IT just wouldn’t be Christmas without The Nutcracker – and what better company to perform it than the Royal Ballet?

I have been to several live broadcasts at local theatres, and it really is almost better than actually being there.

Where else can you get tickets for the opening night of a classical ballet, performed by the most prestigious dance company in the world, for less than £20?

As well as having a perfect view – the cameras are closer than those sitting in the front row would be – those watching by satellite(an incredible 995 cinemas in 50 countries) are treated to added extras.

In this case it was an introduction by Dame Darcey Bussell and Ore Oduba, filmed live backstage at the Royal Opera House, as well as interviews and pre-shot films with the performers, shown during the interval.

The Nutcracker really is the most magical of all the classical ballets. We follow the delightful Clara from her Victorian Christmas party, into a spellbinding dream where she defeats the Mouse King and travels with her prince to the Kingdom of Sweets to meet the Sugar Plum Fairy.

As always, the Royal Ballet are perfection personified. Exquisite footwork and timing, particularly from Sugar Plum, who managed to command the attention of the entire audience with a singularly effortless flick of her dainty wrist, despite the gruelling physical demands of the role.

A real Christmas treat.