1. Which celebrity and professional dancer won last year’s Strictly Come Dancing? For a bonus point, name the original line-up of judges that started the show in 2004.
A: Hamza Yassin and Jowita Przystał
Bonus: Len Goodman, Arlene Phillips, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood
2. The animated film of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman was first shown on TV on Boxing Day in 1982. Which unlikely mega-star recorded an introduction for a later version?
A: David Bowie
3. Which British monarch delivered the first-ever Christmas message? For a bonus point, on which station did it air?
A: King George V
Bonus: BBC’s Empire Service (now the World Service)
4. In the finale to which much-loved comedy did Tim and Dawn finally find love after a Christmas party?
A: The Office
5. The BBC’s Call the Midwife has long been a festive favourite. Which year did its first Christmas special air?
6. In the 2008 Gavin & Stacey Christmas special, what news did Gavin share with his family?
A: A promotion (which means moving to Cardiff)
7. Children’s author Julia Donaldson has had 10 of her bestselling picture books adapted into animated films for Christmas. Which was the first?
A: The Gruffalo
8. The final episode of which comedy aired on Christmas Day 2003 – called ‘Sleepless in Peckham’?
A: Only Fools and Horses
9. The first dedicated Doctor Who Christmas special was broadcast in 2005. Which actor featured as the Doctor?
A: David Tennant
10. In Morecambe and Wise’s famous Singin’ in the Rain routine from Christmas 1976, what was Eric dressed as?
A: A policeman
IT’S A CRACKER!
Q. What’s every elf’s favourite type of music?
Q. Why did the choir cancel its Christmas concert?
A. They all had tinsel-itis
Q. Why has Santa been banned from sooty chimneys?
A. Because of his carbon footprint
1. It’s stollen in Germany and Christmas cake in the UK. But what is the traditional Italian festive bread better known as?
2. How many mince pies are eaten in the UK every year?
A: Nearly 800 million
3. Which Christmas dessert is inspired by a pagan fireplace tradition?
A: Yule log
4. In which direction should you stir mincemeat for luck?
5. Historically, women in England who wanted to find a husband ate what at Christmas for good luck?
A: Gingerbread men
6. Which festive sweet treat is shaped to resemble a shepherd’s staff?
A: A candy cane
7. How many ingredients should a Christmas pudding contain?
A: Thirteen, to represent Jesus and the 12 disciples. Traditionally, these ingredients include: raisins, currants, suet, brown sugar, breadcrumbs, citron, lemon peel, orange peel, flour, mixed spices, eggs, milk and brandy.
8. If you’re having a smaller gathering for Christmas lunch this year, you might serve a turkey crown. But what exactly is it?
A: The breast of the bird still attached to the bone, with the legs and wings removed.
9. Quality Street sweets have been produced in the same Yorkshire town for 87 years. Where is it?
A: Halifax, West Yorkshire
10. Wensleydale is the favourite cheese of which animated dog-owner?
1. How many of Rudolph’s fellow reindeers’ names start with the letter ‘D’?
A: Three – Dancer, Dasher and Donner
2. In which city is the world’s oldest Christmas market located?
A: Dresden in Germany – dating back to 1434
3. What colour suit did Santa wear until Coca-Cola popularised him in red?
4. What tree is most commonly used for Christmas trees in the UK?
A: The Nordmann Fir. According to the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, it makes up for 80% of all cut trees that are sold in the UK.
5. How many points are there on a traditional snowflake?
6. What is the name of the church at Sandringham where the royal family traditionally celebrates Christmas?
A: St Mary Magdalene, Sandringham
7. From which country does the poinsettia plant originate?
8. Male reindeer are called bulls and females cows. What are baby reindeer called?
9. What day of the week does advent commence?
10. The Three Kings brought gold, frankincense and myrrh for baby Jesus – but what is myrrh?
A: A resin extracted from a tree
THE ‘BIG DAY’ MOVIE
1. In Home Alone, where are the McCallisters going on holiday when they leave Kevin behind? For a bonus point, how many Home Alone movies are there?
2. Love Actually follows the lives of eight very different couples. What is the name of the character who sings ‘Christmas is All Around’?
A: Billy Mack
3. Miracle On 34th Street centres on which real-life department store?
4. According to 1946’s Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life, what happens every time a bell rings?
A: An angel gets its wings
5. Chris Van Allsburg’s book The Polar Express was adapted into a festive film led by which Hollywood star?
A: Tom Hanks
1. What spirit is traditionally added to red wine and spices to make a warming festive drink?
2. Eggnog is made of eggs, milk, sugar, rum, nutmeg and what?
3. What festive tipple, invented by Francis Showering, has a fawn mascot?
4. What drink do Swedish children leave out for Santa?
5. In what year did pop group Bucks Fizz win the Eurovision song contest?
A LITERARY CHRISTMAS
1. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, what do the Dursleys give Harry for Christmas?
A: A 50-pence piece
2. Which March sister opens Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women by grumbling ‘Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents’?
3. Which character declares ‘Merry Christmas, one and all!’ in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol?
A: Tiny Tim
4. In which children’s classic is it ‘always winter but never Christmas’?
A: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
5. The Father Christmas Letters was written by which famous fantasy novelist?
A: JRR Tolkien
1. What Christmas-themed ballet premiered in Saint Petersburg in Russia, in 1892?
2. In a memorable coronation with tensions running high, which king was crowned on Christmas Day?
A: William the Conqueror
3. The first ever Christmas card was sent in which decade?
4. For nearly two decades, Christmas was banned in the UK. Why?
A: The ban was put in place by the Puritan government in 1647, as they believed Christmas was used as an excuse for drunkenness, promiscuity, gambling and other forms of excess.
5. Good King Wenceslas was king of which country?
6. Santa Claus is based on which early Christian saint?
A: St Nicholas
1. Repeat plays of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You mean Christmas is round the corner. But what year did it first come out?
2. In ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, what gift was given on the seventh day?
A: Seven swans a swimming
3. Which Christmas hit, originally released in 1984, has been No.1 in the UK charts three times?
A: Do They Know It’s Christmas?
4. Name three festive moments in the first verse of Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song
A: Three of the following:
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos
5. Wham’s Last Christmas features sleigh bells and some truly memorable knitwear. But what did George Michael’s note say in the song?
A: ‘I love you’
1. What is the snowman called in Disney’s Frozen?
A: A, Olaf
2. Which day of the year is Twelfth Night?
A: D, 6th January
3. Finish the carol: ‘Once in Royal…’
A: C, David’s City
4. How many reindeer fly Santa’s sleigh?
A: D, Nine
5. Naughty children are said to find what in their stocking?
A: C, Coal
6. Which fictional train carries children to the North Pole?
A: D, The Polar Express