The nine-ad series features voiceovers from nine celebrities who have chosen charities for donations from Marks & Spencer. Ten of the retailer’s staff who are active volunteers have also selected organisations to benefit.

The campaign started today with an ad voiced by Peepshow and Fleabag actress Olivia Colman and came ahead of an uncertain Christmas for retailers and consumers as a new lockdown began in England in a bid to suppress the coronavirus pandemic.

M&S Food marketing director Sharry Cramond said: “2020 has been a difficult year for all of us but at a time when charities are seeing their incomes fall significantly, we want to make sure that the M&S Food Christmas campaign builds on our existing charity partnerships and gives much-needed support to those that need it most.

“This is not the year for advertising fairy tales. Our customers want this Christmas to be as special as possible but have told us that they want to know about the M&S Food must-haves and how we are supporting others.

“All charities featured in the TV ad will receive their donations ahead of Christmas so they can use the money immediately where it’s needed the most.”

The seasonal food advertising campaign is running on social media and in print as well as TV and the retailer hopes to reach more than 47 million adults. It is anticipated that the ad will be seen by more than 7 million people on YouTube alone today.

M&S is not running a clothing advertising campaign this Christmas.