Retired engineer Brian Lawrenson had a lot on his plate when he realised that he’d be cooking Christmas dinner for 17 this year after his wife Glenis fell and broke her arm…

But Highbury came to the rescue and now he’s all set after two hours of top tips from Michelin-trained chef trainer Paula Tegerdine at our City of Portsmouth Centre.

We stepped in after Brian’s plight was revealed during a BBC Radio Solent phone-in.

“Until my wife fell down the stairs about three weeks ago, I’d never cooked in 45 years of marriage, but now I’m cooking every day and I’m getting to quite like it,” he said.

Radio reporter Emily Hudson was there to record Brian’s experiences which will be aired a number of times between now and Christmas, starting on Friday 18th December between 7.30 and 8.30am, a video will also be posted on the BBC iPlayer.

Brian, of Waterlooville, said he really enjoyed the lesson. “I felt a bit anxious to say the least about cooking Christmas dinner for so many people but this will stand me in good stead and I feel a lot more confident now,” he said.

Neither he nor Emily are strangers to Highbury. Brian is already studying photography here and Emily trained with our award-winning journalism department, going on to win a journalist of the year award.


Brian's wife broke her wrist a few weeks ago - meaning he's cooking the Christmas dinner for the first time in more than 40 years of marriage. FOR 17 PEOPLE!!!We took him for a quick cooking lesson at Highbury College, here's Paula the tutor's top tip!

Posted by BBC Radio Solent on Friday, 18 December 2015

Article Details

  • Date 14/12/2015