The Roasts of Christmas Past

The Roasts of Christmas Past


If we didn’t have TV chefs overloading the schedules every December with their own takes on how to make the perfect Christmas dinner, would we still be so keen to spend hours in the kitchen and more money than is prudent? To prepare a meal that so often ends in stupefaction and/or blazing family rows? And how easy is it for the chefs to come up with something new, and hit that Delia + cranberries = supermarket jackpot?

A feast of clips brings you everyone from Fanny to Nigella, not to mention how Christmas dinners have been portrayed in drama and comedy. I’m ready for my blow-out, Mr De Mille…


A history of the British Christmas dinner, examining how TV cooks including Fanny Cradock, Gary Rhodes, Jamie Oliver, Delia Smith and Nigella Lawson have tackled the big meal through the years. The programme also explores the approach of chefs from the era before televised cookery programmes, including Marguerite Patten, as well as recalling famous fictional portrayals of festive dining in shows such as Coronation Street and The Royle Family. With contributions by Rick Stein, Ainsley Harriott, Antony Worrall-Thompson, Prue Leith, Jay Rayner, Stefan Gates and Matthew Fort.