WHEN does it begin to look a lot like Christmas in your world? Putting up the tree, a Christmas Eve dash round the shops, hours of hilarious family fun trying to work out what the latest coronavirus rules mean?

Around these parts, nothing says Yuletide like the first sight of Kirstie Allsopp exhorting everyone to make their own decorations. Every year my cheery response is the same: “Not on your Nellie, Kirstie.” If life is too short to stuff a mushroom it’s definitely too brief to be messing around with home-made baubles.

The Christmas fairy must have heard such responses, hence the focus on the achievable in Kirstie’s Christmas: Quick and Easy Craft (Channel 4, Sunday). There was just one rule, promised Kirstie: everything featured could be done in less than 45 minutes.

Before you could tell her to pull the other one, it had sleigh bells on, she was off, making place mats with her Location oppo Phil, baking starters with Nancy Birtwhistle, and assembling a centrepiece with her sister, Sofie, a florist.

Given the involvement of a drill, fishing wire, and eight hours in a freezer for ice balloons, “quick and easy” was stretching it a bit. I made none of it, but everything looked cosy and seasonal and Kirstie had a lot of fun, which was the main thing. “You really are Mrs Christmas,” said Phil. To Kirstie, not me.

The Storyville label is usually the documentary equivalent of a royal warrant as a sign of quality, and The Hijacker Who Vanished (BBC4, Monday) did not disappoint.

Filmmaker John Dower looked into the case of DB Cooper, a middle-aged man who boarded a plane in Portland, Oregon, in November 1971, told a stewardess he had a bomb, collected $200,000 in ransom, and parachuted from 10,000 feet, never to be heard from again. It was one of the greatest unsolved heists in American history, and has been a running sore for the FBI for decades.

Dower talked to a woman who said DB Cooper was her husband. Someone else said he was their uncle. Another, a pal. You get the idea. It was like Spartacus relocated States-side.

Dower’s style was a mix of forensic and easy-osey, which was just what the documentary doctor ordered for such a chewy mystery. As he put it so well himself, what all those laying claim to knowing DB Cooper had in common was that they had a DB Cooper-shaped hole in their lives. A great tale brilliantly told.

The Crown, starring Gillian Anderson as Mrs Thatcher, continues to annoy the bejeezus out of the royal family for its mix of fact and fiction. Perfect timing, then, for The South Bank Show: Gillian Anderson (Sky Arts, Sunday).

The first in a new series was a canter through Anderson’s career, from The X Files to The Crown by way of The Fall, Sex Education and A Streetcar named Desire. It was also a masterclass in how to interview and be interviewed. I had not seen Melvyn Bragg for a while, only hearing him on the radio, and feared he might have lost some edge. More fool me: he was informed and insightful without being overly flattering, and Anderson, no slouch herself, never fell into the trap of vague luvvieness. It was almost enough to give “celebrity interviews” a good name again.

Saving Britain’s Pubs with Tom Kerridge (Channel 4, Thursday) came to a sort of an ending. Sort of because coronavirus and lockdown meant the chef’s best laid recovery plans for four pubs, including the community owned and run Black Bull in Gartmore, went majorly agley. The lockdown was in one sense the making of the series, in as much as it added extra drama. You could see and feel the chaos as the government told people to stay away from pubs at the same time as not ordering places to close.

Yet covering the lockdown also made the series feel overstretched. This was a three part series that should really have been two. It ended in September 2020, with talk of a second wave and 10pm curfews. We all know what happened next. Definitely worth a revisit in a year.

The Great British Bake Off (Channel 4, Tuesday) final was a close run thing between Peter the finance student from Edinburgh and Dave the security guard from Hampshire. There was a woman in the last three, too, but Laura had a ‘mare of a final from start to finish. At one point she stuck her head in the freezer and sobbed.

This series, filmed in a bubble to comply with Covid-rules, was a much needed dose of summer sun to end a rotten year. If Bake Off had been a reflection of 2020, Laura should have won. At some point these past few months we have all been Laura, howling into the fridge. But it was a triumph of hope over adversity, and Peter, the first Scot, the youngest person ever to win the trophy, was the clear victor. May the road, and his Victoria sponge, always rise to meet him.