Sainsbury’s has unveiled this year’s Christmas ad, featuring a new character, the Countess, played by Alison Hammond.

The full-length commercial tells the tale of Christmas dinner in a noblewoman’s household, paying special attention to the Christmas pudding, which Sainsbury’s says is “divisive”.

“Food plays a central role in any celebration, and we wanted to bring to life the imagination and innovation that goes into creating our Taste the Difference Christmas range,” said Sainsbury’s head of campaigns Laura Boothby.

“We’ve focused on the Christmas pudding specifically because we know it’s divisive – people love it, or they hate it – and that’s why we’ve created the Taste the Difference Caramelised Biscuit Pudding. Pudding lovers can still opt for the traditional dessert, but those who aren’t fans can try our innovative take on the Christmas classic instead.”

Narrated by Stephen Fry, the storyline sees guests dine on a host of Sainsbury’s menu items, from Taste the Difference crab thermidor crumpets to cider-glazed gammon.

Eventually, a nervous new cook presents the Countess with a Christmas pudding, something she has never liked. Faced with rejection of the order, chefs get to work on creating an alternative – this time a Taste the Difference caramelised biscuit Christmas pudding, which goes down a treat.

The ad is set to a “medieval instrumental version” of Wheatus’s 2000 hit ‘Teenage Dirtbag’.