Belfast Telegraph

Christine Bleakley, Patrick Kielty, Gerry Armstrong: All they want for Christmas

By Sara Girvin

Christine Bleakley is hoping to recreate a Christmas reminiscent of home for fiance footballer Frank Lampard and his daughters.

She said: “What makes my day is being able to spoil my parents and get them a nice present.

“I have always had such lovely Christmas memories and I am always trying to recreate that for Frank’s girls as best as I can.”

With Frank set to leave home on Christmas night to prepare for Chelsea’s Boxing Day match, it is thought Christine’s family will travel to London to spend it with her this year.

Meanwhile County Down funnyman PATRICK KIELTY will be bringing his wife Cat Deeley and her family home to Northern Ireland for Christmas.

Paddy and Cat married in a secret Italian wedding last year, and this year will be the first Christmas both families are spending together.

“We will be spending Christmas in Ireland,” he said.

“I have the outlaws, her mum and dad are coming to our place and I’m in charge of the cooking.

“This week I went out and bought a food processor and a hostess trolley in preparation, I’ve no idea what to do with them, but…”

And this year Paddy has a secret weapon up his sleeve when it comes to the Christmas dinner.

“Normally the missus does the cooking,” he said.

“But I’m doing the turkey, the whole thing but basically there’s a little pub at the bottom of the hill — I live in the countryside — it opens at 12 on Christmas Day.

“So I will bring everyone there for a couple of ‘bottles of

lunch’ and I figure then it will be ok.”

Northern Ireland football legend GERRY ARMSTRONG and his wife Debbie are preparing to host the Christmas festivities for their family.

Gerry said: “Some time off work to spend with Debbie and my girls is my perfect Christmas — and I love watching the kids’ faces with excitement as they open their presents.”

“What I always want for Christmas, which is the same every year, is for my family and close friends to be around me,” said Debbie.

“Myself and Gerry love to host Christmas Day and Boxing Day dinner, play a few board games and relax with a few glasses of wine.”

BEAUTY Queen MEAGAN GREEN got her Christmas present early this year when she won the Miss Northern Ireland title.

“This year I got exactly what I’ve wanted since I was young, the opportunity to be Miss Northern Ireland.

“It was always a distant dream but this year it became my reality with every opportunity and experience being amazing,” she said.

The 24-year-old from Lisburn says her Santa list is looking a little sparse this year because there’s nothing she really wants or needs.

“I suppose considering I spend so much time on my fitness, a wise and appropriate gift would be more training clothes and running shoes to add a little more glamour to that side of my wardrobe,” she said.

U105 presenter FRANK MITCHELL says Christmas Day is “the best of the year”.

“I’ll have a massive family Christmas like every year, my mother and the sisters, the husbands, the children, the dogs and the passers-by, all battling for a place at the table,” he said.

As a non meat eater, Frank will be substituting the traditional turkey meal for a grilled salmon with all the trimmings, and loads of ice cream to follow.

When it comes to gifts, Frank says with so many people in his house, presents are “coming at you from all directions”.

“In the end, there are parcels passing through the room like Tommy Bowe laying off a rugby ball,” he said.

CITYBEAT breakfast show host STEPHEN CLEMENTS can’t wait for Christmas Day.

“I am really excited this year as it’s the first one where my daughter Poppy is aware of what’s happening, there is so much excitement in our house,” he said. “I’m not really after anything for me.

“I hope I get some nice new clothes and some nice smelly stuff — I’m at the age now where I love getting all the stuff you hated as a child!”

COOL FM star PETE SNODDEN said that for him, Christmas is all about family.

With his daughter Ivana turning three in February, excitement is at fever pitch in his household.

“Ivana is already looking up the chimney for Santa, she is beside herself so Christmas will be so much fun for us this year,” he said.

“After being so busy on the run up to Christmas, I’ll just really enjoy spending the day with my family and my wife Julia’s family, chilling out and eating lots of food — especially turkey sandwiches on Christmas night which is my absolute favourite.

“In terms of presents, there’s nothing I really need but I’m always a sucker for clothes and I have to admit — I love a good surprise.”

WHILE we have our feet up on Christmas Day, UTV’s GILLIAN PORTER will be hard at work.

“This is the first time I have presented the continuity on Christmas Day in almost 11

years, but I’ll be in good company at work and I’m secretly looking forward to watching the Christmas edition of Downton Abbey in peace and quiet,” she said.

“There are many things I’d like for Christmas, but the truth is I need nothing, so I’ll be happy with whatever I get.”

Gillian will enjoy Christmas dinner with her family before starting work on our screens at 5pm.

“I admit to leaving a lot of the preparation to my husband,” she said. “He’s a wonderful cook. We’re not being traditional this year — we’re having roast beef instead of turkey as it’s everyone’s favourite in our house.”

IT will be a Christmas of mixed emotions for West End actress RACHEL TUCKER this year.

The star of hit musical Wicked said: “This will be a very special Christmas for me as it’s my son Benjamin’s first Christmas but it is bitter sweet as it is also my first Christmas without my Mum who sadly passed away earlier in the year.

“My one big Christmas wish is to have a big family Christmas surrounded by all my loved ones.”

CELEBRITY chef NIALL MCKENNA is looking forward to a few days away from his James Street Restaurant after the madness of Christmas is over.

“The hospitality industry really feels the build up to Christmas, so it will be really nice to close up for a couple of days and have relaxed celebrations with friends and family,” he said.

“With two young children it is hard not to feel the excitement so I expect I will be awake very early on Christmas morning.

“This year top of the list has to be some box sets as I’ve missed a lot of the new American dramas like Newsroom and Homeland, I’m not really a hard person to buy for.”

MODEL and presenter KATIE LARMOUR isn’t expecting a gift on Christmas Day as she’s just returned from a trip to Thailand — an early festive treat from new fiance Harry Diamond.

Since she’s returned home Katie has been busy organising gifts for others, even investing in cat cams for her pets. “I had seen a BBC documentary about a village where they monitored the behaviour of 50 cats and found it fascinating,” she said.

“Although mine never seem to leave the house so it may be a disappointment.”

Luckily, Katie doesn’t need to go Christmas shopping for her loved ones this year.

She runs two gift shops at her partner’s family hotels at Marine Court Hotel in Bangor and Belfast’s Dukes at Queen’s hotel — so she plans to select their presents from there.

TV presenter and panto star ZOE SALMON stepped out onto the stage at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking as iconic fairytale princess Cinderella earlier this month.

But unfortunately for Zoe, a home bird at heart, playing the role of Cinderella means she won’t be home for Christmas.

She revealed: “This is the first Christmas that I won’t be at home in Bangor with my family.

“As sad as I feel about not being at home for Christmas, Cinderella is probably the best reason to be missing Christmas at home for.

“I’ll be spending Christmas Day in Surrey with my friends from the cast and company and I’m looking forward to it.”

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