Juliet Dunlop: A merry Christmas to them, one and all

Juliet Dunlop
Juliet Dunlop
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When it comes to celebrating Christmas, celebrities are just like us – they spend time with their loved-ones, catch up with friends, let their hair extensions down and over-indulge on festive food. (We will overlook the ones flying to yuletide hideaways and exotic islands.)

Here, some of The Scotsman’s favourite faces share their hopes and dreams, look back on the year that was and reveal how they’ll be spending the most magical time of the year.

Julian Assange: It’s been a roller-coaster of a year for the Wikileaks founder. But this Christmas – his first in the Ecuadorian embassy in London – the Australian-born fugitive is ready to embrace the festive spirit. The platinum-haired whistle-blower is hoping to fire-up a small indoor barbecue and spend time with some of his many celebrity friends. “Lady Gaga likes to roast chestnuts” says Julian, who is fighting extradition to Sweden and costing the UK taxpayer £12,000 a day.

Silvio Berlusconi: The former Italian prime minister is looking forward to spending his first Christmas with his new fiancé. The 76 year-old billionaire has not had an easy year, but has now finally found love with glamorous Francesca, 27. The colourful politician, who is still facing corruption charges, has also turned his back on the wild parties he once enjoyed. Speaking frankly about the last few years, he says “I was lonely. I was tricked. Now I have found Francesca and she loves me very much.” We wish them well.

Jimmy Carr: Christmas is always an extra special time of year for the country’s favourite funny man. This year, the popular comedian and quiz show regular, was criticised for using an aggressive tax avoidance scheme. He’ll spend Christmas day quietly, at his North London mansion, counting his money. “Only joking!” said a jovial Jimmy this week.

Tom Cruise: The Hollywood superstar has had a difficult year. His high-profile split from wife Katie Holmes and subsequent quickie divorce made headlines around the world. Tom also turned 50 this year and spent his birthday alone, in an igloo, while filming in Iceland. The star, however, is ready to bounce back with a new film, and hopefully a new wife, in the New Year. “I just love Christmas” says the youthful actor.

nadine dorries: The outspoken MP who had the Conservative whip removed for taking part in I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! is looking forward to “tucking into turkey and mince pies” following her jungle jaunt. She may have been the first contestant to be voted off the reality show but the MP says her appearance was a “total success.” Plucky Nadine even sank her teeth into a lamb’s testicle during a Bushtucker Trial, to help her engage with people “on their level”.

George Entwistle: For the former BBC director-general Christmas is all about relaxing in front of the box. The executive says he’ll be settling down to watch The Two Ronnies, a tradition in the Entwistle household. They used to watch Top of the Pops 2, but not this year.

Pippa Middleton: There isn’t much 29-year-old Pippa doesn’t know about entertaining and this Christmas, homes across the land will be dipping into her best-selling book, Celebrate, for some inspiration. The party-planning classic is full of useful tips including how to fold napkins correctly and pour wine without spilling it. The Duchess of Cambridge’s sister is already planning a sequel called Bottoms Up and says she “cannot wait” for 2013.

The Queen: It’s been quite a year for Her Majesty. First there was the Diamond Jubilee, then the Olympics. The Queen even made her acting debut alongside James Bond and parachuted into the opening ceremony. The Queen will be “watching myself on TV!” at Sandringham this Christmas.

Sunshine And Sweetie: Edinburgh Zoo’s popular pandas are looking forward to a low-key Christmas. The pair, who arrived in Scotland a year ago, are hoping to start a family soon. And this festive season, Sweetie is making sure Sunshine doesn’t overdo it. She intends to make the most of being an expectant mother when it happens: “Hopefully, I’ll be eating for two next year, so there’s no reason why I can’t have two Christmas dinners!”

Merry Christmas!