Ed Sheeran and other music stars thank key workers for making a difference across England
"This Christmas we hope to bring some joy to the nation's heroic key workers for making a huge difference across England. We hope the star line up across local BBC radio will go a long way to bringing joy and sparkle to the many who have helped their communities.” — Chris Burns, Head of BBC Audio and Digital for England
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Listeners will be able to hear from some of the world’s biggest music stars in a special week of programming across the BBC’s 39 Local Radio stations. They will be speaking to key workers who have been going the extra mile and making a difference in their communities.
Kirstie Hill, an Intensive Care nurse from Leicester and huge Ed Sheeran fan, got the opportunity to speak to him. Kirstie works at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, and during both lockdowns she wanted to comfort and support her colleagues and patients. She decided to give them morale-boosting hugs at a time when they could only be given whilst wearing PPE.
She said: “When you’re head to toe in PPE, you can have contact with your colleagues and patients and bring a bit of humanisation to it all.”
Kirstie picked up a new skill during lockdown, learning how to crochet. She asks Ed what new skill he learnt, and he replies that he was reading books in preparation for becoming a father.
Ed says: “We had a baby during lockdown. I learnt carpentry and built a cot out of cherrywood, and when Lyra was born it was about learning how to be a good dad. The thing about being a first-time dad is that no one knows what their doing at the beginning.
“I spoke to my friend who is a dad and he likened being a parent to being like ducks on a pond - so calm on top but underneath the legs are frantic.”
Practise nurse Dawn Varney works in a GP surgery in Sheffield. She went out of her way to support some of her patients by visiting them on Christmas day, last year. She says: “I realised that some of my patients would be alone over Christmas, so I decided to collect presents and deliver them on Christmas morning. Some of them have no family and would have had no one visiting, so I decided to make a small difference and visit them."
Dawn is a huge Ed Sheeran Fan and loves to sing. She started a singing group with some of her patients, so they could get out of the house every week. She asked Ed to play his guitar and sing with her whilst she sung Lean On Me, which became the theme song for her group.
Other key workers also get their chance to put their questions to music legends Rod Stewart and Duran Duran this Christmas, on Local BBC Radio.
Chris Burns, Head of BBC Audio and Digital for England, says: “It has been an extraordinary 18 months across local BBC Radio. This Christmas we hope to bring some joy to the nation's heroic key workers for making a huge difference across England. We hope the star line up across local BBC radio will go a long way to bringing joy and sparkle to the many who have helped their communities.”
Each special episode will be packed with Christmas spirit and the very best music from each of the artists from over the years, and will go out daily, across Local BBC Radio at 9am from Monday 27 December to Friday 31 December.
To find out more, listen to your Local BBC Radio station today (Wednesday 1 December), when more details will be announced on what’s to come this Christmas across England.
Notes to Editors
Other programming across Local BBC Radio this festive December:
From 6 December to 10 December, special programming on Local BBC Radio Breakfast shows where singer Katie Melua finds out how we can make a difference to help homeless people this Christmas. It comes after Katie had a personal experience of a close friend becoming homeless last year, during the pandemic.
Listen to Our Communities Sing: 5pm - 6pm, a great mix of communities singing together to celebrate Christmas in a concert.
Listen to Hacker And Dodge: Christmas With Friends, 9pm-10pm - A Concert With The BBC Philharmonic.
At midnight on Christmas Eve, Keeping Faith At Christmas will broadcast across Local BBC Radio in England. Presented by Reverend Frances Finn, the special programme features stories of people whose faith is helping them make a difference in their communities; an 'in conversation' with the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell; and a selection of Christmas carols.
The Christmas Day service airs at 7am across all 39 Local BBC Radio stations. Coming from Coventry Cathedral it is led by the Dean of Coventry John Witcombe and includes messages from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.
At the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, all 39 local BBC stations across England launched Make A Difference - a virtual notice board for those offering help and those needing support. Since then, our teams have been hearing from Key workers like shop staff, binmen, nurses, doctors, teachers and many more people helping to keep daily life functioning and making a real difference in their communities, through the pandemic.
Source BBC Sounds
December 2, 2021 6:52am ET by Pressparty