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Philomena Cunk
Image: Andy Parsons

Philomena Cunk on how to have a budget Christmas in London

‘Screenwipe’ star Philomena Cunk presents her seasonal tips on how to have a brilliant budget Yuletide

Written by
Time Out London Film

Discount tokens
If you don’t like someone enough to know what to buy them, it’s better to give tokens. Make a token out of your Oyster card by lending it to someone and saying it’s an all-expenses-paid shopping trip, apart from the shopping. When the journey comes up on your statement, phone the train people, say it was stolen and cry.

'Travolator' skiing
Winter sports aren’t only for posh people with sunglasses that make them look like robots. At Bank station, there’s an automatic ski slope that won’t cost you a penny. It’s this whole moving floor called a ‘travolator’, which is from the word ‘travol’, meaning ‘always open the wrong way’. Make yourself a DIY pair of those long foot things that skiers wear – whatever they’re called – out of a couple of stripy barriers that have been knocked off some roadworks. And for après ski (which is Swiss for ‘after yoghurt’) there’s a miniature shop on the platform that does three different sorts of Frijj. Luxury.

Philomena Cunk

Cooking for free 
Cooking a roast dinner costs loads in electricity. But if you leave your turkey on the top deck of a new Routemaster bus, the revolutionary air circulation system that doesn’t work should have it cooked in a matter of days, provided nobody nicks it and that you can get on the bus without your Oyster that you lent to that person you didn’t like.

Carol singing
Carol singing can be expensive, I imagine. I don’t know. I’ve never carol sung. But you could save whatever it might cost in whatever carol songers use – hats and bells and sheep music and whatnot – by just jumping in whenever a busker goes quiet and doing a guest rap about Christmas. They’ll love that. And you might get money thrown at you. Which you can spend on eggnog and Chocolate Oranges. Christmas: sorted.

Philomena Cunk

As told to Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris.

'Cunk on Christmas' is on BBC2 on Dec 29 at 10pm.

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