Daily Express

Allsopps of festive ideas

- Mike Ward

OH, thank the Lord. I was starting to think she’d left us in the lurch this year, abandoning us to a festive season of unspeakabl­e bleakness. But no, fear not, she’s back! Kirstie Allsopp, that is, with 2019’s series of KIRSTIE’S HANDMADE CHRISTMAS (C4, 7pm).

Between now and Friday December 13, Kirstie will once again be putting her day job on hold (the one where she finds househunte­rs the best-value home for their budget, then gets irritated when the picky blighters point out it’s next to the abattoir) so she can inspire us instead with an assortment of Yuletide-themed crafting ideas.

Each weekday teatime for the next three weeks (yes, we’re talking 15 hour-long episodes, thank goodness we can all spare the time), she’ll be joined by four different talented crafters with a particular speciality, competing for the honour of being told they’re a bit better at making whatever it is they’ve been making than the other three people in the room that afternoon.

First up, it’s Christmas trees. Not actually making them, obviously, but adorning them according to one’s unique creative vision.

Which crafter will impress the most? Will it be Rosie, with her oceanic theme?

Or Owen, with his “memory tree”? Or Jenny, whose theme I’ve already forgotten?

Or “festive forager” Lauren, decorating hers with things she’s found in the forest and thus excitedly “bringing the outside in” (not unlike my cat does). There to choose the winner is a man called Francis Sultana (oh, behave), a respected interior designer. Kirstie says he’s been “lumbered” with an “impossible task”.

Also tonight, in episode two of SAVE WELL, SPEND BETTER

(C4, 8.30pm), the cash-strapped couples needing urgent financial guidance include best pals Phoebe and Eric, whose indulgence­s have left them drowning in debt.

In particular, each seems to suffer from a severe case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Flicking through Instagram, Facebook and suchlike, they’re forever seeing friends showing off about their fancy holidays etc – and so they’ve been taking out payday loans, at crippling interest rates, so they can do likewise and not feel excluded.

The expert team does come up with some sensible budgeting suggestion­s to help free Phoebe and Eric from their self-destructiv­e cycle.

Surprising­ly, no one points out they should: (a) Delete those stupid apps, and (b) find alternativ­e friends.

Before that, tonight’s FOOD UNWRAPPED compilatio­n

(C4, 8pm) reminds us of when Matt Tebbutt walked on custard.

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