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The Christmas edition of the popular television series "Heartbeat" will be transmitted on ITV on Boxing Day (26th December 2004).

Alan Price, in his first on-screen acting role since the movie Alfie Darling in 1975, plays Frankie Rio (of The Rio Trio!) leader of a 'never quite made it' blues group scratching a living around the northern clubs and pubs. They happen to 'hit town' during the festive season in this special episode entitled, "In The Bleak Midwinter."

The Rio Trio are doing a midnight flit from a hotel, bungling all their instruments into the back of their van. In the early hours of the morning Vernon takes a phone call: Frankie is coming to stay. En route the trio pick up more than they bargained for, local girl Rachel Godwin, who is hitching her way back to Aidensfield from London.

The trio pulls over so Rachel can make a phone call home to check if she is welcome, but they drive off without her. And they discover that they have driven off with more than just Rachel's bag.

Usually, the music of the late 50s/early 60s heard in "Heartbeat" comprises hit records of the era that are heard in the background, 'setting the mood' of the period in which the series is set.

In this edition, the music will be 'live' and Alan's character, Frankie Rio, will perform three legendary Alan Price songs, House Of The Rising Sun, I Put A Spell On You and Changes, which were re-recorded in early October 2004 especially for this show.

Click on the thumbnails above for full size photos and captions.

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