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PREVIEW: Mary Berry Saves Christmas, BBC One

Mary Berry teaches three hopeless kitchen novices to create surprise festive feasts for those closest to them. Mary’s pupils - Jake, Jess and Claire - all have one thing in common: they have never cooked a meal from scratch in their lives.

Mary teaches Somerset zoo keeper Jake her recipe for butternut squash, stilton and sage tart, so he can attempt to treat his bosses with a surprise feast to thank them for all of their support this year. But he struggles from the off, failing to follow Mary’s instructions and serving up something that even his animals wouldn’t go near.

Customer services rep Jess has spent much of this year living with her parents in Hull and now faces a Christmas without her mum and dad, who are travelling back to her mum’s native Philippines. She is keen to show them how much they mean to her with a big festive send off in the form of Mary’s turkey crown with bacon lattice and Christmas vegetable gratin. But given that the last time Jess tried to heat a ready-made roast she nearly burnt the house down, Mary has got her work cut out.

For years, bra fitter Claire has relied on her husband Tony to do the cooking. Now she is keen to wow him and their friends with her first ever attempt at a homemade desert, Mary’s spectacular mango, passion fruit and limoncello pavlova. Mary makes it look easy, but can Claire follow the recipe to the letter when left to her own devices?

Mary is keen that her novices' feasts go without a hitch, and so she has enlisted three celebrity elves to help them. She brings The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades, comedian Tom Allen and presenter Angela Scanlon together to brief them before sending them out across the UK to each surprise one of the non-cooks and act as their sous chef for the day.

Mary Berry Saves Christmas airs Wednesday 23rd December at 6:30pm on BBC One.

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