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Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a rendition of your favorite festive carols from Kings College Choir.

The annual performance from the world-famous choir is broadcast worldwide and plays an important role in kicking off Christmas for many households across the county and country.

The performance, which has been televised for 67 years, will be taking place with a congregation as things stand after the choir performed to an empty chapel for the first time in a century in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Read more: Christmas News

Tickets for this year’s A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s were allocated by public ballot.

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The Dean, The Reverend Dr Stephen Cherry, said: “Capacity restrictions mean that it will not be possible to have a congregation of the size that has become traditional at the service, which means that there are fewer tickets available.

“To avoid disappointing many people who may have queued from the early hours of the morning we have decided to invite members of the public to take part in a ballot.

“The service was originally conceived as a “gift to the City of Cambridge”, and in the spirit of that traditional gift of goodwill, we will ensure that at least half of the public tickets will go to the people of Cambridge.”

First held in King’s College Chapel in 1918, A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was initially broadcast by the BBC ten years later in 1928.

Since 1930 it has been broadcast live every year on Christmas eve, with the exception of 2020 when a pre-recorded service was broadcast.

This year, the traditional celebration will begin with a solo chorister from the candlelit chapel of King’s College, which viewers can also watch from home on BBC Two on Christmas Eve.

Directed by Daniel Hyde, the BBC says: “The world-famous choir sings carols old and new, including The Holly and the Ivy (arr. June Nixon), In the Stillness (Sally Beamish) and O Holy Night (arr. John Rutter).

“Hymns sung with the congregation include O Come All Ye Faithful and Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, and the story of the birth of Jesus is read by members of King’s College in the words of the King James Bible and in poems by Charles Causley and Theresa Lola.”

Following tradition again, Carol’s from Kings will air on BBC Two on Christmas Eve, December 24, at 6.15pm, and on Christmas Day, December 25, at 8.45am.

The performance will also be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Christmas Day at 1pm.

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