Archbishop to present Christmas Day show across BBC local radio stations in Yorkshire


The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu will present a special Christmas show to be recorded at BBC Radio York on December 22nd. This will be the first time that the Archbishop has presented his own radio programme from BBC Radio York studios.

The Archbishop will tell the story of Christmas through some of his favourite festive songs.  Songs on his playlist include: ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ performed by the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band, the calypso carol ‘See him lying in a bed of straw’ by St Winifred’s school – a tune that the Archbishop regularly drums with school choirs - and ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ by the Choir of York Minster as conducted by Philip Moore.

The hour long programme will be broadcast on BBC Radio York, BBC Radio Leeds and BBC Radio Sheffield at 1pm on Christmas Day.

Joe Pignatiello, Editor of BBC Radio York said: “I am delighted that The Archbishop of York will present his first radio programme from his home station, BBC Radio York, which will be heard across Yorkshire.  I am looking forward to hearing him tell the Christmas story and to hearing how the music that has influenced him.”

Archbishop Sentamu said: “The Christmas Story is the greatest story ever told and one to stir the soul and lift our spirits.  It has inspired countless musicians down the centuries and I am looking forward to sharing with you some of my favourite music that helps us to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  As you listen to the music, and maybe even sing along, I pray that you will be uplifted and that you will know the presence of Emmanuel- God with us- in the midst of all your celebrations.”

Ahead of his Christmas Day broadcast on BBC Radio York, BBC Radio Leeds and BBC Radio Sheffield, you can hear the Archbishop on BBC Radio 4 Soul Music, which is to be broadcast on Wednesday 20 December (at 9am and at 9.30pm), where he shares how the hymn ‘O Holy Night, the stars are shining brightly…’ lifted his spirits when he was in hospital battling pneumonia and how the hymn also inspired a fellow patient to find faith.

And, on Christmas Eve, the Archbishop will be in conversation with Mark Tully from BBC Radio 4 - Something Understood at 6.05am and 11.00pm to share how he approaches the eve of major festivals and how best to celebrate the day before the big day.  They talk about preparations, holding vigils, about being ‘on call’ and chaotic attitudes to present wrapping.

On Christmas Day, the Archbishop will be preaching at York Minster at 10am – all are welcome to attend.