BBC Radio 4 Beatles Christmas

Presenter Alexei Sayle (‘ullo John, got a new motah’?) explores how the Beatles’ fan club messages were recorded with comments from the man who wrote the scripts, Beatles publicist Tony Barrow. The fan club recordings are featured and reflect the changing stages of the Beatles career and creativity. The programme also reveals the Beatles played two seasons in pantomime, and we hear what was going on back stage.

Christmas 1963 saw The Beatles taking to the stage for 16 shows across the seasonal period and it’s surprising they took to wearing pantomime costume so well.

The Beatles did a second spell in pantomime, this time playing 21 shows in London Christmas ’64 and the programme has comments from supporting acts, singer Elkie Brooks and Barron Knights guitarist Peter Langford.

Time is also devoted to the group’s Boxing Day broadcast on BBC 1 for their ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ film, and we hear how the movie was made and scheduled for festive family viewing, with comments from the film’s editor Roy Benson.

And all this in only thirty minutes. First broadcast on the 27th of December, and repeated on the 31st.

Programme website

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