Christmas highlights from Channel 4

Jamie Oliver, Mary Portas and ‘The Great British Bake Off’ team are some of the stars of Channel 4’s Christmas programming schedule.

In an hour-long special entitled ‘Jamie’s Quick & Easy Christmas’, the celebrity chef will apply his ‘quick and easy’ cooking principles to the festive season.

The broadcaster said: ‘Each recipe will either be quick to cook or easy to remember, focusing on genius combinations of just five ingredients to create the most fabulous Christmas feast. ‘Jamie’s Quick & Easy Christmas’ is brilliantly simple and delivers utterly delicious results – all of the flavour but none of the fuss. An easy way to an impressive Christmas.’

Commenting on the show, Jamie said: “Christmas is a time of year when everyone cooks – even people who normally don’t. You see it in all the statistics, even in data about food poisoning and knife cuts. Over 12 million people came through my website last Christmas. Whether you’re a good cook or not, everyone’s nervous. You’ve got in-laws coming round or it’s your first time hosting Christmas dinner. There’s a lot of emotion in the air.

“So ‘Quick & Easy Christmas’ is about doing an awesome Christmas with five-ingredient recipes – empowering people to have more confidence, more free time and get a bit more organised. Christmas is the one day of the year when cooks and non-cooks can stand in solidarity.

“We do everything from five-ingredient awesome turkey to veg dishes to a dessert that’s just an incredible celebration of chocolate. You’ll shop less but buy ingredients that give more bang for your buck.”

There will be two Yuletide specials of Bake Off, entitled ‘The Great British Bake Off Christmas’ and ‘The Great Festive Bake Off 2018’. In each episode, four bakers from past Bake Off series will join presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding as they do battle in festive-themed challenges. The show’s judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith will then decide who wins the festive Star Baker title.

Also scheduled is an ‘Extreme Cake Makers Christmas Special’ in which some of the show’s elite cake makers will return to make edible festive creations.

Another one-off special is ‘World’s Most Extraordinary Christmas Dinners’. Channel 4 explains: ‘For some people, Christmas dinner is more than just a meal. This brand new programme looks at some of the lengths people go to make their Christmas days special, from the astronaut who will be in space on the big day, to feeding a submarine crew under the sea. There will also be an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the clever network of suppliers who devise the most extraordinary experience, meals and decorations for their clients including mystical-inspired 15th century feasts, diamond-embellished decorations and rare-breed black chickens.’

Retail consultant will investigate ‘What Britain Bought in 2018’ in a one-off documentary. Channel 4 said: ‘In a year as turbulent as the weather, she reveals our passions, fashions, fads and faux pas from the past 12 months. She’ll go inside a two billion-pound delivery company to find out how we became a takeaway nation, see how the biggest high street fashion names are trying to go ethical, investigate the war against plastics being fought in our coffee shops and find out how vegans went from marginal to mainstream’.

Finally, the ‘Food Unwrapped’ team has produced a Christmas special, featuring facts about traditional Christmas foodie favourites. According to Channel 4, in the show presenter Jimmy Doherty ‘travels to Sri Lanka to find out if there is anything in your yuletide spices which can give you a dose of Christmas cheer. Matt Tebbutt visits mega mince pie factory and asks: what’s the difference between raisins and currants? Dr Helen Lawal investigates whether we should actually be scouring our sprouts and Kate Quilton puts boozy festive foods to the test to see if Jimmy and Matt go over the limit just from eating their Christmas lunch.’

‘Food Unwrapped’ will also kick off 2019 with a ‘New Year Diet Special’ ‘to bring you the hints and hacks for how to beat that post -Christmas bulge’. In the show, ‘Kate hits the surf in Australia to find out if replacing carb and meat classics with popular veg and fruit-based alternatives is a good way to cut the calories. Dr Helen follows nine people who have been on three of the nation’s favourite diets for nine months to uncover the truth about long term dieting. Jimmy examines if the ‘golden hour’ post-work out is a haven in which to eat whatever you like. And Matt goes dry for a month to see if ditching the booze can make him look younger’.


Jamie’s Quick & Easy Christmas

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