Peace On Earth — Award-winning radio

Today, Christ­mas Day, at 12 noon SLT (20:00 GMT), Brideswell Stream,, we are pleased to present a spe­cial broad­cast of a remark­able piece of radio. Peace On Earth was cre­at­ed by com­pos­er Richard Attree at the BBC Radio­phon­ic Work­shop and broad­cast on BBC Radio 1 on Christ­mas Day 1985. It went on to win the 1986 Sony award for “the most cre­ative use of Radio”.

Peace On Earth is an aston­ish­ing piece of work, run­ning for 30 min­utes. Upon an under­ly­ing bed of an orig­i­nal, con­tem­po­rary arrange­ment of a famil­iar Christ­mas Car­ol, Attree builds mul­ti­ple lay­ers of actu­al­i­ty, employ­ing sam­pling and oth­er con­tem­po­rary music edit­ing tech­niques to describe man’s inhu­man­i­ty to man and our response to it, rang­ing from the con­cen­tra­tion camps of WWII to Ethiopi­an famine, action against strik­ing min­ers, and The Trou­bles in North­ern Ire­land — end­ing on a pos­i­tive note. While very much a work of its time, it is still an immense­ly pow­er­ful, mov­ing and cre­ative piece of radio.

We do not feel that this item is appro­pri­ate for our main stream, and as a result it will be broad­cast on our sec­ondary Brideswell Stream, In addi­tion, please note that the pro­gramme includes con­tent of a har­row­ing nature that may not be appro­pri­ate for some lis­ten­ers. The pro­gramme will be broad­cast at least twice.

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2 Responses to “Peace On Earth — Award-winning radio”

  1. pjscho says:

    I have been look­ing for this sound bite for over 10 years.
    I remem­bered it as just being about the min­ers strike, with music being added.

    I have tried every search com­bi­na­tion of words, I could think of and also thought it was trans­mit­ted in the win­ter of 1984 and not 1985.

    I have been through all the elec­tron­ic Radio Times list­ings for all radio sta­tions for 84/85 — with no suc­cess
    I final­ly found it today after enter­ing the below search words:
    BBC Radio­phon­ic work­shop 1985

    Well done Richard Attree — what a bril­liant com­po­si­tion, even over 30 years lat­er

    • Elrik Merlin says:

      The pro­gramme was orig­i­nal­ly broad­cast on BBC Radio 1 on Christ­mas Day 1985.

      Peace on Earth

      BBC Radio 1 Eng­land, 25 Decem­ber 1985 17.00

      A musi­cal pre­sen­ta­tion for Christ­mas Day com­posed by Richard Attree, fea­tur­ing the voice of Jonathan Cun­liffe, Choir­boy of the Year 1985 Pro­duc­er JOHN FOR­REST

      Com­pos­er: Richard Attree
      Singer: Jonathan Cun­liffe

      I agree it’s a mar­vel­lous piece of work, and I recall it won a num­ber of broad­cast­ing awards. Attree went on to cre­ate a sec­ond piece, called “I have a dream”, based around Mar­tin Luther King, which is also excel­lent; but “Peace On Earth” is a radio clas­sic.


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