Dennis Potter spent his childhood in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. The sounds of childhood Christmas still ring in his ears, and the images remain as powerful as ever.
BBC Radio 4 FM, 26th December 1977 14:15
The programme, produced with Brian Patten of BBC Bristol, included Berry Hill Band and the children of Berry Hill School. One of the readers was Potter's own son Robert. It seems that as ever Dennis was involved hands on in the making of the programme as evidenced by an intriguing recording held by the Dennis Potter Archive at the Dean Heritage Centre in Soudley, Forest of Dean. Potter's daughter, Jane, recalls how her father purchased a Grundig reel-to-reel tape recorder in 1965. Amongst the fascinating recordings of every day Potter family life, are the raw unedited recordings made in Berry Hill of the school children singing and the band playing/rehearsing for the Christmas radio programme. Whether these are copies of those made for the programme by the production team, or Potter's own recordings is unclear. This, and the other recordings in the collection offer an invaluable insight into the important role of family and community in Potter's life and work - and ever more so in all our minds at this time of year.
A Christmas Forest was repeated the following year on 23rd December.