The nation’s top 25 festive dilemmas revealed

Celebrity Advice Bureau

16 December 2016

  • New study reveals uniquely British festive headaches - and it's not just about alcohol
  • Turkey troubles, flat batteries, re-gifting and tasteless neighbours are all likely to burst the seasonal bubble
  • Peace on earth and goodwill to all men and women ... just so long as they don't drink all the best booze
  • Magic of Christmas still triumphs despite festive stresses and strains
  • Research commissioned to mark the launch of Celebrity Advice Bureau on UKTV's entertainment channel W

It may be the most wonderful time of year, but Christmas is not without its own unique stresses and strains according to 87% of British adults who took part in a new study which reveals the top 25 uniquely British dilemmas and quirky irritations most likely to be faced over the festive period.

From cooking Christmas dinner to unwanted presents and arguments over the Queen's speech, the study suggests that the festive season is a tinsel-topped minefield, albeit one with lots of fun and games and food and drink in-between.

The survey of 2,000 British adults was commissioned to mark the launch of Celebrity Advice Bureau on UKTV's entertainment channel W which premieres on Monday 19th December, 9pm. The new series sees a cast of celebrities attempt to solve every-day to downright bizarre dilemmas. The study results identify the most common festive problems with advice from comedian Ellie Taylor, one of the 'agony aunts' on the show on how to avoid the festive fall-out. The study found that over half of Brits (52%) struggle with turkey-based troubles such as repetitive leftover turkey meals or finding the bird doesn't fit in the oven, followed by a third (34%) getting stuck without the batteries essential for starting up kids' toys and 29% having to fake joy when being given bad presents.

The top 25 'Christmas pickles' - the seasonal irritations that most cause distress were identified as:

Turkey on repeat - there are only so many 'leftover buffets' that one person can handle, or having cooking challenges like finding the bird doesn't fit in the oven (52%)
Flat Batteries - Forgetting to buy batteries or running out of batteries for the kids' toys, when all the shops are closed (34%)
Fake joy - at being given bad presents when you bought them something really nice (29%)
Storage - trying to fit everything into the fridge when your Christmas food order arrives (29%)
New Year's Eve plans - working out something to do on New Year's Eve (28%)
Boxing Day bargains - Seeing that really expensive present you bought is now half price (28%)
Re-gifting - Receiving an obvious 're-gift' - spotting you've been re-gifted a present that someone was obviously given the previous year (25%)
Christmas tree envy - Getting the needle because a neighbour's Christmas tree is bigger, shapelier and better decorated (25%)
Wi-Fi issues - Wi-Fi problems away from home - Staying with parents/friends/ in laws who have slow Wi-Fi or no Wi-Fi at all (22%)
Recycling - the post Xmas recycling headache - Sorting out all the recycling into the proper bins on Boxing Day (21%)
Dress code - What to wear? A Christmas jumper or the shirt that's just been bought? (15%)
Forgetting a present - Trying to squeeze in last-minute Christmas shopping without anyone noticing you've left it so late (14%)
Boring parties - Staying at a really boring Christmas party because it would be impolite to leave (14%)
Losing the TV remote control amidst all the festive debris - just as the big Christmas special is about to begin (12%)
Tasteless neighbours' seasonal displays - getting irked by the neighbours' ostentatious exterior decorations (12%)
The Christmas film debate - arguing about which film to watch on Christmas Day. (12%)
Booze hoovers - watching various festive visitors (aka neighbours and in-laws) scoff the most expensive booze, leaving the stuff they bought (12%)
Trashing the presents - throwing out a present amongst the trash by mistake (10%)
The age cut-off for gift-giving - the dilemma over when to stop giving presents to extended family members - age 16, 18 or 21? (10%)
Kids questions - The No-Chimney Conundrum - explaining to the kids how Santa delivers the presents when there's no chimney (or when the fire is lit if there is one) (9%)
Seating plans - The Christmas meal seating plan. Right, who's sitting next to grandma? (8%)
The Queen's Speech debate - Debating when - and whether - to watch the Queen's annual broadcast to the nation. Must one watch it live? (7%)
Mistletoe - enforced kissing - awkward... (7%)
Designated driver arguments - who is going to stay sober? (5%)

Comedian Ellie Taylor, who stars as a panellist on new series Celebrity Advice Bureau, says:

For many people, Christmas is indeed the most wonderful time of year. But the festive period can also bring its own unique stresses and strains. But don't despair: there are solutions to many - if not all - of these issues.

Why not postpone the big family get together by a few days and save cash by buying the majority of your gifts in the sales - who doesn't love receiving polyester 'Santa Stop Here' socks on December 28th? Also, remember you can always re-gift rubbish presents to any rubbish people plus the most important tip of all, avoid wasting your best booze on uninvited guests by serving exotic holiday liqueurs that have been languishing in the back of the cupboard - nothing gets a party started like some 110% proof Ouzo from Kavos circa 2002.

Celebrity Advice Bureau airs Monday 19th December-Wednesday 21st December at 9pm on W

What to do with unwanted Christmas gifts

For more information, please contact - Gem Pinkney, Publicist

About W

Sky 109/245, Virgin 124/191, BT & TalkTalk 407   On demand on Sky and Virgin   W is UKTV's premium entertainment channel, offering audiences a dazzling mix of original factual entertainment formats - ON, Get Me To The Church, Honey I Bought the House - alongside the gold standard of shows from the US including Code Black, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, CSI:NY, and Grimm plus jewels from the very best of the BBC and Channel 4. 

About UKTV

UKTV is the biggest multichannel broadcaster in the UK.

The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, W, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for 9.31% of the British commercial TV market. The company's most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £319m and EBITDA of £82m. It invested £148m in programming and related launches last year, and is becoming an increasingly significant investor in UK creativity.

UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC, alongside programmes originally shown on ITV and Channel 4. The network embraces technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat, Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories.

Now celebrating its 23rd year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) - is proud to be the only British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list. / / @uktv_press