By Andy Malt | Published on Thursday 8 December 2022
The BBC has announced the full range of music programming it will have on its TV channels over the festive break, with documentaries and live performances aplenty to keep you entertained. Very little of it is Christmas music too, so that’s a plus
When does the festive break actually start though? Covering its back, the Beeb has put forward a schedule that starts this weekend and runs through to 1 Jan. I thought the Christmas period officially ended on 6 Jan, though. That’s when I take my tree down.
Whatever, BBC Two kicks things of on Saturday – 10 Dec – with the first of three performances from this year’s BBC Radio 6 Music Festival in Cardiff from Self Esteem. You can then watch Idles and Mikki Blanco’s sets on 18 Dec.
Also on 10 Dec will be ‘Piano Greats At The BBC’ – a compilation of performances from artists who have recently played the Radio 2 Piano Room on Ken Bruce’s Radio 2 show, including Craig David, Sigrid, Paolo Nutini, Sam Smith, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott and Michael Bublé.
Then, on 15 Dec, you can watch Lewis Capaldi’s ‘BBC Radio 2 In Concert’ show, which is being filmed in front of a small audience at the BBC Radio Theatre this very evening.
I’m not sure you can call any of that festive – or even part of the festive break. Not really.
It’s alright though, we’re properly into it now, because on 23 Dec, BBC Four will be showing ‘Country Music At Christmas’ – a show hosted by the Country Music Association and featuring Christmas songs performed by the likes of Dan & Shay, Maren Morris, The War And Treaty, Steven Curtis Chapman, Scotty McCreery, Molly Tuttle and Old Dominion. Which is nice. If you like that sort of thing.
Then on Christmas Eve it’s the ‘Top Of The Pops Review Of The Year 2022’. You know ‘Top Of The Tops’, yeah? That thing you always say they should bring back that you never watch the one time it’s on every year? Well, maybe this year you could stick it on and then the BBC might think people are actually interested. It’ll be hosted by Radio 1’s Clara Amfo and Jack Saunders and look back at the big pop hits of 2022.
What about Christmas Day though? Well, the day (or at least a portion of it) is being handed over to Tina Turner and new documentary ‘When Tina Turner Came To Britain’, featuring interviews with Turner herself, as well as others who have met and worked with her.
“The love, energy and support I’ve had from Britain over the years has been amazing”, says Turner. “I couldn’t have enjoyed the career I’ve had without my time spent in the UK and collaborations with amazing British songwriters, musicians and producers. I hope you love watching this documentary. From my very first visit to London in 1966 I always enjoyed visiting Britain and performing for fans across the country – it felt like my second home”.
After that, you’ll probably be hoping for another review of the year type thing. Well, hang on for 30 Dec and you’ll get one. ‘The Year In Music At The BBC: 2022’ will look at big musical things that happened on BBC TV channels this year. You know, like Paul McCartney at Glastonbury, Diana Ross at The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Party, and Harry Styles at Radio 1’s Big Weekend.
Are you still with me? We’re on the home straight now. Ands it’s New Year’s Eve! Or it will be on 31 Dec, which is the date they’ve chosen for it this year. You’ve got two options, as usual – BBC One’s big new year show and Jools Holland’s ‘Hootenanny’ on BBC Two. Playing the BBC One show this time will be this year’s UK Eurovision entrant Sam Ryder, who will be performing a set of covers with a whole host of still to be announced special guests.
Once the new year has begun, our thoughts will inevitably turn to one thing: I wonder who else came to Britain in addition to Tina Turner. Well, how about the whole bloody Motown record label?
Yes, that’s right, on 1 Jan, you’ll get to watch ‘When Motown Came To Britain’ on BBC Two, a documentary about that time in 1965 when Motown came over here with a whole tour show, featuring artists on its then roster including Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Martha Reeves A The Vandellas and Smokey Robinson And The Miracles.
Accompanying that will be a compilation of archive footage of performances of songs written by key Motown songwriter Lamont Dozier, performed by both original Motown artists such as The Supremes, The Four Tops and Martha Reeves And The Vandellas, as well as the likes of Phil Collins, Kylie Minogue, Rod Stewart and Rag N Bone Man. And then, you can watch ‘Marvin Gaye: Live at Montreux’, the concert film of his performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival on the 17 Jul 1980.
“We’re rounding up a fantastic year of music TV on the BBC with two new engaging documentaries from Wise Owl Films – ‘When Tina Turner Came To Britain’ and ‘When Motown Came To Britain’”, says Jonathan Rothery, BBC Head of Pop Music TV. “Both films take a fascinating look at much loved stars through the filter of the times they’ve visited our shores”.
“We’ll also be giving viewers a chance to reminisce about the musical year gone by with ‘The Year In Music At The BBC: 2022’, and welcoming them into 2023 on BBC Two with the 30th Jools’ annual ‘Hootenanny’, as Sam Ryder rocks into midnight on BBC One”.
“Soul fans are treated to a rare performance from the legendary Marvin Gaye, and a Lamont Dozier special. Country fans can enjoy ‘Country Music Christmas 2022’, and pop fans can catch up with ‘Top Of The Pops Review Of The Year 2022. There’s something for every music fan to enjoy on the BBC this Christmas”.
Yes, Jonathan, I just said all of that. You’re making me look bad by doing it more concisely. Anyway, that’s it. That’s all of it. You know what, why don’t I just put it all in a list that you can print off and stick on your fridge? Probably should have just done that in the first place.
10 Dec: Self Esteem at the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival (BBC Two)
10 Dec: Piano Greats At The BBC (BBC Two)
15 Dec: BBC Radio 2 In Concert: Lewis Capaldi (BBC iPlayer)
18 Dec: Idles at the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival (BBC Two)
18 Dec: Mykki Blanco at the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival (BBC Two)
23 Dec: Country Music Christmas 2022 (BBC Four)
24 Dec: Top Of The Pops Review Of The Year 2022 (BBC Two)
25 Dec: When Tina Turner Came To Britain (BBC Two)
30 Dec: The Year In Music At The BBC: 2022 (BBC Two)
31 Dec: Sam Ryder Rocks New Year’s Eve (BBC One)
31 Dec: Jools Holland’s Hootenanny (BBC Two)
1 Jan: When Motown Came To Britain (BBC Two)
1 Jan: Lamont Dozier (BBC Two)
1 Jan: Marvin Gaye: Live At Montreux (BBC Two)