A Christmas Carol

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started21st Sep 2007
ended23rd Nov 2007
last rpt23rd Nov 2017
11 school years
duration15 mins
subject 📚EnglishLiterature
age rangeAge 9-11
languageenIn English
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A Christmas Carol is a BBC schools radio series from the 2000s and 2010s, covering Literature for primary school pupils.

A 9-part abridgement of the classic Charles Dickens seasonal ghost story, in which miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge is visited on Christmas Eve by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

The series became the mainstay of the final decade of school radio broadcasting: heard through the autumn term in all but one of the final 11 years of school radio (and in the missing year, heard in the spring term instead!)

It was read by Alan Smith, who was also a continuity announcer for school radio broadcasts and would often introduce himself reading it ("read by me, Alan Smith").

Episode List

All 9 episodes can be heard online at the BBC School Radio website.

# Title Broadcast Online
1. Marley's Ghost #2007-09-21-00-00-0021 Sep 2007
Watch Online BBC
2. Meeting with Marley #2007-09-28-00-00-0028 Sep 2007
Watch Online BBC
3. The First of the Three Spirits #2007-10-05-00-00-005 Oct 2007
Watch Online BBC
4. Master Fezziwig #2007-10-12-00-00-0012 Oct 2007
Watch Online BBC
5. The Second of the Three Spirits #2007-10-19-00-00-0019 Oct 2007
Watch Online BBC
6. Scrooge's Nephew #2007-11-02-00-00-002 Nov 2007
Watch Online BBC
7. The Last of the Spirits #2007-11-09-00-00-009 Nov 2007
Watch Online BBC
8. An End to the Haunting #2007-11-16-00-00-0016 Nov 2007
Watch Online BBC
9. The End of It... #2007-11-23-00-00-0023 Nov 2007
Watch Online BBC


Listen Online Listen on YouTube. Martin Medina has shared his atmospheric title music from the series.


Reader Alan Smith
Original music Martin Medina
Director Lyn Carter
Editor Alan Barnes


2010 notes
2016 notes

The series was originally broadcast in 2007 accompanied by some basic notes about its relevance to the curriculum.

Teacher's notes written by Caroline Garland were added in 2010, distributed as a PDF file through the BBC School Radio website.

A revised version of the notes with direct links to listen to the episodes and cosmetic changes was published in 2016, again distributed as a PDF file through the BBC School Radio website


The series was broadcast regularly for a decade as part of the school radio broadcasts on Radio 4 Digital, and continued to be available online after schools radio broadcasts ceased in 2018.

Generally it was broadcast in the autumn term leading up to Christmas, but there were also some unseasonal broadcasts in the earlier years. As the series has 9 episodes and the autumn term generally has 10 weeks of broadcasting, the A Christmas Carol timeslot in the 10th week would be taken up with another programme or filler such as clips of songs or extracts from the term's programmes.



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