Religious Education teacher and father-of-five James Walton wins BBC Radio 3 Breakfast Carol Competition 2020

34-year-old James Walton from Preston was voted as the winner of this year's carol competition by the listeners of BBC Radio 3

James Walton

James Walton from Preston has been announced as the winner of the 2020 BBC Radio 3 Breakfast Carol Competition from a shortlist of six composers, who all set the words of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem Christmas Carol. Walton’s brand new Christmas carol was chosen as the winner by the listeners of BBC Radio 3, who have been voting throughout the last week as all six compositions were played across the station.


34-year-old James Walton is a Religious Education teacher at Corpus Christi Catholic High School in Preston, Lancashire in the north of England. The father-of-five comes from a musical family and is a lover of both jazz and classical music.

This year’s Breakfast Carol Competition received more than three times the number of entries than previous years, from over a wide variety of styles and genres. Although the competition began in 2014, this is the first year Radio 3 opened it up to music from other genres.


All six shortlisted Christmas carols – including Walton’s winning entry – are available to listen to on the BBC Radio 3 website.