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Time Out, magazine (UK).

  • Aga Papa! Nighmare Before Christmas, December 12, 2001.
  • Sidelines: How to Get a Head, July 4, 2001.


    Aga Papa! Nightmare Before Christmas, December 12, 2001, by Manish Agarwal.

    He's better known as Giles out of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but Anthony Stewart Head is also pretty good at keeping the Christmas demons away!

    'Just call me, um. . . Anthony The Christmas Sleigh-er! ! ! ! ! !' he tells Manish Agarwal .

    'I never used to have any strong views on how to spend Christmas, until I met my partner Sarah - so I owe her a huge debt of gratitude. When we first had children, she said, "Right, that's it: Christmas Day is ours. No one else comes to Christmas Day."

    Since then, we've had it on our own. Once, a friend of ours whose daughter was very ill came to join us and that was fantastic.

    But family don't come. Family have to fit in after Christmas Day. It's great!

    'We sit down to our nut roast - our cashew nut and mushroom roast - which we have just once a year. I cook my mum's chestnut stuffing, brandy butter. The girls have fizzy apple juice, we have champagne and it's just really lovely. We get up when we want to get up. Father Christmas brings the girls stockings: we come down and open those.

    Then we all start to make lunch. The only thing is, we have an Aga. It's the most wonderful thing - I would never cook on anything else as happily as an Aga.But Christmas Day is a bit of a push because if you have everything going at the same time it loses heat! So the roast isn't cooking while you've got all the vegetables on the top.

    'After lunch we have our major presents. The other thing Sarah's family taught me is that you always have the youngest open their present, then you move on to the next person. You go round in order of age and everybody takes their turn andyou watch them open it. I've been to other houses and it's a bean feast - wrapping paper everywhere.

    And you can't enjoy it. You can't enjoy what each of you had given to the other person.

    'Solitude: that's the best advice I could give to anybody at Christmas.

    Then it doesn't become this bun fight, this free-for-all: "Oh God, we've got 11 for the Christmas lunch!' You can actually sit down and enjoy it.

    People gradually come - somebody comes Boxing Day, and so on.

    Christmas for us actually lasts right up to Twelfth Night. The only thing is, the more family you see, there is a point you get to where you think: Oh my God,not more presents! But it's lovely to draw it out and pace yourself. It isn't just all on one day. I heartily recommend it.'

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    Sidelines: How To Get a Head, July 4, 2001.

    Sidelines, aware that the modern magazine readership prizes nothing above pointless revelations about the lives of celebrities, put one of its intrepid correspondents to work riding the railways of Britain, in the hope of spotting someone famous in the act of commuting. Our reporter returned with a riveting account of Anthony Stuart [sic] Head--the bloke out of the Gold Blend ad who plays Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer--on a train from Bath to Paddington.

    Sidelines can exclusively reveal that Head consumed a pastry on the platform before the train arrived and, at about 10am, used the toilet in carriage E. "He was wearing a really scruffy jacket," concluded our correspondent, before leaving to follow up a sighting of Paul Ross on a 38 bus.

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    Page created December 13, 2001; last updated 10 January 2002. Original material Betsy Vera (bentley@umich.edu). This website is for information and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to infringe on copyrights held by others.

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