Lockdown heroes meet Dolly Parton, Cliff Richard, Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams & Gary Barlow

For local BBC radio Christmas series

Local lockdown heroes meet Dolly Parton, Sir Cliff Richard, Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow for local BBC radio Christmas series

Local BBC radio is bringing feel-good sparkle and a sprinkling of stars to homes across England this Christmas!


BBC Radio 2

"It’s a great time for us to all see our worth. The great thing about this time is that people are clever and people will get us out of this." — Gary Barlow

Gary Barlow - image credit - Ali Tant, Dolly Parton, Cliff Richard, Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams

Music icons Sir Cliff Richard, Dolly Parton, Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue and Gary Barlow join Owain Wyn Evans for a special week of programmes on local BBC radio this Christmas.

In the feel-good series the BBC’s ‘drumming weatherman’ Owain, introduces the stars to some of England’s Make A Difference heroes of lockdown 2020. Each episode will go out daily at 9am over ‘betwixtmas’ week from Monday 28 December to Friday 1 January.

In March, all 39 local BBC stations across England launched Make A Difference - a virtual notice board for those offering help and those needing support. Every day the teams speak to local community heroes - people making meals for the vulnerable, sharing provisions and generally keeping each other going. Now some of these heroes get to meet their own heroes - music legends like Gary Barlow.

Gary Barlow speaks to fan Vicky Murphy from Glossop, who set up a scheme for nursery children to write letters for elderly people in social isolation.

Gary says: “It’s a great time for us to all see our worth. The great thing about this time is that people are clever and people will get us out of this. What a brill idea, when you came on I thought this personality is going to lead to something great.”

Each of the programmes will be packed with Christmas spirit and music you love from each of the artists from over the years.

Sir Cliff Richard tells Owain: “It’s nice to be played on the radio. I’ve always complained that you need to be under 35 to get played on the radio but in the last few years all of you have been very kind to me.”

Talking about his own charity work he says: “I always find it so comforting to know that I could do something. When you think of any individual - you, me anybody - what we do is so finite and tiny, but the bucket will only get full after all those tiny drops that we are fill it. The more people we can get to help others the better.

“I will keep bringing the music, you keep making a difference”

Chris Burns, Head of BBC Audio and Digital, says: “This Christmas BBC local radio stations will be there for their listeners like never before. It will be unlike any Christmas we’ve experienced. Through our Make A Difference programming and lots of surprises we will bring everyone together and play our part in lifting the mood across every corner of England.”

On Christmas Eve at 9pm join England Sings for the ultimate socially distanced Christmas Carol Concert. Over the years local BBC radio stations have organised hundreds of spine-tingling carol concerts; this year, with most events cancelled, this special show brings together the classics for an uplifting listen for all the family.

With listeners separated from loved ones, the unique network of BBC local stations will connect families and friends spread across England to Send A Christmas Hug to one another. Through the BBC online video Upload tool kids in Hull for example can sing a festive message to their grandparents in Cornwall. The ‘hugs’ will be broadcast on local TV news in the run up to Christmas and on the radio.

Looking back at this extraordinary year through Make A Difference stories, all local BBC radio stations will broadcast four hour-long specials with music and updates on how these touching stories of community spirit have developed since. These will go out on New Year's Day at 6pm and across the week between Christmas and New Year.

Tune into local BBC radio where you are on 1 December for the launch day with Christmas songs and sneak previews every hour from 7am of what’s to come.

Source BBC Radio 2

December 4, 2020 4:00am ET by BBC Radio 2  

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