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BBC Radio 4 hires.. The Pope

Pope Benedict XVI will appear on BBC Radio 4 this Friday at 7.45am to deliver a special Christmas Thought For The Day.

The appearance, which was recorded on Wednesday in Rome, will be the Pope's first material specifically written for a radio or television audience.

Gwyneth Williams, Controller, Radio 4, said: "I'm delighted Pope Benedict is sharing his Christmas message with the Radio 4 audience. It's significant that the Pope has chosen Thought For The Day to give his first personally scripted broadcast – and what better time to do so than on the eve of one of the biggest celebrations on the Christian calendar."

Thought For The Day is broadcast within the Today programme on Radio 4 at 7.45am Monday to Saturday. Those contributing to the programme have included Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Indarjit Singh and Mona Siddiqui.

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