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BBC Christmas Day highlights

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BBC Christmas Day highlights

Best on the Box, BBC highlights for Christmas Day…

Quentin Blake – The Drawing Of My Life

BBC Two celebrates one of Britain’s best-loved artists: the illustrator and author Sir Quentin Blake. He tells the story of his creative life in his own words – and, of course, with his own pictures – by making a major new work exclusively for this film.

Viewers will see him fill a 30-foot-long canvas with classic characters and key moments from his career.

The programme features contributions from famous collaborators and admirers, among them Michael Rosen, Lauren Child, Chris Riddell, Josie Long, David Walliams, Steven Appleby, Dapo Adeola and Emma Chichester Clark. In a rare new interview, Felicity Dahl gives fresh insights into Quentin’s famously fruitful collaboration with her late husband Roald. Joanna Lumley, Peter Capaldi and Ore Oduba read extracts from some of the 500 books Blake has illustrated.

Quentin Blake – The Drawing Of My Life, BBC Two, 4.10pm


A Musical Family Christmas With The Kanneh-Masons

Coming home to Nottingham for the festive period, their unique seasonal celebration is a fusion of family traditions from the UK, Sierra Leone and the Caribbean. They perform their favourite festive music such as Mary’s Boy Child, We Three Kings, Santa Baby, Sugar Plum Fairy and In The Bleak Midwinter – plus versions of Bob Marley’s Who The Cap Fit, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and Eric Whitacre’s The Seal Lullaby.

Christmas is a special time for the Kanneh-Masons as all seven siblings – some returning from tours of the USA and Europe – will be together once again with parents Stuart and Kadiatu. The house is incredibly busy: music is practiced in every room and the Christmas build-up includes tree decorating, the traditional Secret Santa draw, musical duets, competitive charades and board games, festive food preparations, plus impromptu performances with carol singers.

Parents Kadiatu and Stuart have captured the family Christmases on video over the years and granted exclusive access to these home movies for this programme. The footage includes funny ‘outtake’ moments of the kids when they were much younger and, more importantly, reveals how music has always played such an important part in their lives.

A Musical Family Christmas With The Kanneh-Masons, BBC Two, 8.35pm


Pavarotti

Ron Howard directs this definitive documentary about arguably the greatest tenor star who ever lived – Luciano Pavarotti.

From his humble upbringing, will to succeed, extraordinary voice and charisma, the tours and the impresarios who made him famous and his great love of the pleasures of life. With extraordinary archive and contributions from family, lovers, collaborators and dear friends.

Directed and Produced by Ron Howard and produced by Nigel Sinclair, Brian Grazer, Jeanne Elfant Festa and Michael Rosenberg.

Pavarotti, BBC Two, 9.35pm

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