Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Celebrity stockings

We asked some famous names what they're hoping to find in their stockings this year, and to share some of their favourite presents from Christmases past

NIGELLA LAWSON (47), celebrity cook: "When I was really little I had a copy of a book called What Katie Did. I took it out of my stocking at 4am, and I'd finished it by lunch. That was lovely, and it got me into reading. But I think the best present is the anticipation when you wake up on Christmas morning and you see your stocking hanging up. No present later on in life can ever match up to that feeling."

KIMBERLEY WALSH (26), Girls Aloud singer:

"I got a bike when I was little. I really didn't think it was possible to get such an amazing present, especially as there were four of us. I thought I'd be sharing a bike if anything, but we all got one! I was so excited, it was one of those Princess bikes with the basket on the front. I just thought 'YES!"'

RYAN THOMAS (23), Coronation Street actor:

"My best Christmas present was one I got when I was four years old. My Nan and Granddad bought me not one remote control sit-in buggy, but two - so my friend could have one too and we could drive round the garden together. I was a spoilt lad! This year I'll be asking for a ticket to Cinderella, the panto my girlfriend (Tina O'Brien) is appearing in."

NICKY BYRNE (29), Westlife singer:

"I proposed to my wife on Christmas Eve back in 2002 and she said yes. That was the best gift ever. And I got a little Labrador puppy for her too."

PAM FERRIS (59), actress:

"It's very hard to buy presents for each other, but whatever me and my husband get we have a tradition of wrapping it so it doesn't look like what it is. The surprise is the essence, I think, of the present. So if it is a pair of earrings, it might be wrapped in a bottle - but we have to keep our dogs off because they like to shred the parcels!"

VERNON KAY (33), TV presenter:

"The best Christmas present I have ever received was a radio controlled aeroplane - and I only got it about four years ago! It was brill, I made it myself. It took a good couple of months, and I used to spend a lot of time with it."

JERRY SPRINGER (63), TV presenter:

"I'm Jewish so I get Hanukkah presents. We didn't have a tree, but Hanukkah comes around Christmas time, so my sister and I used to get our gifts on Christmas morning. We'd come into the living room and Dad would be sitting by this table where all the gifts were piled up under a sheet, and he would play Santa Claus, looking under the sheet and pulling one out saying, 'This one's for Gerald!'.

"Every year when it was all done and you could see there was nothing else under the sheet, he would turn to my mum and say, 'That's it,' and Mum would say, 'Are you sure?'. Of course there was one more big present which was the surprise!"

JOE McFADDEN (32), actor:

"My best ever present was a new sat nav after my first one was stolen. I left it in my car over night so it's my own daft fault! It's so necessary on a job like Heartbeat because you are constantly driving around Yorkshire - I'd be so lost without it. This year I'd love the new Mac but I can't see anyone buying me it! Maybe I'll buy it for myself."

LEONA LEWIS (22) pop singer:

"This year all I want is to spend time with my family. I'm back and forth a lot, so I do get home at weekends. But it's a bit patchy, and not a routine like I was used to having. The best Christmas present I've ever had was a Christmas number one last year, and also Simon Cowell paid for my family to go on holiday. That was pretty good."

JEAN-CHRISTOPHE NOVELLI (46), chef

"Six years ago I said to my daughter, 'What would you like for Christmas darling?', and she said, 'I would like you to stop smoking'. I said, 'This is the gift you would like?', and she said, 'That would be the most amazing thing you could do for me'. It was the last time I touched a cigarette. I smoked for 25 years, 40 cigarettes a day, and I feel millions of times better for not smoking now. It was the best gift."

CHERYL COLE (24), Girls Aloud singer:

"I once got a full sweet shop. It was a little counter thing with jars of sweets, and I used to pretend I was a shop assistant. I used to say, 'A quarter of what would you like? Let me just get them for you love'. I got one of those Mr Frosty things to make my own Slush Puppies as well, that was brilliant."

JANE ASHER (61), actress:

"My husband (Gerald Scarfe) tends to give me a bit of jewellery for Christmas which I do rather like. He gave me a gold heart last year which I love. After 36 years together, the fact that I still get a heart is really nice."

JOHN THOMSON (38), actor:

"One year when I was a kid I had just read a Rupert the Bear story where there were these painted garden gnomes that were solid gold underneath, so all I wanted was a gnome. And that was all I got - my mum and dad were delighted they had such a cheap Christmas! I've still got gnomes now - ironically though, it's not like I've got a wishing well in the garden, don't worry."

LOUIS WALSH (55), music mogul:

"My best Christmas present was an iPod. I don't have a computer or anything like that. I'm not a 'techie' at all, I don't even know how to turn one on. I have to get somebody else to download all the music! I still have thousands of CDs - and I would love to download them all, just to know they're there."

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