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Festive fun Irish celebs share their favourite Christmas childhood memories


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Broadcaster: Miriam O’Callaghan

Broadcaster: Miriam O’Callaghan

Broadcaster: Miriam O’Callaghan

Baz Ashmawy, Cathy Kelly, Ken Doherty, Miriam O'Callaghan and more Irish stars take a festive trip down memory lane - and recall the one Christmas gift they'll cherish forever.


Presenter Baz Ashmawy

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Mum Nancy made Baz’s wish come true

Mum Nancy made Baz’s wish come true

Mum Nancy made Baz’s wish come true


"Nancy used to work a lot of Christmases when I was small, so we used to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve - but Santa was always very good to me. I remember the year I went downstairs and found this gigantic Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. I loved it so much; I still do actually. We recently found it in my mother's house."


Chef Derry Clarke

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Derry Clarke

Derry Clarke

Derry Clarke

"I love my bike, and it has been great for my headspace during this lockdown. Every time I go out for a cycle I think of my bright red and shiny Raleigh racing bike I got for Christmas when I was 12 years old. And, y'know, it always makes me smile."


Broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan

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Miriam O’Callaghan

Miriam O’Callaghan

Miriam O’Callaghan

"My favourite Christmas present of all time was my Tiny Tears doll plus a gorgeous pram to put her in.

"She actually cried tears which, for me, was the most exciting part of the whole thing. I loved pretending to me a mum - maybe it's no wonder that I went on to have so many children!"


Presenter Alan Hughes

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Alan Hughes

Alan Hughes

Alan Hughes

"I think I was seven when Santy brought me a giant wooden rocking horse with real hair. It was massive. Houses in Ballyfermot in the 80s were not big anyway, but when I got that, it took over the house. I was 12 years younger than the next eldest so it was all for me - no sharing. I don't think I asked for it, which probably made it more special. I remember dressing up like a cowboy and pretending it was real."

Snooker star Ken Doherty

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Ken Doherty

Ken Doherty

Ken Doherty

"As a child, I loved being allowed stay up late to watch Pot Black on TV every week. When I was eight, I asked Santa for a small snooker table, and on Christmas morning, there it was at the end of my bunk bed. From that morning on, I was completely hooked on the game. Forty-odd years later, it's still giving me enjoyment."


Model Holly Carpenter

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Holly Carpenter

Holly Carpenter

Holly Carpenter

"I got a karaoke machine when I was around 10 years old and it was the best gift ever. Santa only left me karaoke CDs under the tree, so I was really disappointed, but when I walked into the kitchen the karaoke machine was there hidden under a big sheet. I burst into tears and sang the same two Kylie Minogue songs on repeat for months."

Presenter Daithí Ó Sé

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Daithí Ó Sé

Daithí Ó Sé

Daithí Ó Sé

"My all-time favourite Christmas present was a BMX from Santy. I think I was around 10 at the time, and I remember just being in total shock that morning. I had the wheels worn out quickly though because I used it so much. I ended up cycling it around with no air in the tyres for a while. But I didn't care. I crashed it loads too. It was a great servant to my youth."

Dustin the Turkey

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Dustin the Turkey

Dustin the Turkey

Dustin the Turkey


”Both the Seoige sisters were fighting over me one year. I told them there was enough of me to go round. It was great to have the two of them over on Christmas day ‘cos sometimes Grainne has wind issues, so you just make do with Seoige Lite (or Sile, as she’s known). Seriously though, my best Christmas present is St Stephen’s Day!”

Author Cathy Kelly

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Cathy Kelly

Cathy Kelly

Cathy Kelly


"I was four and Santa brought a giant cuddly panda that was bigger than myself. I called him Panda - even then, I had a way with words - and as I am five foot now, I was teeny when I was four, so when I hauled him into bed, he took up most of it and all the covers, but I loved that."


Author Emma Donoghue

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Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue

"It is all about shopping locally here in Canada, just as it is back home. We've been hit by Covid, of course, so we all be spending loads more time outdoors, but it's a beautiful country. I'm worried about local shops closing so I'm going to buy vouchers to keep them open. Gift vouchers are always welcome."

Artist Rasher

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Rasher

Rasher

Rasher

"During lockdown, I became obsessed with pizza-making when we couldn't get our favourite pizza from La Locandina in Wicklow. I ordered loads of Italian flour and cheese, studied fan oven air flow and even put fire bricks in my oven!

"The kids say I'm close to La Locandina's - the only thing that lets my pizza down is that the oven doesn't get hot enough. So I'm hoping to get my most memorable present yet this Christmas - a wood-burning Ooni pizza oven would blow my mind!"

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