News: It's A Cracker!

UK Gold

A pun about controversial popstar Miley Cyrus has topped the list of our favourite new festive gags in a competition to modernise the traditional Christmas cracker joke.  Also staking a claim in the Top 10 are witticisms about the Queen, speed dating and eBay, with laughs about Harry Styles, Shakespeare and Fairy Liquid just missing out on the top spots.

UKTV channel Gold challenged comedians and wordsmiths to write their own festive gags and enter their puns in a Twitter competition to revamp the often outdated Christmas cracker joke. A panel of judges shortlisted the best laughs and the top ones are now available to buy online in specially made boxes of crackers. After a poll of 2000 Britons, the top ten funniest new festive jokes can now be revealed as:


  • What does Miley Cyrus have at Christmas? Twerky. (23%)
  • Why did no-one bid for Rudolph and Blitzen on eBay? Because they were two deer. (20%)
  • Mary and Joseph - now they had a stable relationship. (15%)
  • What does the Queen call her Christmas Broadcast? The One Show. (14%)
  • What did Santa do when he went speed dating? He pulled a cracker. (13%)
  • Why don't you ever see Santa in hospital? Because he has private elf care. (13%)
  • How did Mary and Joseph know that Jesus was 7lb 6oz when he was born? They had a weigh in a manger. (12%)
  • Why is it getting harder to buy Advent calendars? Because their days are numbered. (11%)
  • How do you know if Santa's been in your garden shed? You've got three extra hoes. (10%)
  • Why was the Brussels sprout sent to prison? Because it was a repeat offender. (9%)

The competition was inspired by a previous Gold survey, which revealed that seven in ten (70%) Britons groan rather than giggle at Christmas cracker jokes, with a resounding 72% saying that they were sorely in need of a 21st Century makeover.  

As well as voting on the top ten modern cracker jokes, the new Gold poll of 2,000 men and women reveals that nearly eight in ten (77%) people still take the time to read out our cracker jokes at the Christmas table. The channel is aiming to help everyone laugh throughout the festive season with its 25 days of Christmas schedule, including best-loved comedies such as The Royle Family, Outnumbered and Only Fools and Horses.

It would seem that tradition is important to over two thirds of respondents (71%), who say that crackers are an essential or key part of their Christmas celebrations. Of these, 35% say the pulling of them is the favourite part of their main festive meal, followed by putting on paper crowns/hats (12%), lighting the pudding (10%) and playing games around the table (7%).

The quips that just missed out on the top spots include:

  • Why did Harry Styles fail at being Santa? Because he can only use the chimney in One Direction. (9%)
  • Why did Rudolph the reindeer have the complete works of Shakespeare on his top lip? Because his nose was well read. (8%)
  • Why can't you wash up during Christmas? Because the Fairy is on top of the tree. (7%)

Comedy critic Bruce Dessau, who headed up the Gold judging panel says, “Reading all the entries certainly showed me that Brits always have plenty of gags up their sleeve!  Using Twitter not only helped keep the jokes short and sharp, but we also saw a number of pop culture icons included in the festive mix – truly updating the cracker jokes for families to enjoy as they tuck into their turkey this year.”

The author of the winning joke, Richard Woolford, received £5,000 in prize money and a box of Gold Crackers, one of which will contain his own joke.  Richard says, “I’m totally amazed and can’t believe it!   I now hope Twerking becomes a new Christmas tradition - are you listening Nan?  This has been a phenomenal year and a great welcome back into comedy for me after being away so long recovering from cancer. All I want to do is write comedy professionally, and hopefully this is another step closer to my dream.”

The Gold Christmas crackers featuring some of the top jokes from the competition, can also now be purchased online from

All of the jokes voted on by the 2,000 British men and women, are to the best of Gold’s knowledge, original content. The survey was carried out on behalf of Gold by OnePoll. Boxes of 6 Gold Crackers are available to purchase online at All of the jokes voted on by the 2,000 British adults, are to the best of Gold’s knowledge, original content.

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