More so than mince pies and Cava, the true meaning of Christmas could be found wrapped up in Mary, Mel and Sue’s Big Christmas Thank You.
Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins pay a much-deserved visit to Canolfan Pentre – a community centre in the heart of the Rhondda Valley in Wales where young and old come together to play bingo, have tea and meet their schoolfriends.
Find out more about the community centre and its very special party below.
Where is Mary, Mel and Sue’s Big Christmas Thank You filmed?
The BBC and Mary, Mel and Sue pay a visit to Pentre, a small village in South Wales in the middle of the Rhondda Valley.
The community has been through a difficult time. With the local library, butchers, both banks and the local school having recently closed, local resident and community centre volunteer Buffy is understandably concerned. “Over the last few years, we’ve lost so much,” she says in the programme.
Other residents explain that the village has been “run down since the coal mines have gone”, and that there are lots of low income families and high unemployment.
“It used to be a lovely village,” remarks Buffy, who puts in up to 40 hours unpaid voluntary work at the local community centre each week.
Not that she’s alone – 16-year-old Daffyd is the centre’s youngest volunteer, while the centre’s chef Lynn tries her best despite being a self-confessed “awful” cook. To be fair, her charred bacon does leave a lot to be desired…
But their fortunes are turned around when Mary, Mel and Sue (or “the threesome”, as Mary rather hilariously put it) arrive to renovate the centre, cook a glorious festive meal for all of the village residents and throw the biggest party Pentre has ever seen.
“I’m so overwhelmed because nobody ever wants to know,” says Buffy. “So for someone to actually listen to our story and think that these people need a helping hand is amazing.”
Mel and Sue are on absolutely fine form with their irreverence and lightning-fast quips, while Mary Berry (rightly sporting an apron with “the boss” written on the front) is the absolute icing on the cake in this mixture of DIY SOS and Noel’s Christmas Presents that combines to make an ultimate feel-good festive TV treat.
Mary, Mel and Sue’s Big Christmas Thank You airs 24th December at 7pm on BBC1.