Prepare to squeal with excitement, sewists! The Great British Sewing Bee is coming back to our screens with not one but two celebrity specials! Legendary judges, Patrick Grant and Esme Young return with host Joe Lycett as they welcome a group of eager celebrities who will take on a series of sewing challenges. Read on to find out what festive fun we can expect from the sewing room this Christmas.
When will the The Great British Sewing Bee Specials be on TV?
There will be two shows. The first will air on Boxing Day at 7.45pm on BBC One and the second episode will air on New Year’s Eve at 8pm on BBC One.
Which celebrities will be on the show?
Host Joe Lycett will welcome four celebrity guests to the sewing room in each episode. The first line up includes actress, singer, dancer and presenter, Denise Van Outen, Strictly Come Dancing’s Shirley Ballas, NHS doctor, presenter and author, Dr Ranj Singh and comedian and actress, Sara Pascoe.
In episode two, The Vivienne, who is best known for being the UK’s first RuPaul’s Drag Race Superstar enters the sewing room along with actress and broadcaster, Lesley Joseph. They’ll be joined by presenter, Sabrina Grantbest who is best known for Channel 4’s award-winning documentary series, Supershoppers and finally, actress, television presenter and comedian, Sally Philips.
Who will master the sewing machine and impress the judges?! Read on to find out what awaits the celebrities in the Christmas special.
The Great British Sewing Bee Christmas Special
Expect plenty of festive fun as the amateur sewists try their best to impress the judges through three of the show’s familiar challenges – the pattern challenge, transformation challenge and the made to measure.
During the Boxing Day episode, the four celebrities will showcase their Christmas crafting abilities by firstly whipping up a pair of festive pyjama bottoms. We’ll then see them put their own spin on a pooch’s coat in the transformation challenge before pulling out all the stops for the ‘made to measure’ where they must sew a perfectly fitted Christmas dress. Looking for some inspiration for your Christmas Day outfit? Click here to check out a Christmas Day pattern picks.
Reflecting on the show, Patrick said: “We have filmed a celebrity version before but not one for Christmas… The sewing room was filled with Christmas trees and presents, we were dressed as Christmas Elves, and Joe as Father Christmas. We sang carols and it was a load of fun, and for a couple of days we all forgot about Covid.”
According to host Joe who hadn’t filmed a celebrity special before, there was “a slight made energy in the room.” He added: “Everyone was trying their best but it was a much more relaxed vibe. It was a refreshing shoot, and I think it will be fun to watch.”
Were the judges impressed with the contestants’ sewing skills?
“The celebrities were great personalities to have in the sewing room, but some of them had limited sewing experience, so it was a learning curve for them” says Esme.
“It was a mixed standard throughout the challenges, but when they went wrong they were very entertaining.”
According to Patrick the level of sewing is ‘pretty good’: “They weren’t experienced sewers but their personalities made up for it. We tried to set challenges that allowed them to express themselves and they really did surprise us.
“In a funny way these are people that I have seen on the telly and when you ask them to step outside their comfort zone and do something new, it was really heartening to see how many of them enjoyed the process, and achieving making something.”
He also said some of the contestants are now hooked on sewing: “[They] said it felt a very therapeutic and calming thing to do, I guess this year we are mindful and all looking for something to help us get through.”
If there was ever a time where we all needed some crafty escapism The Great British Sewing Bee Christmas Special seems like the perfect festive tonic. We can’t wait to see the sewing room in all its christmassy splendour. It looks like the judges and host Joe truly get into the Christmas spirit.
“I don’t think I have ever dressed up as Santa before so there is always a first time for everything.” says Joe.
“I had my little elves, Patrick and Esme with me – it will be some of the most adorable TV you will see in your life, they were good fun and very sweet.”
Don’t miss The Great British Sewing Bee Christmas Special at 7:45pm on Boxing Day (Saturday 26th December) on BBC One.
Want to find out more about The Great British Showing Bee? Click here to learn more about the show’s previous contestants.