Great Britain

From Gavin and Stacey to The Kumars – How will TV families cope with a Covid Christmas?

IT was a tight squeeze in Barry Island last Christmas as Uncle Bryn cooked up a festive feast for more than 13 people and the Gavin and Stacey clan piled into Gwen’s terrace house.

Seven households united for the big day – including Smithy and Pam and Mick Shipman, who travelled over the Welsh border from BiIlericay, Essex.

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Christmas bubbles, support bubbles and social distancing were unheard of, and 11.6million Brits tuned in to see the beautifully dysfunctional family celebrate.

But under the Government’s ­pandemic restrictions for those five golden days around Christmas this year, the Wests and Shipmans, plus Nessa and Smithy, would not be able to all meet up.

So which other famous families from soaps and sitcoms could get away with their usual festivities on December 25 if they followed the three- household rule?

Gavin & Stacey: BANNED

EVEN if some of those enjoying a well-lush knees-up were single-adult households already in support bubbles with some of the others, they would still be hard pressed to get anywhere near the tidy numbers seen last time around.

Alas, what’s occurring would be a substantially scaled-down bash.

The Royle Family: ALLOWED

IS it even Christmas without a right Royle knees-up?

Fortunately the family’s get-together in this 2008 classic, when Denise and Dave hosted, would still be allowed if Twiggy had already formed a support group with Jim and Barbara.

For the two couples were joined by Dave’s parents Jocelyn and Dave Sr, with Twiggy popping in too.

Downton Abbey: BANNED

THE Granthams’ posh gaff was packed to the rafters in this 2015 festive special, with five households coming together.

Even if Lord Grantham’s elderly mother Lady Violet Crawley was already in a support group with the main household, this would still be too many.

Throw into the mix all the serving staff who live separately, such as Mr and Mrs Bates, and it’s not Abbey days for Downton.

The Kumars: ALLOWED

WAY before Zoom, the Kumars at No42 were broadcasting to India in December 2003, live from their comfy sofa.

The three-generation family count as one household, so actor Neil Morrissey and Sir Cliff Richard are fine to return as special guests.

There’s one caveat – if Sir Cliff has been abroad, as he often is, he will have to quarantine if the country he arrives from is not on the safe air bridge list.

Only Fools And Horses: ALLOWED

DEL BOY, Rodney and Grandad’s “menage a trois” in series 1 would be cushty under the Government’s guidance as they all live in the same flat.

However, later in the episode, Grandad goes to an OAP party while Del and ­Rodders hit the Monte Carlo Club . . . both very unlikely today.

They’d have to be plonkers to break the ­lockdown rules. Mange tout.

Boris Johnson says festive bubbles over the Christmas period will allow families to reunite across the UK, but warns they must make a 'personal judgment' about the risks involved

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