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Gone Christmas Fishing is an hour-long festive special following Bob Mortimer as he returns to his childhood roots in Middlesbrough to fish the Rivers Esk and Tees with his dear friend and angling mentor Paul Whitehouse. 

As well as trying to catch the glorious grayling, Bob also tries to ignite the joy of Christmas in Paul, who thinks the magic of the season has been long lost to commercialism. 

Bob helps to cook a memorable turkey dinner with all the trimmings and hosts their office party for two, featuring a special guest appearance by a secret Santa who has a rather familiar face. 

Together they chat to a fellow Middlesbrough lad, singer Chris Rea, about his unique memories of Yuletide, before he drives home for Christmas. 

They stay in fishermen’s cottages in the beautiful harbour village of Staithes and take to the North Sea to see what they can catch before moving further north to stay in a very magical place on the moors. 

Will Paul finally begin to see the pleasure of Christmas through Bob’s eyes? A big surprise at the end of the programme could guarantee it!


THEY met chris at...


The Crathorne Arms

2 East Villa,



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The Fishermen's Cottages

3,4 and 5 Cowbar Bank,



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North Yorkshire,


they ate...

the teeside chicken parmo



  • 2 large Chicken Breasts

  • 100g Plain Flour

  • 2 large Eggs

  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Granules

  • 1/2 teaspoon Onion Granules

  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper/Chilli Powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Black Pepper

  • 120g Breadcrumbs (or Panko)

  • 250g block of Beef Dripping, or 250ml Vegetable Oil


  • 400ml of Whole-Fat Milk

  • 40g Plain Flour

  • 40g Unsalted Butter

  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt

  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Nutmeg

  • 150g mature cheddar cheese 

  1. It's best to prepare the béchamel sauce first. Take a saucepan and place onto a medium heat. Add the 40g of butter and allow to melt and begin to sizzle. 

  2. Once sizzling, add in 40g of plain flour and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a thick, gummy paste. Keep the heat on medium, and keep stirring the paste around the pan for about a minute, to toast the raw flavour out of the flour. 

  3. Measure out 400ml of whole-fat milk in a jug. Gently pour splashes of milk into the flour-butter paste, stirring the whole time. At first it will seize up, but it will gradually loosen up and become creamier with each addition of milk. 

  4. Once all of the milk is added, it will be quite runny. Maintain a medium heat, and gently stir with a wood spoon or a whisk - making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan - until it thickens to a white sauce with a consistency off thick yoghurt, then turn off the heat Add a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of black pepper and  1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and leave the pan to sit and cool.

  5. Preheat your oven's grill to high heat. Also, heat a frying pan on medium heat and add the beef dripping or vegetable oil (or if using a deep fat fryer, preheat to 180C) and allow to melt.

  6. Place the chicken breasts one at a time into a sandwich bag or simply sandwich between two layers of cling film. Take a rolling pin and hit the chicken breasts until they flatten and become larger in area, yet approximately 1cm thick.

  7. Prepare 3 wide bowls or dishes for breading the chicken. To Dish 1, add 100g plain flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon onion granules,  1/2 teaspoon garlic granules and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne/chilli powder. To Dish 2, add 2 eggs and lightly whisk. To Dish 3, add the breadcrumbs. 

  8. Take each flattened chicken breast and coat in flour (Dish 1), then coat in beaten egg (Dish 2) and then coat in breadcrumbs (Dish 3). Really press onto the chicken cutlets when they're in the breadcrumbs to pack the breadcrumbs onto the chicken. Leave each piece of breaded chicken on a strip of kitchen foil until read to cook.

  9. When the beef dripping/oil is hot you are born to fry (you can use a thermometer to get it to 180C if cooking on the hob, or just heat the oil until it just begins to smoke, then reduce the heat slightly and it's ready). Place the breaded chicken into the frying pan and fry for 3 minutes per side. If using a deep fat fryer, deep fry for 4 minutes in total. When cooked, remove the chicken and place onto foil-lined baking tray.

  10. Take the béchamel sauce from earlier and pour over the fried chicken pieces, trying not to drown the chicken or dribble it down all of the sides. Grate over 150g of mature cheddar cheese and place the whole thing under a high-heated grill. Leave for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is molten and slightly coloured.


you listened to...


Spotify playlist by Doug Bryson

The First Noel Piano - Richard Freeman

Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses

Fireplace - The Boy Who Trapped The Sun

Cloudless - Billy Elliston

Native Lands - Patrick Thomas Hawes

Ashes on the Fire - Richard Hawley

The Sea Calls - Richard Hawley

Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World - The Divine Comedy

Driving Home for Christmas - Chris Rea

Hymn to Her - Pretenders

I'd Like You For Christmas - Julie London

River - Tracey Thorn

Red - Cattle & Cane

Memorial - Devendra Banhart

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Cattle & Cane

Jingle Bells - Paul Coles

Lonely This Christmas - Mud

Silent Night - Gregory Hatwell

What a Drag - Nathaniel Rateliff

Gone Fishing - Chris Rea

Jingle Bells - Piano Hands

Keeping the Dream Alive - Munchener Freiheit

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