Pub landlord Chris Overend has been as good as his word, growing a beard over the past year to look like a real Santa Claus.
Last December, Chris, who runs the Griffin Inn at Irnham, said he intended to grow a real beard rather than don an articificial one, and featured on the front page.
He hasn’t shaved since the beginning of January and is quite proud of his growth of facial hair.
He said: “It has certainly generated a lot of comments and turned a few heads, especially when I wear my red chef’s shirt.
“Not all the comments have been favourable. The ladies seem to like it but not all the men and I will be putting some of the men on Santa’s naughty list for some of the things they have said. The naughty list is going to be bigger than normal this year.
“When my youngest daughter, who is a nurse in London, first saw the beard she nearly split her sides laughing.”
Chris had thought about offering his services to anyone who was looking for someone to be Father Christmas but has decided against that, instead he will be opening a Just Giving page on Sunday inviting people to make donations for Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Stroke Association. Both causes are close to Chris’ heart as he lost his father to cancer and a friend suffered a stroke.
He intends to keep the beard until after Christmas.
Chris admitted: “It is driving me mad but if it helps raise money for two good causes it will be well worth it.
“I have no target in mind, I’ll be happy with whatever we manage to raise. It’s basically just a bit of fun.
“The beard will stay until at least December 26 and then I will have it shaved off.”
To sponsor Chris or or for more information on his Just Giving page call 01476 550201.