Santa makes use of escape clause
IT S BEEN a long week for Father Christmas. On Christmas Eve he had to persuade staff at Luton Airport s passport control that his passport picture was really him. They complained that his face was obscured by a red hat and bushy beard, but eventually the
IT'S BEEN a long week for Father Christmas.
On Christmas Eve he had to persuade staff at Luton Airport's passport control that his passport picture was really him.
They complained that his face was obscured by a red hat and bushy beard, but eventually they gave in and allowed him through.
He also managed to dodge the severe security restrictions on carrying airport luggage as he had his own sleigh.
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Eventually, after getting his reindeer through the EU and DEFRA approved airport border inspection post for livestock, he was on the runway.
Within seconds he was off.
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"It's the same every year," he told The Comet.
"Once you're on the runway it's very quick. It's amazing that they need to expand at all."
After circling the globe on Christmas Eve, a rather tired and emotional Father Christmas agreed to speak to our reporter at a secret location in Comet country on Boxing Day before he was due to set off home to Lapland.
"There are over 6.5 billion people on the planet, don't you know. It takes quite a while to get around.
"It's rather hard work dropping through so many chimneys. Especially as I'm so round. I really should lose some weight, maybe go on a diet. But people leave me so many mince pies to eat it's hard to stay in shape.
"I did receive a Davina McCall workout DVD from the wife last night (Monday) so I'll give that a go when I get a minute. Get myself in shape for next year.
"Another thing I got for Christmas was a Nintendo Wii.
"I was playing it last night in our hotel but gave Mrs Claus a black eye and cut lip and did £2,000 worth of damage to our room. The hotel owner wasn't impressed. I've packed it away now until I fly home.
"And you know what? I blame it on the excessive sherry drinking.
"There's a glass of the stuff in every house that I go to. It's relentless. I should say 'no' but they've gone to all the effort.
"There have been a couple of occasions when I've had to visit the lavatory in somebody's house because the bladder can't take any more.
"You'd be surprised at how many people I've woken up when flushing the toilet handle.
"Many a time I've been confronted with dads wielding baseball bats. It's enough to make you miss the target. But it's always OK once I've explained what's happened."
After delivering all these presents and downing all those sherries and mince pies, you would have forgiven Father Christmas for wanting to take a break from it all, to put his feet up or go for a relaxing game of golf.
But he has no such plans. The rest of the year is spent preparing for the endless visits to department stores and grottos - how many places can you be in at one time? - and that's before the Christmas Eve world tour.
"I'm often saying to Mrs Claus 'I think it's time to pass on the reins, dear'. Ho ho ho. But seriously, I do enjoy it.
"There was one year when I had a bit of time off but I couldn't decide what to do with it all. After all there was no point in going on holiday because I've been everywhere and seen everything. I do it every year.
"I just spent it watching Extreme Sports on TV with a glass of wine in my hand.
"But, to be honest, I love my job. I like getting letters all year round.
"I was even thinking the other day about setting up my own email address but I'm not sure how to go about it in Lapland. I'd have to speak to Clinet [Clinet Ltd, Finland's premier internet provider - Ed.] to see if they could do me a deal with my TV and phone line."
And what about New Year's Eve? Any plans?
"It's too expensive to go out. The job doesn't pay well. In fact the job doesn't pay. I'm sure if I was based in England I'd be entitled to the minimum wage.
"The wife and I usually visit friends in Scotland for a nice cup of tea and we watch Jools Holland on TV. He is a blast isn't he?"
Father Christmas was talking exclusively to Damion Roberts.