Hullo hullo-ho-ho! Welcome to 2021's Christmas special, unwrapping a dozen Christmas broadcasting presents, from the past, to see what makes a classic BBC Christmas schedule.

Our guest Ben Baker is a podcaster and author of festive books including the new Ben Baker's Christmas Box: 40 Years of the Best, Worst and Weirdest Christmas TV Ever (available on Amazon or Linktree). Like the Ghost of Broadcasting Past, he guides us through the Queen's Speech, Top of the Pops, Noel Edmonds, Christmas films, bizarre hospital visits, and ample more.

Your host Paul Kerensa is a Christmas cultural fanatic - and quotes amply from his book Hark! The Biography of Christmas, especially the bits on royal Christmas speeches and Morecambe and Wise viewing figures. Paul's book is available in paperback, ebook or audiobook. Or get a signed copy direct from Paul (£10 inc p&p).

Buy both books! Ideal Christmas present - any time of the year...

Plus do you hear what I hear? Two monarchs with their landmark Christmas messages - the first on radio and the first on TV. And back by popular demand, some genuine 1923 ads from Popular Wireless magazine brought to vocal life, by broadcaster Paul Hayes and my kids.

Paul Hayes also has a blog we mention - he's watching every version of A Christmas Carol that he can find, and reports the results on That's a lot of humbug.

Speaking blogs, host Paul Kerensa has a 'Yule blog', on festive history, going back far beyond the birth of broadcasting.

This is our last special before we embark on season 3, and 1923. So next episode, it's full steam ahead into Magnet House as the six-week-old BBC gets a staff and one office. Aw. Join us!



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  • Paul's new one-man play The First Broadcast is now booking for dates in 2022. Got a venue? Book me for your place. Here's one - The Museum of Comedy. Join me there on November 14th 2022, the exact date of the BBC's 100th birthday!
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Archive clips are old enough to be public domain in this episode.

This podcast is NOTHING to do with the present-day BBC - it's entirely run, researched, presented and dogsbodied by Paul Kerensa.

Original music is by Will Farmer.

Next time: Season 3 begins with New Year 1923 at Magnet House. Join us...


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