Projects: The Roast of Christmas Past

Roasts of Christmas Past explores television's changing relationship with the British Christmas dinner, looking at how TV cooks like Fanny Craddock, Gary Rhodes, Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson have each put their stamp on our annual feast.

How hard is it to give the same old ingredients a new twist every year? Why do so many of us turn to Delia at this special time of year? And why does it have to be turkey?

The documentary looks at the pre-TV history of the meal, the pioneering work of post-war cook Marguerite Patten and the subsequent changes in the style of these shows, which began as lessons and have ended up as entertainment. Do we still follow the recipes - or just envy the lifestyle?

It also examines how TV dramas and comedies have portrayed Christmas dinner, from Coronation Street and Till Death Us Do Part in the 60s through to EastEnders and the Royle Family today. Why is it so often seen as a source of conflict?

Contributors include chefs Rick Stein, Ainsley Harriott and Antony Worrall Thompson, and food experts Prue Leith, Jay Rayner, Stefan Gates and Matthew Fort

Project details

Title:
The Roast of Christmas Past
Project type:
Documentary