Radio 4 launches Comedy Advent Calendar for Christmas
The BBC has announced a festive programming idea titled The Radio 4 Comedy Advent Calendar.
In the run-up to Christmas, the scheme will see comedians popping up on the speech network's flagship programmes.
The BBC explains: "Every day in December some of the nation's favourite stars, including Mitchell & Webb, Sue Perkins, Lenny Henry, Sandi Toksvig, Marcus Brigstocke and Johnny Vegas will appear in some of our flagship programmes such as Today and Woman's Hour.
"Listeners will be able to hear the selection box of stories, sketches, songs, poems, memories, fantasies and factual pieces inspired by the time of year on-air, online and in their inbox. Every day it will be a surprise who turns up in your inbox, but it is guaranteed to be a festive treat."
An omnibus of the programming will also be played on Christmas morning from 8am till 9am.
Radio 4 has also announced a Christmas edition of the panel game Just A Minute. Hosted as always by Nicholas Parsons, the festive special will feature Pam Ayres, Stephen Mangan, Gyles Brandreth and Paul Merton being challenged to talk on Christmas themed subjects without hesitation, deviation or repetition.
The episode is due to be broadcast on Monday 23rd December. The BBC teases: "Find out how Gyles Brandreth fills a stocking and what Pam Ayres's tips for avoiding arguments at Christmas are. Whilst Paul Merton pulls a Christmas cracker and Stephen Mangan chooses some Christmas presents."
Additionally, there will be two episodes of the interview show Desert Island Discs themed around entertainers. Miranda Hart will join presenter Kirsty Young on Sunday 22nd December, whilst presenters Ant & Dec will appear on the show on Sunday 29th December.
The BBC says: "Miranda Hart will be returning to BBC Radio 4, where it all began for the star in 2007 with Miranda Hart's House Party."
Ant & Dec will be the first double-act to appear on Desert Island Discs since 1987. The BBC explains: "The final castaways of 2013 will be the kings of prime time TV, Ant & Dec, who will follow in the footsteps of legendry duos Morecombe & Wise, Bob Monkhouse & Denis Goodwin and Peter Brough & Archie Andrews - all of whom have appeared as pairs on the show."
Gwyneth Williams, Controller of Radio 4 and 4 Extra, says: "While the festive season invites us to indulge in rich food and drink, I know that Radio 4 listeners will also welcome the chance to indulge their minds. So I hope they will join Radio 4 for a delicious array of programmes over the Christmas period."
Many comedy fans will also be waiting to hear David Mitchell & Robert Webb return for a new sketch series on Radio 4, their first in four years. The new series of That Mitchell & Webb Sound will begin on Tuesday 26th November. Below is an audio preview clip in which Thomas Hardy experiments with some adventurous punctuation.
Rob Brydon is set to host a BBC Children in Need concert that will star Sir Tom Jones, and feature 'live and pre-recorded comedy pieces' about the singer.
Dave has confirmed the commissioning of Crackanory Series 3, with readers set to include Back To The Future star Christopher Lloyd, Sarah Millican and Greg Davies.
Robert Lindsay and Maureen Lipman will head up the cast of Bull, a TV sitcom set in an antiques shop.
Happy Days star Henry Winkler is to return to CBBC for a third series of his comedy drama, Hank Zipzer.
Phillip Schofield will return to ITV with four new episodes of comedy game show You're Back In The Room, in which contestants compete for cash whilst under hypnosis.
Spitting Image producer John Lloyd says he wants to bring back the satirical puppet format, possibly as an online show.
The comedians involved in new channel Dave show Taskmaster talk about taking part in the bizarre challenges. Read
Kunt And The Gang - the musical comedy act delivers 'songs of questionable taste' - talks about his career. Read
Glory Pearl explains why she will be performing her Edinburgh Fringe shows totally naked. Read
Milton Jones, Katherine Ryan and Seann Walsh, amongst the many comedians at Reading and Leeds festivals. Read
You can vote for which of this year's Edinburgh shows has the best poster. The winning show will get cash. Read
The hit comedy panel show podcast is back for a fifth series, with guests including Katherine Ryan. Listen
Radio 1 DJ Greg James talks to BCG about how proud he is to have written his own BBC sitcom pilot. Read
Grindah and Beats, the main two characters in BBC mockumentary People Just Do Nothing, talk to BCG: Read