Russell and Kerry Howard on their family Christmas traditions

The famous siblings talk toys, tantrums and teaming up for a Gert Lush Christmas

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Russell: When we were younger Kerry and Daniel [Kerry’s twin brother] used to love dressing up and putting on plays. I was always behind the camera. They were natural show-offs, I was definitely the shy one. I would try to pull Daniel away to play football with me and we’d trick Kezza into going in goal. She was terrible but we enjoyed taking shots at her!

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Now I’ve pulled Kerry away to play with me in my first sitcom! I actually didn’t realise how talented she was until now. It’s amazing but also kind of terrifying – I thought I was the talented one in the family! It was bizarre realising, “God, my little sister is a lot better than me.”

We’re an incredibly close family and meet up for a pub lunch most Sundays and always go home for Christmas. It wouldn’t be Christmas if we didn’t spend it together, really.

The thing I genuinely love most is that I can get people really sweet presents. I absolutely love it! Although my family think I’m terrible because I kind of go overboard. The best present I’ve bought Kerry was probably a car. That year she got me a clock. It was this awful, weird, rusty, fat, gigantic clock, that I was never going to put in my house. Mum’s got it now, so everyone’s happy.

I’ve never been that fussed about presents really, although there was one year when I really wanted Nike Airs and I got some Hi-Tecs. I cried. It was pathetic and I’m embarrassed about it now but I knew I’d get bullied about them at school. We didn’t have much money growing up and free dress day at school was the scariest day of my year. All the cool kids wore amazing clothes and I dreaded it.

One year mum got me eight spoons. I’d just moved out and they were lovely teaspoons. But spoons nonetheless.


Kerry: Russell is two years older than me and my twin brother Dan, but they were really the twins while we were growing up. They loved playing football together. I was reluctantly in goal. They called me Bruce Grobbelaar. For years I thought I was a great goalie because I always stopped the ball. It was only recently that they revealed, they were actually aiming for my head. We spent a lot of our childhood playing outside and loved every time it snowed!

We all go back to our mum and dad’s in Bath for Christmas. We wake up at eight and Christmas is over by eight thirty when all the presents have been opened. Russell is quite competitive when it comes to present giving. He can obviously afford to be outrageously generous, so he wins every year!

A few years ago I bought him a nice big black iron wall clock for his new flat. He bought me a Ford Fiesta. It was so embarrassing. He just laughed and said, “I’ve won!”. He never even put it up. My mum’s got it in her hallway.

He wasn’t always as good-natured about it all though. I remember when he was 14 he really wanted a pair of Nike Air Jordans. Unfortunately my parents weren’t that flush, so he got a pair of Hi-Tecs. He was so upset he cried all day. I got a CD player that year – I had done well, so found it all very funny. But looking back now, I feel so sorry for him. Your trainers define you at that age!

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A Gert Lush Christmas is on Boxing Day at 9pm on BBC2