Board games and watching the film Elf in an elf hat are just some of the traditions enjoyed by celebrities on Christmas Day.
Laura Whitmore, Chris Tarrant, Rylan Clark-Neal and more share what their ideal Christmas Day looks like:
Laura Whitmore, TV presenter
“I would say it’s family and home. My mother is the youngest of 13 children, so I normally go back to Ireland and spend Christmas Day with my aunties, uncles, cousins and my godchildren.
“We don’t even really watch TV; we play a lot of board games. It used to be board games like Scrabble and Monopoly, but now every year it’s a new game like Pie Face.
“I’m like, ‘What’s happened to Scrabble?!’ There’s also lots of food. We have turkey, but it’s all about the roast potatoes – I know that’s such a cliche for an Irish person to say, but I live for the roast potatoes on Christmas Day, they’re so crispy.”
Chris Tarrant, broadcaster
“My ideal Christmas involves great big log fires, a huge turkey and my whole army of kids and grandkids all in one house, in the country in the middle of nowhere.”
Sally Lindsay, actress
“While [my kids] still like to cuddle me I’m going to have a nice Christmas at home, and then we’ll go up to Manchester for a week like we always do. We always watch A Christmas Carol, any version but usually the Muppet one on Christmas Eve; and we have an elf day as well where we watch Elf in elf hats. The boys dress up and [my husband] Steve [White] – a really cool rock star – has got an elf jumper with a hat that he puts on. It’s all going on!”
David Suchet, actor
“I’ll be going to my son Robert’s family in Bath, where there will be enough of us to have a jolly good Christmas. My ideal Christmas Day looks like a Christmas card with snow on the ground and Christmas trees and lights – but in reality, with climate change, it hardly ever snows!
“Christmases are very different from how they were when I was growing up; there’s a huge pressure on how grand the presents are now, so it’s lost such a lot. I thank God that I do have family to share the wonderful feast of Christmas and to remember the joy in its original meaning, rather than just a time for materialistic pleasure.”
Chris Kamara, former footballer and TV presenter
“My normal Christmas Day is, wake up, go and look after the animals when I’m at home, come back in, and then I’ll go over to the local pub and have a couple of beers over there. Then before lunch meet a few people who come to wish me happy birthday and Merry Christmas at the same time, then we’ll sit down for a family lunch, followed by a snooze around about 4pm. From 6pm we have an open house and we all play a few games.”
Rylan Clark-Neal, TV presenter
“My ideal Christmas Day looks like pyjamas, presents, food, maybe the odd row and a load of games – karaoke and the one where you put the thing on your head and people have to guess who you are! [I am normally the cook in my house], when it comes down to Christmas. I do like to do it, but I don’t actually know what we’re doing this Christmas; I don’t know if it’s at home or the in-laws’ or my mum’s or my brother’s, but I’m sure I’ll be roasting something.”
Scarlett Moffatt, TV presenter
“It’s all about family. There’s 18 of us, we all go to my nanny’s where the kids are sat on the floor, we’re sat on all odd chairs, and there’s not enough room. Your mashed potato is cold, your pudding is red hot, the gravy is lukewarm, none of it is that nice, but it’s just so fun. We play bingo and my nanny makes quizzes which are normally about the 1960s, so if you don’t watch Carry On films, you can’t really answer any of the questions. We sit and drink Baileys by the pint, and then normally, towards the end of the night, my nanny and pappy start playing Irish music and we do a bit of Irish dancing.”
Anton Du Beke, professional dancer
“It’s all about waking up – now we’ve got the babies of course – with the babies, presents, and just joy and excitement at Christmas. I love Christmas, and just doing a really traditional Christmas, downstairs, breakfast, presents, Christmas turkey, the movies… Oh lovely. Christmas Eve, putting the presents out, I love all of that. And I hope it snows on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, then it clears up. I don’t want lingering snow!”
Jane McDonald, singer and broadcaster
“My ideal Christmas Day is waking up without an alarm clock or a hangover, listening to the bells from the church nearby, with Ed by my side, at home in my own bed. I would also love it to snow. Then it’s time to get ready to celebrate with loved ones and eat delicious food all day long. I especially love the evening when we have turkey sandwiches, pork pie and pickled onions, watching a Christmas movie.”
Shirlie Kemp, singer; Martin Kemp, singer and actor
Shirlie: “Martin and I always wake up early. I will prep all the vegetables and Martin makes breakfast; we always have a glass of champagne and that’s where it starts going wrong, because I’m not a big drinker! We’re just like most normal families, Christmas presents normally in the morning, but the thing is with Harley and Roman, they don’t wake up early, so we’re knocking on the door by 11am singing Christmas songs to them!”
Martin: “It’s just the same as everyone else, then we watch a movie and maybe get the karaoke out.”
Shirlie: “That’s our tradition once a year. We never know where it is, but we find the mic and it’s kind of like most people’s Christmas: quiet and family.”