One of Mel Giedroyc’s favourite Christmas rituals is a game of guess the punchline. “Everyone around the table has to read out their cracker joke and I get massively annoyed if someone gets there before me,” says the Bake Off host. “I’m very competitive about puns.”
Her pun partner is, of course, Sue Perkins. Although the pair are taking a break from cooking up baking jokes – after quitting Bake Off – they remain in each other’s pockets off screen. “Sue is always phenomenally generous with her Christmas presents, but late,” says Mel. “I’m 48 and I’m still waiting for my 40th birthday present.”
Always rigorous about her festive rituals, Mel begins, of course, by making a Christmas cake: “It’s a Mary Berry recipe drowning in booze.” Then on Christmas Day it’s turkey cooked the Nigella way (soaked for 48 hours in a brine bath) followed by a call to Sue – and a lot of telly. But not Bake Off. “I watch that later on my own, wincing at how posh I sound.”
The Great Christmas Bake Off airs on Christmas Day at 4.45pm and Boxing Day at 7pm, both on BBC1
Mel and Sue’s Christmas Crackers
Q: Who hides in the bakery at Christmas?
A: A mince spy.
Q: What carol is heard in the desert?
A: O camel yet faithful!
Q: Why did Harry Styles fail at being Santa?
A: Because he can only use the chimney in One Direction.
Q: What do you call a penguin in the Sahara desert?
Q: What’s the most festive illness you can get?