Sara Wallis: Of course Phillip Schofield can save Christmas – even in 2020

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Cementing his unlikely role as the Great God of Gifting, Phillip Schofield was back on ITV on Tuesday to impart his spending wisdom. Martin Lewis, eat your heart out.

I’m not entirely sure how Schofe came to be part of my annual ­present-buying traditions, but can anyone even do their Christmas shopping any more without his must-have list?

Notebook, pen and Amazon account at the ready (I’m not even kidding), I settled in for How To Spend It Well At Christmas With Phillip Schofield – a show with the most laboured, spelled-out title on telly.

For those who are unfamiliar with the magic, Phillip, aided by experts, kids and celebs, puts gifts, gadgets and products to the test.

The result is that anything that gets his thumbs up is usually sold out by 10pm. If you want your kids to have his top toy, you’ve got to act fast.

Phillip Schofield is the Great God of Gifting
(Image: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

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Christmas depends on it. Suddenly you find yourself Googling ‘pooing flamingo’ (yes, this is an actual bestseller) to see if your little darlings should put this on their letters to Santa.

Proving that retro is in this year, school kids also tested out old classics like Lego, plasticine and a Rubik’s Cube against their updated versions.

Exhausted parents are now concerned that their solid old faithfuls saved from the 1980s need pimping up with an app or an iPad.

Phillip is desperate to spend some festive joy
(Image: ITV)

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Christopher Biggins, in an obligatory festive jumper, joined families as they tried out the latest board games.

The result is that come December 25, I shall be trying to sketch words with a Sharpie stuck to my nose – and I’m not even sorry. Elsewhere, consumer expert Harry Wallop wanted us to actually get out our calculators and scales to work out if advent calendars are a rip-off.

I can save you time, Harry. Surely they all are?

Our Phillip is packed full of festive cheer
(Image: ITV)

But who’s got the energy to buy 24 items and place them in a home-crafted calendar? I’m not Kirstie Allsopp.

In more news of financial ruin this Christmas, savvy teen vloggers got to grips with the latest science and tech toys.

From green screens to coded spheres and 3D pens, there was everything you need to keep your teens happy and your wallets empty.

And if that wasn’t enough, Dancing On Ice skating celebs Matt Evers, Maura Higgins, Joe Swash and Ben Hanlin were a stark reminder that us mere mortals probably shouldn’t ever buy inline skates.

Next week, Phil answers more big festive questions about everything from the most sparkly decorations to the best foodie and fitness gifts… and I for one will be ready and waiting.

All hail the oracle of Christmas present.

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