**We all have our Christmas indicators – **

The thing that tells us that Christmas is on its way when we start to feel Christmassy, or whatever. For some, it’s the Coca-Cola advert – a big lorry of red. Christmas is red. For others, it’s the John Lewis advert, this year’s offering being a snowman porno, I heard somewhere. Seems a bit unlikely. You can’t really trust Newsnight these days.

Anyway, for some folks, Christmas is all about grabbing a Christmas pudding, putting it on a plate and running around an obstacle course in Covent Garden in fancy dress. This year’s Great Christmas Pudding Race – held in London – is the 38th of its kind and a perilous assault on food. Teams of six – work colleagues are allowed, so you can shove your boss down a bouncy slide – compete to be the first over the line, Christmas pud intact. The thing is, there are plenty of things in your way, not least enormous inflatables, silly string and your dignity. It’s effectively an egg and spoon race but nobody gets covered in egg. Mmmm eggnog. Lovely egg.

Previous celebs to have undertaken the gauntlet

Matthew Kelly, Bill Oddie, Fay Presto, Andy Abraham, Kevin Kyle… hang on, these are celebrities?

Well, anyway, you get to jump over a bouncy castle with the cast of EastEnders so if that is the kind of thing you want to do with your Saturday afternoon then more power to your elbow. (And by ‘more power’ I mean: pills. And by ‘your elbow’ I mean: your face.)

Last year, the London race raised over £25,000, and this year looks to be even bigger. Teams should be pre-registered so sign up nice and early. Each team of six should look to raise a minimum of £600 (no more than £100 each… I didn’t really need to tell you that) and there is a registration fee of £75 per team so plenty of money goes to the right places.

And the best bit?

Everybody knows that Christmas pudding is an atrocity – a war crime for your mouth. It’s lumpy, crunchy, sooty carpet, like sucking on Chewbacca (steady… not like that). So rejoice in the opportunity to smash its stodge to bits. All money goes to Cancer Research UK which is, well, there’s not really anything funny to say about that. So just get yourself down there and donate, race or applaud.