Wednesday, December 24, 2008

And Now A Holiday Message From Our Sponsors

AFP - Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will deliver an alternative Christmas message on British television to rival Queen Elizabeth II's annual address, broadcaster Channel Four said Wednesday.

Ahmadinejad will give a brief speech which will go out on 1915 GMT on Christmas Day.

A Channel Four spokesman said the message is a spiritual one and includes Ahmadinejad's wishes for seasonal goodwill.

Channel Four has invited a figure in the news to deliver an alternative Christmas message to the queen's annual broadcast every year since 1993 but Ahmadinejad is the most high-profile guest yet.

The channel's head of news and current affairs Dorothy Byrne said: "As the leader of one of the most powerful states in the Middle East, President Ahmadinejad's views are enormously influential.

"As we approach a critical time in international relations, we are offering our viewers an insight into an alternative world view."