Jools Holland welcomes Ed Sheeran, Gregory Porter, Lulu, Joy Crookes, Rag’n’Bone Man, Yola, Vic Reeves, Ruby Turner

Best on the Box: Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra welcome in the new year with a studio packed full of musical stars for his traditional Annual Hootenanny.

As we see out 2021 and ring in 2022, Jools invites a spectacular cast of guest singers to help him and his band put on the best party in town, as well as also taking time to reflect on years gone by, with some of the best performances from the hit-packed Hootenanny archive.

Joining Jools and his orchestra in the studio this year are Ed Sheeran, Gregory Porter, Lulu, Joy Crookes, Rag’n’Bone Man, Yola, Vic Reeves, Ruby Turner and the Pipes and Drums of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards. Plus, there will be archive performances from the likes of Craig David, Madness and Soul II Soul, promising a musical medley of legends and newies, pop bangers and treasured classics, to guide and entertain us through the last moments of 2021 and into 2022.

With Jools in the studio is global superstar and king of the charts Ed Sheeran, who will perform tracks from his hugely successful fourth album ‘=’ – plus his take on a favourite of his with Jools and his orchestra.

Soulful jazz star Gregory Porter will serenade us with his distinctively beautiful baritone voice on a couple of tunes, including a Willie Dixon Chicago Blues standard from his current Still Rising collection. Scottish legend and vocal powerhouse Lulu will belt out a couple of numbers, including a certain 1964 song she is well known and loved for.

A proud South Londoner of Bangladeshi and Irish heritage, Joy Crookes, who has emerged as one of the break out stars of 2021, will join Jools and the band to perform her song When You Were Mine from her critically-acclaimed debut album, Skin.

Friend and fan of the Hootenanny Rag’n’Bone Man will treat us to his song of the year, All You Ever Wanted, plus a classic from The Isley Brothers catalogue. British soul sensation Yola, who is currently making big waves across the pond, will be performing her recently Grammy-nominated song Diamond Studded Shoes, as well her take on an Ella Fitzgerald arrangement of a Cream classic.

Completing the line up in the studio, boogie-woogie queen Ruby Turner will raise the studio roof with one of her customary big band numbers, and stepping into the orchestra will be regular Hootenanny guest Vic Reeves, who takes us back to the 1990s with one of his chart hits.

As ever, alongside all the musical treats, Jools will be quizzing his guests on their resolutions and predictions and helping him at the big midnight moment is the Pipes and Drums of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards. All in all the best possible musical way to see in 2022!

Jools Holland’s Annual Hootenanny, BBC Two, 11.25 pm

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