Television

Christmas celebrations galore on CBBC

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MUMBAI: UK pubcaster is looking to make magic for its young viewers this Christmas on CBBC. There will be a sack full of fairy tales, favourite characters and festive fun.

The Blue Peter gang are travelling back in time to the glittery Eighties for an all-singing, all-dancing two-part extravaganza set in the heady world of top glossy magazine, 'Blue Peter'. Totally Blue Peter, with a backdrop of Eighties pop numbers, will be a big-haired, shoulder-padded riot for the whole family.

On a totally different note, the Blue Peter team get together to give some remarkable young people a Christmas surprise of a lifetime.

In the Christmas Day special Blue Peter Gold, Konnie, Matt, Liz, Zoe and Gethin award five remarkable viewers from across the UK with a gold Blue Peter badge for their achievement, courage or bravery. The lucky recipients will be appearing in the musical Scrooge; jetting off to Sri Lanka and Kenya; and meeting their favourite stars, including soccer star David Beckham, rugby star Jonny Wilkinson, rock group Coldplay's frontman Chris Martin and actress Jennifer Ellison.

There will also be the chance to click online to keep Christmas alive with CBBC Christmas ? It's Magical, and help a young boy to bring back the spirit of Christmas by restoring an old Victorian snow globe so it can play music and create snowfall once again.

For younger viewers, the channel CBeebies celebrates Christmas with a series of brand new animations featuring kids' best-loved characters.CBeebies also goes interactive by pressing the red button with a Make It Magical Christmas interactive TV loop, presented by CBeebies favourites Chris, Sue, Pui and Sid, along with a host of enthusiastic pre-schoolers.

Charlie and Lola wake up to a world completely covered in snow and have a wonderful time in the park making special snow angels and racing each other.

Meanwhile, out in the Australian Outback, The Koala Brothers return for the best Christmas ever when they invite their friends to spend Christmas Day with them at the Homestead.

On Big Cook, Little Cook Father Christmas is one of the customers for Big Cook Ben and Little Cook Small who have great fun making him a Meringue Snowman.

CBBC acting controller Richard Deverell said, "We have a wonderful offering for children and families this Christmas ? there really is something to suit all tastes, from the enchanting Snow Queen to the irrepressible Blue Peter gang hamming it up in their Eighties panto. It's going to be a fun and magical Christmas for all our viewers."

On a more serious note other BBC channels will offer what they hope will be thought-provoking, stimulating, mystical and musical ? fare. BBC Radio 4 will showacse A Light In Winter where presenter Trevor Barnes is given rare access to the winter solstice celebration at Newgrange monument in Ireland, where - for a mere 17 minutes each year - the ancient tomb is flooded with sunlight.

On BBC Radio 2, Roger Royle travels to the Holy Land in the footsteps of Mary and Joseph in Nativity Journey.

Meanwhile BBC Two presents CS Lewis: Beyond Narnia. This documentary-drama tells the story of the extraordinary life and work of one of Britain's best-loved writers, Clive Staples Lewis, and explores the inspiration behind his masterpiece The Chronicles of Narnia.

It will also air York Minster at Christmas. For the first time in its history, the Minster has allowed the cameras to witness its preparations for the most anticipated celebrations of the year ? a year which has been particularly significant with the inauguration of John Sentamu, the Church of England's first black archbishop.

Those fond of Christmas carols can check out Songs of Praise. The Christmas Big Sing presents a feast of traditional carols from the Royal Albert Hall, including the nation's top ten favourite carols. Joining presenters Aled Jones and Pam Rhodes are chart topping singer Katherine Jenkins and classical soloist Andrea Bocelli.

On Christmas Eve, Radio 4's sumptuous Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols marks the traditional start of Christmas for many listeners around the world. Broadcast live from the Chapel of King's College, Cambridge, this year's service will include John Tavener's Away in a Manger and traditional scripture readings. BBC Two also joins the choir for Carols from King's. New and traditional carols are sung in the candlelit chapel, including O Little Town of Bethlehem and In The Bleak Midwinter.

For older children and families, a new adaptation of The Snow Queen, Hans Christian Anderson's classic fairy tale, comes to life in a beautiful mix of music and song, animation and live drama.

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