Zoom Christmas is another! Another Zoom Christmas!

  • The Christmas Day holiday will see the British spend 7 hours and 24 mins online.
  • 62% of us will watch TV together, 33% on video calls
  • And 42 per cent of us are planning to have the most ‘connected’ Christmas ever

After many were forced to see loved ones via screens last Christmas, you might think we’d spend less time online this year. 

But a survey has found Britons are set to spend an average of seven hours and 24 minutes using the internet on Christmas Day for the most ‘connected’ festive break ever. 

Many will be going overboard to spend time with family and friends this festive season, including watching TV together (62 per cent), making video calls to one another (33 per cent) and sharing photos online (29 per cent). 

A survey of 2,000 adults found a third believe it’s more important than ever to feel close to loved ones after the isolation caused by last year’s restrictions. 

And 42 per cent plan to have their most ‘connected’ Christmas ever. 

The average adult will therefore spend nearly seven-and-a half hours online on December 25. This includes video calls and watching movies on streaming sites and scrolling social media for an hour. 

There are many offline ways that people will spend the day with family members, such as eating together (73%), taking a walk (50%), or playing board game (47%). 

Hyperoptic, full-fibre broadband provider, requested the research. It found nearly a fifth of those surveyed would feel alone during Christmas without any form of technology. 

And a third believe that while it’s impossible to see all family and friends over Christmas, access to the internet allows them to stay in touch. 

Hyperoptic’s managing director Charles Davies said: ‘The research shows how families hope to be more connected than ever despite the changing landscape of Christmas again this year.’ 

He added: ‘Technology and internet connection clearly plays a vital part in celebrating with family and friends who don’t live locally.’

Our (Zoom!) guest… Comic Relief’s socially-distanced panto 

Acting from home: Lily James reveals the part she¿ll play in the pantomime

Acting from home: Lily James reveals the part she’ll play in the pantomime

One time there was a gorgeous damsel, and a cursed Prince who fell in Love… Over Zoom. 

Beaming in on laptops rather than from a land far away, the star-studded cast for Comic Relief’s virtual Beauty and the Beast revealed who they will play in the panto. 

The leading roles will be taken by Lily James, and Oliver Chris (TV and Theatre Actor). 

Miss James, 32, will play Rose while 43-year-old Chris performs as the titular Beast – with Inbetweeners star Simon Bird as candlestick Remy. 

Also, Miranda Hart and David Tennant appear as cameos. 

It follows last year’s Cinderella, which starred The Crown’s Olivia Colman. 

Comic Relief co-founder Richard Curtis said this year’s is ‘more full of a sense of fame and fun’. 

Beauty and the Beast: The BBC’s Christmas Comic Relief Pantomime airs Sunday, 9pm.