“It’s an extremely well written, beautifully played, Yorkshire tourist board-approved people pleaser”

All Creatures Great and Small

All Creatures Great and Small, Channel 5

“The Christmas episode of All Creatures Great and Small was television sunshine. Yes, it relied on overused festive staples: the birth of a baby boy, the conversion of a Christmas grinch and someone almost missing Christmas but making it in time. It was a heartwarming effort, nonetheless.”
Carol Midgley, The Times

“All Creatures can claim to be the most diligently nostalgic show on TV. Even more than Call The Midwife, it takes pains to recreate the atmosphere as well as the details of its era. Not only the clothes and the cars but the dishes, the decor, the lighting and the precisely layered social strata evoke the 1930s.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“It’s an extremely well written, beautifully played, Yorkshire tourist board-approved people pleaser. But please it does. At Christmas, what’s wrong with that?”
Benji Wilson, Telegraph

““How much alcohol is in that glass?” croaks my husband, as we watch Nigella assemble her first, but by no means last, cocktail of the show. I am too busy googling “hire Xmas barge” to answer. This year, in a break with her tradition of spending Christmas walking round and cooking things in gorgeous twinkly London, Nigella Lawson is walking round and cooking things in gorgeous twinkly Amsterdam. And through the Nigella lens, Amsterdam’s streets and canals really are gorgeous. The shops are gorgeous, and the people who serve in the shops are gorgeous. Several minutes are given over to an attractive man rhapsodising about the creaminess of his cheese.”
Marianne Levy, The i

“It is best not to ask questions about Nigella’s Amsterdam Christmas. Do not ask why Nigella has gone to the Netherlands for her festive feast. Why is she hosting a Dutch Christmas party? Hush now, a finger on the lips. Why is she cooking on a boat? It is a boat so gorgeous that TV’s last lovely houseboat, the one in Copenhagen from season two of The Bear, must be jealous of its fixtures and fittings. Does she have a lot of Dutch friends? Why is she visiting their home city and then throwing them a party? Shhh, don’t worry about it. Just settle in – sink in, might be even better – and enjoy the velvety loveliness.”
Rebecca Nicholson, The Guardian

“Watching and learning is not really the point of a Nigella Christmas. It’s more like a shop window to wander by, and it’s raised to fantastical heights by Nigella’s magniloquence. You don’t knead, you “squodge” sticky mixtures. You spread melted butter onto puff pastry with ‘“a bit of dawbing” (with an extended A-sound in dawb that would flatter King Charles). Dessicated coconut is known as “desecrated coconut” in the Lawson home, don’t you know, and so will now be known as such in all of our homes. It all feels off the cuff (one late peroration on liquorice powder is a masterpiece of wiffle-waffle that entrances with its magnificent irrelevance) and, more importantly, it is inimitably Nigella. In an age of too many cooks, long may she reign.”
Benji Wilson, Telegraph

“Props and costumes combined in a gloriously silly double act, as Ghosts star Kiell Smith-Bynoe presented The Great British Sewing Bee: Celebrity Christmas Special. Judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young set sewing challenges including Santa stockings hemmed with bells, and a transformation task that involved turning puffer jackets into giant sprouts and carrots. The overall standard was perhaps the lowest ever seen on the Bee but singer Toyah Wilcox was furiously competitive, so much so that she brought along a photo of herself in her heyday wearing one of Esme’s Swanky Modes outfits on stage.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“Inverting the programme’s usual skill-to-charm ratio, I found Sewing Bee’s Christmas special to be infinitely more watchable than the normal series – still a bit wet, but altogether less earnest and more giggly. Master sewer viewers might sneer at the celebs’ skills, but amateurs will find their sub-par stitching much more relatable – I know I did. In Smith-Bynoe, Sewing Bee has landed on fresh blood that it desperately needs. They’ve pinned their hopes on him – but we’ll need a few more episodes to see if he can bring Christmas cheer all year round.”
Emily Watkins, The i

A Very Brassic Christmas, Sky Max

“The chaotic heist – which includes a surprisingly good impromptu rap – is the sort of caper this gifted ensemble could do in their sleep. But [Joe] Gilgun and [Danny] Brocklehurst clearly appreciate that the real steal was getting [Imelda] Staunton on board. There is a cheeky wink to her current big Netflix gig as she berates Vinnie’s naff attempts to kit out the three wise men: “That’s not a crown, it’s a plastic tiara!” She should know.”
Graeme Virtue, The Guardian