Kirstie's Crafty Christmas, Channel 4 - TV review
Sorry to spoil the party, but Kirstie's festive offering was a bit of a turkey
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Tuesday 17 December 2013
Christmas is about big-impact crafts that can be done in no time," announced Kirstie Allsopp at the beginning of Kirstie's Crafty Christmas. Is it? I thought it was a pagan light festival with a bit of Jesus thrown in, but you learn something new every day.
This is the fifth year of the Location Location Location host's annual foray into Christmas crafting and she hasn't run out of ideas yet. Our evening included mince pie flavoured popcorn (yum), glittery baubles, pom-poms and party hats, while the how-to instructions ranged in difficulty from pitifully simple to risibly complex.
At my school we did tie-dye all the time (benefits of an Eighties education), so I was left unmoved by Kirstie's attempts to revolutionise my world with tie-dyed underwear as a homemade gift. Then there was a neon Star of Bethlehem made under the instruction of "King of Neon" Chris Bracey. "In your face, Blue Peter!" I thought. "Now, finally, TV is going to teach me how to make something cool!" Of course, we learnt nothing of the kind. Kirstie delegated all the neon technicalities to Chris and the glass-blowing to some bloke called Bill. She wasn't even in the room!
Even when Kirstie wasn't cheating, two questions wafted through the air like the festive aroma of pine: Can anyone actually be bothered with all this? Wouldn't it be easier to just buy it from the shop? Those who could be bothered, were invited for a sparsely attended cocktail party round Kirstie's (read: a TV studio), where her craftiness was on show. They sampled the West Country Christmas cocktail, bathed in the glow of the neon star and talked the awkward small talk of people being filmed for a Channel 4 lifestyle special.
Ultimately, your enjoyment of Kirstie's Crafty Christmas depended not on the quality of the craft ideas (which, let's be honest, no one will ever attempt at home in a million years) but the strength of your feelings for Allsopp. Some will have felt suitably titillated when Kirstie held up her newly tie-dyed knickers and said "Matching socks and pants, now that's something to strive for, isn't it?" Others will have reached for the remote control.
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