Katherine Jenkins returns to Wales to lead a special homecoming Christmas concert for the BBC

Saturday: Christmas with Katherine Jenkins (BBC Two, 7.15pm)
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Katherine Jenkins loves Christmas. So much so, she released a festive single, Home for Christmas, last month, which marked her first new music for more than a year.

“The festive season is always my favourite time of the year and for me it’s all about spending time with the people I love and cherish most,” explains the Welsh wonder, who is the biggest-selling British classical artist of the century. “I hope this song can bring people together and remind us of what makes Christmas the most special time of year.”

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If you haven’t heard it, the tune uses new lyrics to the well-known carol Hark the Herald Angels Sing, which was originally written by Charles Wesley in 1739 and has since been covered by a wide range of performers, from Boney M to Bob Dylan.

Christmas with Katherine JenkinsChristmas with Katherine Jenkins
Christmas with Katherine Jenkins

No doubt Katherine will be singing it during her homecoming concert, which was filmed at the Swansea Arena at the end of November. Incredibly, despite being born in nearby Neath, it was her first performance at the venue – and it’s one she’s unlikely to ever forget.

“There’s no place like home which is why I am thrilled to bits to be performing at the Swansea Arena,” she said at the time. “Being back in Wales always makes me want to pull out all the stops. I can’t wait and I would love for you to be a part of it too.”

And now we can be. The date of the live gig may have been and gone, but it was filmed for the BBC, so now those of us who missed out on a ticket are getting a chance to see it.

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Katherine was joined on stage by a variety of very special guests for some surprise duets, enchanting carols and heartwarming moments, including locally born actor Michael Sheen, singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti, opera singer and recent Celebrity MasterChef winner Wynne Evans and pianist Chloe Flower.

They’ll be performing a range of Christmas carols and audience favourites, while Katherine showcases some of her most popular hits, all accompanied by a 31-piece band conducted by Ken Burton.

And if that’s not enough to tempt you to tune in, Katherine will also be seen paying a visit to the Cardiff Royal Marines; she is a staunch supporter of the military, having previously performed concerts for the British Armed Forces stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. On a more personal note, cameras follow her to the Ty Olwen Hospice, where she pays tribute to the staff who cared for her beloved father during his final days.

“Performing in Swansea with some of the most talented and special people I know felt like a real gift,” says Katherine, with a warm smile. “The festive season is always my favourite time of the year and for me it’s all about spending time with the people I love and cherish most. I hope this concert being shown on BBC brings even more people together to remind us of what makes Christmas special.”