas Review on Asian Network

Across BBC Radio, stations will be looking back at the year, bringing together the most memorable moments of 2015 to audiences both on air and as a digital collection online. From Radio 1 DJs choosing their favourite music highlights of 2015 to Peston’s Pick of the Year on Radio 4, Monday 28 December will see BBC Radio celebrate the best content from the past 12 months as part of special programming.

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