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Clothes crisis averted

SO Nicole Scherzinger has decreed she will cook Christmas dinner wearing control pants and a push-up bra.

Even for one of the most beautiful women in the world that surely isn't the most flattering of looks, no matter if said brassiere does – in Scherzinger terminology – "lift up those puppies".

But the former Pussycat Doll turned X Factor judge raises a pertinent question: what is appropriate attire for rustling up festive fayre? A task that requires the stamina of an marathon runner, the strategic planning skills of a Nasa mission chief and the patience of the Dalai Lama, choosing the right ensemble isn't easy.

Wear your best frock and it's inevitably going to end up a Jackson Pollock-esque mess of goose fat splatters, gravy stains and trifle sherry. But, with guests around, a threadbare dressing gown, old pair of baggy jogging bottoms and novelty Garfield slippers runs the risk of being filmed, uploaded to YouTube and becoming a viral hit under the heading "Real Life Waynetta Slob Cooks Crimbo Dinner". Is this how you want to be immortalised?

In an ideal world, everyone cooking Christmas dinner would be issued with one of those special suits scientists use to handle hazardous nuclear waste.

But clothes are only the half of it. Puce-faced, smudged mascara and damp tendrils of hair stuck to the forehead which you are unable to brush away on account of one hand being coated in animal entrails, the other missing a layer of skin after an oven tray mishap, are all par for the course.

The UK's only naturist hotel appears to have struck on a solution. Guests at the Clover Spa retreat in Birmingham will be spending Christmas Day in the nude. But that throws up its own issues. Insert obvious joke about giblets and pigs in blankets here -

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