Culture Vulture Xmas Special 2022

Our guide to entertainment over Christmas. Highlights include Christmas Carole a modern version of the Dickens classic, Royal Institution Lectures on forensic science and Thinking Allowed: The football pools – mass investment on BBC Radio 4. You can listen on YouTube here.

Saturday 24th December 2022 (Christmas Eve)

Christmas Carole 8pm Sky Max/Showcase

Suranne Jones plays a real Scrooge in this Sky comedy – a 2022 update on the Charles Dickens story.

We’ve seen her locked in a submarine in Vigil, playing a famous 19th century lesbian landowner in Gentleman Jack and the ultimate woman scorned in Doctor Foster, but this Christmas we’ll get to see a different side of Suranne Jones in Christmas Carole.

Jones will be showing off her comedic talents, playing an unashamedly outspoken and self-centred entrepreneur, who has made her millions selling tatty Christmas produce online.

Despite her success and wealth coming from the festive season, Carole has an Ebenezer Scrooge style view of Christmas and avoids spending it with her family at all costs.

However, on the eve of the sale of her company – which will cost all her employees their jobs – Carole gets a visit from some familiar-looking ghosts and a wild adventure begins.

Their Finest (2016 film) 10.10pm BBC4

A former secretary, newly appointed as a scriptwriter for propaganda films, joins the cast and crew of a major production while the Blitz rages around them.

The traditional Christmas Eve celebration of Midnight Mass comes live from Leeds Cathedral.
Midnight Mass Live from Leeds Cathedral 11.30pm BBC Radio4

Christmas begins with a joyous celebration of the Mass of the Nativity of the Lord which begins with the blessing of the crib. Bishop of Leeds, Marcus Stock, leads the service and reflects on Christmas and what it means to our world today.

Music includes:

Introit hymn – O come all ye faithful
Gloria – Missa Sancti Nicolai, Haydn
Psalm – Today a saviour, Duffy
Offertory motet – Quem pastores, Praetorius
Offertory hymn – O little town of Bethlehem
Sanctus & Benedictus – Missa Sancti Nicolai, Haydn
Agnus Dei – Missa Sancti Nicolai, Haydn
Communion – Candlelight Carol, Rutter
Communion hymn – Silent night
Final hymn – Hark! the herald angels sing

Sunday 25th December 2022 (Christmas Day)

Secret Lives of the Apostles 10pm National Geographic

Before the church … before the Gospels … before the word “Christian,” there were the Apostles. This is their story.

Monday 26th December 2022 (Boxing Day)

Sliced Bread: Wake Up Lights and S.A.D lamps 12.32pm BBC Radio4

Can wake-up lights and S.A.D lamps really boost our mood?

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (1 of 3) 8pm BBC4

In a series of three Lectures broadcast on BBC Four on the 26th, 27th and 28th December, Professor Dame Sue Black will reveal the secrets of the real-life scientific detective process she uses to identify both the dead and the living.

Tuesday 27th December 2022 (Holiday Tuesday)

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (2 of 3) 8pm BBC4

Professor Dame Sue Black continues her series of lectures on forensic science.

1917 (2019 film) 9pm BBC1

April 6th, 1917. As an infantry battalion assembles to wage war deep in enemy territory, two soldiers are assigned to race against time and deliver a message that will stop 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap.

Lionesses: When Football Came Home 9pm Sky Showcase

A sports documentary about the England squad’s famous 2022 European Championship win.

Wednesday 28th December 2022

Thinking Allowed: The football pools – mass investment 4pm BBC Radio 4

Betting and Investment: Laurie Taylor explores the connections and the differences between two apparently very different phenomena – the football pools and the stock market.

He’s joined by Keith Laybourn, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Huddersfield, who charts the rise and fall of the football pools over the 20th century. In its heyday, millions of working class people hoped for a life-changing jackpot cheque presented by a sporting personality and stories of big wins punctuated the news. So what led to a flutter on the pools falling out of favour?

And Amy Edwards, lecturer of Modern British History at the University of Bristol, asks ‘are we rich yet?’ in a study which considers the way in which a growing number of British people engaged in stock market investment as financial markets became part of daily life from the 1980s following the privatisation of British Telecom. Did this development take investment away from the oak-panelled world of the City and give the wider public a genuine stake in popular capitalism?

The Day After Tomorrow (2004 film) Film4 6.40pm

Jack Hall must make a daring trek from Washington, D.C. to New York City to reach his son, trapped in the centre of a sudden international storm which plunges the planet into a new Ice Age.

Le Mans ’66 (2019 film) 9pm Film 4

American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference, the laws of physics and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford and challenge Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.

Thursday 29th December 2022

Marie Antoinette (1 of 8) 9pm BBC2

The new series promises eight episodes of aristocratic drama, following a fiercely determined titular character (played by Emilia Schüle) as she is forced to leave Austria aged only 14, marry and reckon with a sense of personal freedom, individuality and self-determination.

Friday 30th December 2022 11am BBC Radio4

The Truth about Jazz: Jazz and protest

Clive Myrie concludes his series by examining jazz’s role in protest, politics and diplomacy away from America. The series ends with a visit to the home of the father of jazz.

Shameless: The Rise and Fall of Katie Price 10pm Channel 5

Katie Price, AKA Jordan, began her career as an eighteen-year-old Page 3 glamour model in the UK during the 1990s. Her rocky love life and her money troubles will be featured.

As well as looking at her private life, the documentary will also feature details on her recent bankruptcy case.

Stalin’s Executioners: The Katyn Massacre 4.40pm PBS America

The story of the Katyn massacre seen from both sides: that of the victims and that of the perpetrators. It reveals how this crime, attributed to the Nazis for 50 years, was in fact carried out by the Soviet secret police, the NKVD.

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (3 of 3) 8pm BBC4

Professor Dame Sue Black concludes her series of lectures on forensic science.

Selections by Pat Harrington

The Culture Vulture weekly podcast on Counter Culture is available through several web syndication services including Spotify and Amazon music. By subscribing to one of these services, you can have the audio edition of Culture Vulture and other content automatically downloaded to your computer or other device.

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