NEWS

Our Christmas TV & Radio Top Picks

There’s a lot of doom and gloom in the news these days. To cheer us all up, we’ve rounded up all the best film musicals, documentaries, action films and musical-related programmes due to be broadcast over the festive period, including a few that will feature in our spring 2022 term!

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Swingin' Christmas

SUNDAY 19 DECEMBER
7.50pm, BBC4

Something that will get you in the mood for Christmas is this repeat of a concert from 2010 by the John Wilson Orchestra. A celebration of festive musical treats from the golden age of Swing. Guest soloists include musical theatre star Anna Jane Casey, Seth McFarlane and Curtis Stigers.

 

Sound of Musicals with Neil Brand

SUNDAY 19 DECEMBER
11.45pm, BBC4

Musicals expert Neil Brand’s 3-part series all about the history and analysis of musical theatre repertoire. This part features Cats, Les Miserables and The Lion King. Check out the full series on iplayer.

 

Elaine Paige on Sunday

SUNDAY 19 DECEMBER
BBC RADIO 2, 1pm

And not forgetting Ms Paige's legendary weekly programme off show tunes and film music.

 

Moana

MONDAY 20 DECEMBER
3.05pm, BBC1 

Disney’s Polynesian animation featuring songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda including You’re Welcome and How Far I’ll Go.

 

 

RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN

DOUBLE-BILL

Carousel

MONDAY 20 DECEMBER
1.45pm, BBC2
(and iplayer for 7 days following)

1956 musical set in East Coast America. From R&H’s darkest storyline emerge the songs If I loved You, June is Bustin’ out all Over and You’ll Never Walk Alone.

 

South Pacific

MONDAY 20 DECEMBER
3.50pm, BBC2
(and iplayer for 7 days following)

Polynesian romance between an American nurse and a French plantation owner set in World War II. Choc full with great tunes such as There is Nothing Like a Dame, Happy Talk, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair, Some Enchanted Evening.

 

Saving Mr Banks

TUESDAY 21 DECEMBER
2.45pm, BBC1

Fascinating account of how Walt Disney came to secure the rights to produce PL Travers’ Mary Poppins as a musical. Starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, all the familiar songs from the iconic score area featured throughout.

 

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial

WEDNESDAY 22 DECEMBER
11.30am, ITV

Steven Spielberg’s tear-jerker with John Williams’ unforgettable theme.

 

Kiss Me Kate

WEDNESDAY 22 DECEMBER
1.55pm, BBC2

Cole Porter’s smash-hit starring Howard Keel. Songs include Too Darn Hot and Brush Up Your Shakespeare.

 

Mary Poppins Returns

CHRISTMAS DAY
3.10pm, BBC1

Fab sequel from 2018 every bit as good as the first with songs that are just as catchy – Can You Imagine That?, Nowhere to go but Up, Where the Lost Things Go. Stars Emily Blunt, Ben Whishaw, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Meryl Streep.

 

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

CHRISTMAS DAY
3.10pm, C5

Dick Van Dyke stars as an eccentric inventor in his flying car with more music from the Sherman Brothers (Mary Poppins).

 

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

CHRISTMAS DAY
8.00pm, ITV2

Despite the ludicrous storyline and more questionable singing from Pierce Brosnan, with wall to wall ABBA songs you can’t go far wrong.

 

Singin' in the Rain

BOXING DAY
12.40pm, BBC2

The iconic titular number and songs such as Good Mornin’ make an appearance in this 1952 film about the story of how sound came to Hollywood movies.

 

Beauty and the Beast

BOXING DAY
2.20pm, BBC1

Live action remake from 2017 featuring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens performing those wonderful Alan Menken melodies.

 

Anything Goes the Musical

BOXING DAY
6.40pm, BBC2

Filmed live from the Barbican this year, this revival of Cole Porter’s classic features an all-star cast led by Sutton Foster. The spectacular tap number for Anything Goes is worth tuning in for.

 

All Star Musicals

BOXING DAY
8.00pm, ITV

Yes, cheesy to the max, but who doesn’t love to see some D-list celebrities ruin/enjoy a few musical theatre numbers? Victims this series include Gyles Brandreth, Anita Rani and Ben Miller. Elaine Paige and Samantha Barks sit in judgement on the panel.

 

Dirty Dancing

BOXING DAY
8.00pm, BBC1

It enjoyed moderate success as a West End musical, but we prefer this original movie of this feel-good dance spectacular.

 

My Fair Lady

MONDAY 27 DECEMBER
1.10pm, C5

Sumptuous adaptation of Lerner and Loewe’s Broadway smash with too many great numbers to mention!

 

Calamity Jane

MONDAY 27 DECEMBER
1.55pm, BBC2

Doris Day and Howard Keel star in this warm Western from 1953. Features Whip Crackaway, Just Flew in From the Windy City and the award-winning song Secret Love.

 

 

SONDHEIM TRIPLE BILL

Having lost Stephen Sondheim earlier this year, the BBC pay tribute to the composer in a range of programmes over the festive period.

 

BBC Proms

MONDAY 27 DECEMBER
7.00pm, BBC4

A repeat of the first-ever all-Sondheim prom from 2010 for his 80th birthday. Top quality stars perform songs from a number of his shows.

 

Sondheim at the BBC

MONDAY 27 DECEMBER
9.05pm, BBC4

A celebration of the the composer’s works featuring archive footage.

 

Omnibus: Sunday in the Park with Stephen

MONDAY 27 DECEMBER
10.05pm, BBC4

Documentary first shown in 1990. Cameras capture Sondheim taking Oxford University students through the creative process of writing. Musical.

 

West Side Story

TUESDAY 28 DECEMBER
9.00pm, BBC4

Stephen Spielberg’s remake is in cinemas this month, but this is the electrifying 1960s original. 

 

Into the Woods

TUESDAY 28 DECEMBER
11.20pm, BBC4

Sondheim’s musical fantasy from 2014 featuring Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp and James Cordon.

 

Raiders of the Lost Ark

THURSDAY 30 DECEMBER
6.45pm, C4

What’s to say? Who doesn’t love a bit of action from good old Indie! And that theme music from John Williams!

 

Musicals: the Greatest Show

NEW YEAR'S EVE
5.35pm, BBC2

Recorded at the London Palladium and hosted by Sheridan Smith, this celebration of musical theatre features showstoppers from West End’s biggest productions. Guests include Elaine Paige, Nicole Sherzinger and Josh Groban. Look out for numbers from Phantom, Mamma Mia!, Dreamgirls, Wicked, Six, Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen.