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Christmas with the Stars

Here, a few well-known names from our county reveal what they are most looking forward to about Christmas in Surrey.

Phil Tufnell, TV Presenter and Cricketer, and Ambassador for the Tadworth-based Children’s Trust

“Surrey is a wonderful place to celebrate Christmas. Once you see all the lights going up, the fires burning in the local pubs and festive displays appearing in shops, you know it is going to be a special month. Christmas is a great time to do some socialising before another busy year so I make sure to enjoy these delights with my wife, Dawn, and our family and friends who are all passionate about supporting our local businesses. Particular favourites of mine are the Spaghetti Tree in Walton-on-the-Hill, The Kingswood Arms and Ciao Italia in Banstead, as well as the shops and bars in Reigate. Before the break is over, I will be visiting The Children’s Trust in Tadworth, a charity for which I am an ambassador. I like to pop in around Christmas time to wish the kids and their families a Merry Christmas, as well as attending their Christmas Fair on the last weekend of November.”

Jenny Seagrove, Actress, and Founder of the Mane Chance horse sanctuary in Surrey

“Here at Mane Chance, it’s been a hugely exciting year for us, with lots of wonderful new developments, such as our beautiful wildlife pond. We have all been very busy and even though it’s Christmas, there is no rest for the wicked – I’m starring in The Exorcist at the Phoenix Theatre in London – but I know I won’t be able to resist popping over to the sanctuary whenever I can. There’s a very special festive atmosphere here at Christmas time, with the frosty fields and the horses wrapped up in their rugs, and there’s nothing I like more than standing quietly with them as they munch on their sweet- smelling hay. We will all be preparing for our annual Christmas events – our lunch on Wednesday 6 December at Guildford’s Mandolay Hotel and our Carols at the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Godalming on Sunday 10 December. Of course, our Shetlands will be making their usual appearance at the carols – they are the stars of the show!”

Nick Wallis, Presenter on The One Show and Correspondent for ITN

“The One Show, ITN and my other television commitments seem to mean a life working at breakneck speed. I love every moment, but Christmas is the perfect excuse to down tools, switch off the phone (or at least, not run its battery down by lunchtime) and enjoy being with my family. The build-up to Christmas sees the Walton Festival of Light, the school Christmas bazaar (which I MC as a sort of bad Santa), the school nativity plays and the rounds of Christmas drinks at ours or our neighbours. We spend the morning of Christmas Day watching the kids open their presents, then it’s off to Weybridge to have Christmas lunch at my in-laws. My parents live out in the country, so on Boxing Day we drive down to Hampshire to eat some more, drink some more and then try to walk it all off.”

Nicholas Owen, BBC TV News and Classic FM Presenter, and Ambassador for the Tadworth-based Children’s Trust

“Living in Reigate, one of my favourite things about spending Christmas at home is having all that wonderful countryside around us. There really is nothing better than a walk with the family in the enchanting Banstead Woods – the area where I grew up – or locally on Reigate Heath. And, of course, on the heath, we also have the wonderful Skimmington Castle pub – perfect for a post-walk mulled wine or a bite to eat. I’m also looking forward to hosting the annual carol concert of the Tadworth-based Children’s Trust on Monday 11 December. The evening will feature glorious classical Christmas music, candlelight, readings and carols at Holy Trinity in Sloane Square. Back in Reigate, this year we have all the family coming to us, so it will no doubt be chaos in the Owen household – but we wouldn’t have it any other way!”

Phil Tufnell - image © The Children's TrustJenny Seagrove - image © Kate LloydNick Wallis - image © Jenny SmithNicholas Owen - image © Andy Newbold