The Queen could be in for some competition this year when grime star Stormzy delivers a reading from the bible on Christmas Day.
The award-winning rapper, 26, will follow in the footsteps of renowned British actors such as Don Warrington and Letitia Wright, who have in previous years recited from Luke’s Gospel to round off the BBC’s Christmas coverage.
Devout Christian Stormzy became the first black British solo star to headline Glastonbury this year and will feature at 11.50pm – meaning he won’t directly rival the Queen’s annual broadcast at 3pm.
The grime star, 26, will recite from Luke’s Gospel on BBC One, following in the footsteps of renowned British actors who have told the story of the first ever Christmas
Stormzy will tell the story of the ‘first ever Christmas when angels appeared to shepherds to proclaim the news of the birth of Jesus’, the BBC said.
The reading is seen as a BBC attempt to reach younger viewers, having traditionally offered the role to acclaimed British actors as a celebration of modern faith.
Last year, Letitia Wright, star of 2018 blockbuster Black Panther, gave her take on the birth of Jesus Christ, and the year before actor Colin Salmon delivered the reading.
In 2016, actor Don Warrington read an account in Luke’s Gospel of the angels’ proclamation to the shepherds of Christ’s birth.
His reading lead into a musical arrangement by composer Ken Burton of Sweet Little Jesus Boy, and was sung by acclaimed choir, the Adventist Vocal Ensemble.
Stormzy, who became the first black British solo star to headline Glastonbury this year, will round off the BBC’s Christmas coverage at 11.50pm – meaning he won’t directly rival the Queen’s annual broadcast at 3pm
Daisy Scalchi, a BBC commissioning editor, said: ‘Stormzy has consistently celebrated his faith and spirituality through his music and we are hugely excited that he is bringing Christmas day to a close on BBC One with his reading from St Luke’s Gospel.’
Hugh Faupel, executive producer at BBC Studios, said: ‘Every year we look for people to bring the Christmas story alive.
‘This year we are delighted that Stormzy accepted the invitation to retell the timeless story of the first Christmas and hopefully bring it to a new audience.’
Last year, actress Letitia Wright, star of 2018 blockbuster Black Panther, gave her take on the birth of Jesus Christ. In 2016, actor and star of Rising Damp Don Warrington read an account in Luke’s Gospel of the angels’ proclamation to the shepherds of Christ’s birth
In 2017, Colin Salmon narrated, in the traditional words of the King James Bible, Luke’s account of the angels appearing to shepherds in the fields above Bethlehem
Libera, an all-boys choir, will perform the Basque carol Sing Lullaby in the programme.
The choir features singers aged between seven and 16 who attend local schools in South London.
Stormzy recently released his second album, Heavy Is The Head.
On Christmas Night will air at 11.50pm on Wednesday December 25 on BBC One.