Peace On Earth — Award-winning radio

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Tuesday, 25 December, 2007

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.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

pjscho February 2, 2016 at 08:35

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 February 2, 2016 at 08:44

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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