Christmas 2016 on Classic FM: radio highlights

25 November 2016, 15:31

A Christmas message from some of the voices of Classic FM

Merry Christmas, from everyone at Classic FM!


Classic FM is the home of Christmas music. Over the coming month, we’ll take you to St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and some of the UK’s finest concert halls among many other seasonal treats. See the highlights below - and catch up with anything you miss.

Sunday December 18

3pm: A Winchester Christmas

Winchester College Carol Concert

Join Lucy Coward for a very special carol concert, recorded in the beautiful surroundings of Winchester College Chapel. The 'Quiristers' of Winchester College will be joined by the Royal College of Music Chamber Orchestra, directed by Malcolm Archer, in a programme of festive favourites and rarely heard carols, interspersed with seasonal readings. 

Catch up: listen again to the service >

Watch some of the highlights of the service >

Tuesday December 20

8pm: NSPCC Christmas Carol Concert from St Paul’s Cathedral

Jane Jones presents a special festive concert, recorded exclusively for Classic FM last week, in aid of the NSPCC – and held to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Childline. Tenor Russell Watson and soprano Lesley Garrett join celebrities including Dame Esther Rantzen for a glittering evening.

Catch up: Listen again to this programme >

Thursday December 22

8pm: The Great Ormond Street Christmas Carol Concert

Every year, Great Ormond Street Hospital presents a glorious evening of festive music to raise much-needed funds. This year, the seventeenth annual concert took place in St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge, in aid of Great Ormond Street’s ‘Room to Breathe’ appeal. 

Tonight, Catherine Bott gives Classic FM listeners the chance to re-live every moment, with popular congregational carols and inspirational readings from a host of famous faces – including Sir Derek Jacobi and Dame Diana Rigg. Plus: a special guest performance from the star soprano Danielle de Niese. 

Catch up: listen again to this programme >

Christmas Eve

1-5.30pm: Christmas Eve Requests 

Christmas Eve Requests with Anne-Marie Minhall and

On Classic FM, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some very special requests programmes – and this Christmas Eve, Anne-Marie Minhall and John Brunning once again join forces to play the music you choose.

To make a request, use the contact form at the bottom of the page, text 61812 or tweet @ClassicFM.

5:30-6pm: Aled Jones Narrates The Snowman

Aled Jones One Voice at Christmas 6

Join Aled Jones as he narrates the timeless story of The Snowman, complete with Howard Blake’s wonderful music – a real treat for the whole family on Christmas Eve.

Listen: Aled Jones's new album, One Voice at Christmas >

6-8pm: The Prince's Foundation for Children & Arts Christmas Carol Concert 

Join Tim Lihoreau for a very special carol concert, recorded at Cadogan Hall earlier this month, in aid of the Prince’s Foundation for Children & Arts. This 10th anniversary concert is filled with seasonal music from Joe Stilgoe and Lisa Friend, and readings from celebrities.

8-10pm: The Spirit of Christmas - Live at the Liverpool Philharmonic 

John Suchet at the Spirit of Christmas, Liverpool

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s long-established carol concerts are an unmissable part of Christmas on Hope Street. Classic FM’s Orchestra in the North West and its terrific chorus serve up a mouth-watering spread of Yuletide music for the whole family: all the favourite traditional carols – Silent Night, O Holy Night, Come all ye Faithful – mingled with seasonal readings from Classic FM’s John Suchet. 

10pm-1am: Smooth Carols with Myleene Klass

Myleene keeps you company with three hours of relaxing carols, providing a peaceful conclusion to Christmas Day.

Christmas Day

6-10am: Classic FM’s Christmas Breakfast 

Tim Lihoreau invites you to join him for a four-hour selection of carols and seasonal favourites, providing the perfect way to wake up this Christmas. Tim will also be inviting you to get in touch and let him know how you’re spending Christmas morning.

10am-1pm: Christmas Day Requests 

Every Christmas Day, we turn Classic FM over to you for three hours of requests and dedications. As always, Anne-Marie Minhall is particularly keen to hear from anyone for whom this Christmas will be extra-special and people who are hard at work.

To make a request, use the contact form at the bottom of the page, text 61812 or tweet @ClassicFM.

1-3pm: The Nation’s Favourite Carol 

Every year, we ask our listeners to vote for their favourite Christmas carol. On Christmas Day, John Brunning counts down this year’s top 30. In 2015, Silent Night was named the Nation’s Favourite Carol for the first time in the history of this Classic FM poll. This year, can previous winner O Holy Night regain the crown?

3-3.05pm: The Queen’s Speech

The Queen delivers her annual Christmas message.

3.05-5pm: The Buckingham Palace Carol Concert for the Royal Household 

'We Wish You A Merry Christmas' (Live At Buckingham Palace)


Every year, a carol concert takes place at Buckingham Palace to thank the staff who work there for Her Majesty the Queen. In a Classic FM exclusive, Nicholas Owen hosts this very special concert, from the beautiful surroundings of the Buckingham Palace Ballroom.

How do you decorate a Christmas tree for Her Majesty The Queen? We went to Buckingham Palace to find out.

5-8pm: The Story of Carols

Tonight, as we settle in for Christmas evening, Anne-Marie Minhall takes us on a musical journey through some festive favourites – and promises to share some fascinating tales behind our most famous carols. 

Discover, for example, why the French sing a very different version of The Twelve Days of Christmas: there’s no mention of a pear tree or gold rings; instead, it’s all about pig’s trotters, spitted rabbits and partridges with cabbage.

What is the meaning of 'The Holly and the Ivy'?

Explore the history of this beautiful Christmas carol


8-10pm: David Mellor’s Christmas Cracker

Join David to discover some quirky Christmas recordings, as well as fresh interpretations of old favourites.

10pm-1am: Smooth Carols with Myleene Klass

Myleene keeps you company with three hours of relaxing carols, providing a peaceful conclusion to Christmas Day.

Boxing Day

9am-1pm: Bill Turnbull

One of the UK’s best-loved broadcasters, Bill plays the finest selection of classical music and seasonal favourites, providing the perfect soundtrack to Boxing Day.

9-10pm: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Classical Music: a Binaural Special

Another opportunity to hear one of the most popular programmes broadcast on Classic FM in 2016. Catherine Bott invites Classic FM listeners to dig out their headphones and discover classical music in a completely new way, as she takes a sensory dive into the world of 3D sound. The programme includes a number of exclusive performances recorded live for Classic FM by the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Send us your requests

* Required fields

Classic FM Apps

Get the Classic FM app for iPhone, iPad and Android - now with HD audio

Cat composer Alexander Livitsanos

This utterly adorable kitten is the ultimate distraction from work

chocolate bar musical taste

Can we guess your favourite chocolate bar from your favourite composer?

broken e-string violin

This clip captures the sheer horror of an E-string snapping halfway through a live radio broadcast