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Christmas Night with the Stars

Created by

The British Broadcasting Corporation

Written by

Various

Directed by

Various

Hosted by

Eamonn Andrews, Jack Warner, Rolf Harris, Morecambe and Wise, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Michael Parkinson and more

No. of episodes

13 (each comprising of several short segments)

Running time

Unknown (each segment was typically about 5-10 minites long)

Original run

25th December 1958 - 25th December 1972 (plus 25th Dec 1994 & Dec 2004)

Christmas Night with the Stars was a television show broadcast each Christmas night (25th December) by the BBC from 1958 to 1972 (with the exception of 1961, 1965 and 1966), and was also revived for a year in 1994. The show was hosted each year by a leading star of BBC TV, and featured specially made short seasonal editions (typically about 10 minutes long) of the previous years most popular BBC sitcoms and light entertainment programs - including Dad's Army. The show was voted 24th in the Channel 4 100 Greatest Christmas Moments. Sadly, most of the variety segments are no longer known to exist.

ITV's ran their own annual Christmas variety show (All Star Comedy Carnival) from 1969 to 1973, while the BBC itself resurrected the format in 1982 with a special titled The Funny Side of Christmas. In December 2004, the BBC did a one-off special of Christmas Night with the Stars hosted by Michael Parkinson.

A Christmas Stocking recorded live at the history shop,Wigan in November 2002.A seasonal sound package,with its contents chosen packed and delivered by Colin Bean.Audio design by John Rowbotham for Making Waves Group. Only a few copies of this rare recording exist.

Dad's Army segmentsEdit

Four Dad's Army Christmas Night with the Stars inserts were made in total (as listed below). Sadly, two of them are currently missing (Present Arms and The Cornish Floral Dance), though the soundtrack to Present Arms was recovered in 2008.

No. Title Recorded First broadcast Overview
C01. Present Arms 1968-10-27 1968-12-25 It's Christmas morning parade 1940, and Mainwaring is confronted by a platoon of Father Christmases.
C02. Resisting the Aggressor Down the Ages 1969-11-21 1969-12-25 To raise money, the platoon dress up in costumes and act as historical figures in the past that have taken over England.
C03. The Cornish Floral Dance 1970-12-04 1970-12-25 The platoon are rehearsing 'The Cornish Floral Dance' alongside the Wardens and some of the ladies of Walmington-on-Sea.
C04. Broadcast to the Empire 1972-11-26 1972-12-25 It's Christmas 1941, and the platoon is chosen to take part in a world-wide radio broadcast.


Other featured television programmes included...Edit

  • All Gas and Gaiters
  • Bachelor Father
  • Beggar my Neighbour
  • Dixon of Dock Green
  • Faces of Jim
  • Hugh and I
  • The Likely Lads
  • The Liver Birds
  • Marriage Lines
  • Not in Front of the Children
  • Oh, Brother!
  • Steptoe and Son
  • Sykes and A...
  • The Rag Trade
  • Till Death Us Do Part
  • The Two Ronnies

Line-ups (incomplete list)Edit

  • 1962: Eamonn Andrews introduced contributions from the casts of The Billy Cotton Band Show, The Black and White Minstrels, Dixon of Dock Green, Steptoe and Son, The Rag Trade and The White Heather Club.
  • 1963: Eamonn Andrews introduced contributions from Stanley Baxter, Michael Bentine, The Black and White Minstrel Show, Marriage Lines (featuring Richard Briers and Prunella Scales), Russ Conway, Billy Cotton, the cast of Dixon of Dock Green, Dick Emery, Kenneth McKellar, Nina & Frederik, Terry Scott, Hugh Lloyd and Andy Stewart, with Harry Rabinowitz and his orchestra.
  • 1964: Jack Warner introduced The Barron Knights, The Black and White Minstrel Show, Roy Castle, Billy Cotton, Dick Emery, Benny Hill, Kathy Kirby, The Likely Lads (with Rodney Bewes and James Bolam), Marriage Lines (as in 1963), Meet the Wife (with Freddie Frinton and Thora Hird), Terry Scott, Hugh Lloyd and Andy Stewart, with the Harry Rabinowitz orchestra.
  • 1967. Rolf Harris introduced Cilla Black, Val Doonican, Billy Cotton, Roy Hudd, Lulu, David Nixon, Beryl Reid, Sandie Shaw, Kenneth Williams and Harry Worth with the casts of Beggar My Neighbour, Steptoe and Son and Till Death Do Us Part with the Alyn Ainsworth orchestra.
  • 1968. Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise introduced Louis Armstrong, Petula Clark, Rolf Harris, Jimmy Logan, Lulu, Kenneth McKellar, Nana Mouskouri, Marty Feldman, Cliff Richard, The Seekers, Harry Worth and The Young Generation, with excerpts from Ray Alan’s Ice Cabaret, Oh Brother, Not in Front of the Children and Dad's Army , with the Alyn Ainsworth orchestra.
  • 1994. Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie hosted the show. Performers included Sandie Shaw, Reeves and Mortimer, "Bob Fleming", Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson, Ronnie Corbett, Alan Partridge and the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

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