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Pinch of Nom: Comfort Food is the UK’s Christmas No. 1 Bestseller

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | From the Front Row

Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin

Food bloggers Kate Allinson and Kay Featherstone’s fourth Pinch of Nom cookbook, Comfort Food, is the UK’s official Christmas Number One bestseller, Nielsen Book sales data can reveal. The couple’s collection of slimming recipes sold 56,367 copies in the week ending 18 December 2021, scoring the authors their first Christmas Number One.

TV star Richard Osman, who took the Christmas Number One crown last year with The Thursday Murder Club, takes second position in the Christmas chart with the sequel, The Man Who Died Twice. The latest edition of fact compendium Guinness World Records was the third most popular purchase at UK booksellers last week.

The top two titles were separated by just 1,107 sales in one of the closest Christmas Number One contests since official sales records began in the late 1990s. 2001 was the only year in which the battle was closer, when Jamie Oliver’s Happy Days with the Naked Chef beat Delia Smith’s How to Cook: Book Three by just 326 copies.

Pinch of Nom: Comfort Food becomes the eighth cookbook to score a Christmas Number One, with authors Allinson and Featherstone joining Smith and Oliver as the only cookbook writers to earn Christmas Number One status. Oliver was the last chef to top the book chart on Christmas Day, doing so in 2012 with Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals.

Allinson and Featherstone exploded onto the bookshop scene in March 2019 when the very first cookbook in their series, simply titled Pinch of Nom, became the fastest-selling non-fiction book since records began. The £20 hardback sold 210,506 copies in its first week on sale, beating the previous record, set by Sir Alex Ferguson’s My Autobiography, by 95,000 copies.

Philip Stone, an analyst at Nielsen Book, said: “Congratulations to Kay and Kate on joining the record books and taking the 2021 Christmas Number One crown. Our data reveals that £637,000 was spent on copies of their Pinch of Nom books in the UK last week, at an impressive rate of one copy sold every 10 seconds.”

A grand total of £86.1m was spent on 9.3m printed books in the UK last week—down 4% versus the comparative week last year in value terms, and down 3% in volume terms. Since non-essential retailers re-opened in England in April 2021, £1.31bn has been spent on printed books in the UK—up 9% (+£105.3m) versus the comparative period in pre-pandemic 2019. Volume sales over the same period totalled 151.8m—up 11% versus the same period in 2019.

In Ireland, Guinness World Records takes the Christmas Number One crown for the first time. The 2022 edition of the fact book sold 5,516 copies in Ireland last week, just 110 copies more than runner-up Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These. Fintan O’Toole’s We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Ireland Since 1958 takes third place in the official chart

UK Top 10 bestsellers: week ending 18 December 2021
1. Pinch of Nom: Comfort Food (Kate Allinson and Kay Featherstone) 56,367 copies sold
2. The Man Who Died Twice (Richard Osman) 55,260
3. Guinness World Records 2022 (Guinness World Records) 51,682
4. The Thursday Murder Club (Richard Osman) 44,736
5. Windswept & Interesting (Billy Connolly) 44,223
6. Diddly Squat (Jeremy Clarkson) 37,961
7. And Away… (Bob Mortimer) 35,607
8. Gangsta Granny Strikes Again! (David Walliams) 34,055
9. Private Eye Annual 2021 (Ian Hislop) 30,452
10. The Night She Disappeared (Lisa Jewell) 27,740

Recent Christmas Number Ones: United Kingdom
2011: Jamie’s Great Britain (Jamie Oliver)
2012: Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals (Jamie Oliver)
2013: My Autobiography (Alex Ferguson)
2014: Guinness World Records
2015: How it Works: The Husband (Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris)
2016: The Midnight Gang (David Walliams)
2017: Bad Dad (David Walliams)
2018: Becoming (Michelle Obama)
2019: The Beast of Buckingham Palace (David Walliams)
2020: The Thursday Murder Club (Richard Osman)

Ireland Top 10 bestsellers: week ending 18 December 2021
1. Guinness World Records 2022 (Guinness World Records) 5,516 copies sold
2. Small Things Like These (Claire Keegan) 5,406
3. We Don’t Know Ourselves (Fintan O’Toole) 5,367
4. Aisling and the City (Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen) 5,018
5. Fight or Flight (Keith Earls) 4,561
6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot (Jeff Kinney) 4,400
7. Old Ireland in Colour 2 (John Breslin and Sarah-Anne Buckley) 4,059
8. Your One Wild and Precious Life (Maureen Gaffney) 3,740
9. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse (Charlie Mackesy) 3,634
10. Haughey (Gary Murphy) 3,631

Christmas Number Ones of the 2010s: Ireland
2011: Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography (Walter Isaacson)
2012: A Week in Winter (Maeve Binchy)
2013: My Autobiography (Alex Ferguson)
2014: The Test (Brian O’Driscoll)
2015: Grandma’s Great Escape (David Walliams)
2016: The Battle (Paul O’Connell)
2017: Bad Dad (David Walliams)
2018: The Ice Monster (David Walliams)
2019: Ordinary Joe (Joe Schmidt)
2020: Old Ireland in Colour (John Breslin & Sarah-Anne Buckley)

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