She’s one of the warmest and friendliest faces on television, so it’s no surprise that – for Lorriane Kelly – Christmas is all about family and friends.
And while her usual plans will be affected by social distancing regulations, she’s determined to squeeze every bit of fun out of the festive season.
‘I think Christmas will be even more important this year because we all need some escapism and happiness, and to forget about things for a bit,’ she reasons.
‘It will make us remember what Christmas is supposed to be about. For me, it’s always been about family and spending time with the people that you love. The pandemic is actually going to bring that into sharp focus.
‘I think it will be bittersweet – I really love Christmas and it will be nice to have Christmas at home – but it will be a little difficult this year, like it will for lots of families.’
Lorraine normally enjoys having two Christmases. The day itself at her Berkshire home with her cameraman husband, Steve Smith, their journalist daughter, Rosie, 26, and their Border Terrier, Angus. And the weekend before in Scotland with her parents, Anne and John, who are both 79. However, because of COVID, she fears she’ll not be able to drive up to see them.
Fans care about the TV star and often ask Where is Lorraine Kelly? when she’s not on her show.
‘I’m wary of the fact that my dad’s got a heart condition and he’s very vulnerable, so we have to be really careful. It’s hard, but other people are in the same boat,’ she says stoically.
The rule of six means that Lorraine’s traditional pre-Christmas house party will also have to be cancelled this year.
‘A couple of days before, we always have all the friends and neighbours round, with lots of food and booze. It’s good fun, but of course we won’t be able to do that this year. It would be a little sad to have a party with just six of us!’ she says.
Instead, the Scottish-born presenter will be celebrating with a glass of bubbly on Christmas morning as the family unwrap their presents, dressed in her traditional Christmas jumper, covered in penguins wearing Santa hats.
‘And I eat a whole Chocolate Orange, that’s tradition!’ she laughs. ‘I have it all to myself and nobody gets any of it. Even if I’ve had enough, I still finish the whole thing.’
Husband Steve then takes to the kitchen to prepare turkey and the trimmings, with Lorraine in charge of the clearing-up afterwards.
‘He’s really good in the kitchen and I’m beyond hopeless,’ she chuckles. ‘And of course as he’s got better, I’ve got worse because I don’t have any practice at it.’
After dinner, the family put up their feet in front of the TV.
‘We usually watch something daft – me and Rosie like Elf and we might watch Frozen and Beauty and the Beast – real escapism – and obviously we have to watch The Snowman, that’s the law!
‘Then, when we’re full of turkey sandwiches and Christmas pudding, we’ll take Angus out for a giant walk.’
On-screen, Lorraine’s daily ITV morning show is going from strength to strength, experiencing its highest performance for a decade. And Lorraine, 60, says she hopes she’ll still be on air when she’s 70.
‘Every day is different. I’m always interested and curious about stuff, and I learn something new every day,’ she explains.
Although resigned to the fact that she’s unlikely to meet up with her family – as well as her parents in Scotland, she has a brother in Singapore and cousins around the world – Lorraine is still set on celebrating with her loved ones.
‘I hope we can get as many of the family as we can on a big giant Zoom call on Christmas morning, so we can all raise a glass to each other virtually,’ she smiles. ‘We just have to be sensible and make it a smaller celebration this year – we’ve all got to do our bit.’