Carols from King’s: 20 pictures of King’s College Choir rehearsing for BBC broadcast of Christmas Eve carol service
The members of King’s College Choir assembled to rehearse and record their world-famous carol service, which will be broadcast on the BBC on Christmas Eve.
The boys have spent weeks practising for the 90-minute Carols from King’s service, which has been televised for 67 years. Fourteen adult choral scholars join 16 boy choristers for the historic service at the world-renowned chapel.
Every year, the service begins with a solo chorister singing Once in Royal David’s City, then features a selection of carols and readings. This year’s carols include The Holly and the Ivy, Angels from the Realms of Glory and O Come, All Ye Faithful.
The carol service is attended by members of the college and is by invitation only – but last year there was no congregation for the first time in its history due to restrictions brought in by the coronavirus pandemic.
The choir was founded in the 15th century and is one of the best-known choral groups in the world. Carols from King’s was first shown on television in 1954 – although it only became an annual fixture from 1964 – and will be broadcast around the world to more than 10 million people on Christmas Eve at 6.15pm on BBC2.
It is separate from A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, which is a service that takes place on Christmas Eve in the chapel and which is broadcast live on radio around the world.
The latter has been a calendar staple – with a congregation – for more than 100 years, and the service has been broadcast every year since 1930, including during the Second World War. Millions have enjoyed the transmissions, which is seen as being as much a part of the festive period as Christmas presents, turkey and the Queen’s speech.