What a scoop

IT'S the biggest scoop since the abdication, an interview that sets me apart from my peers and an exclusive that I suspect will make my name as a journalist.

IT'S the biggest scoop since the abdication, an interview that sets me apart from my peers and an exclusive that I suspect will make my name as a journalist.

Today, dear readers, I have secured a chat with the most elusive of elusive celebrities - Father Christmas himself, and do you know, he's in Ipswich.

It took some setting up, so I'll tell you how it happened.

Strangely a lady called Bridget, who enjoys tap dancing and who I know through my association with the Ipswich frightfully Operatic and awfully Dramatic Society (IODS) approached me.

It was after a rehearsal for the forthcoming production of Singing in the Rain that she approached me as I was taking off my little jazz pumps and enjoying a refreshing soft drink.

"James," she said: "I know Father Christmas and he's going to be in Ipswich."

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Naturally, I didn't believe her at first suspecting that old St Nick might have things to do at the North Pole at this time of year.

But Bridget persisted: “I think you should meet him. Leave it with me I can get a few moments of his time. He'll be outside the Carr Street Co-op on Saturday morning."

"How convenient," I replied.

Of course, with the prospect of a lucrative journalism award to add to my CV and possibly film rights, I pencilled him in my full celebrity diary.

Though he didn't say so I suspect Santa knew who I was, indeed he often brought things to me when I was in short trousers. I think he probably remembered me as a sleeping child keen on Lego.

I seized the opportunity to pose some questions:

So how old are you Father Christmas?

"I'm as old as the stars, I'm very old."

Where do you live?

"At the North Pole with my wife |Mary Christmas in a lovely and warm log cabin."

Must be a busy time of year?

"We've been working all year round preparing for Christmas. Christmas Eve night is very busy."

So how do you manage to deliver all those presents all in one night?


And what brings you to Ipswich today?

"Well I'm in the Ipswich coop grotto. It's a superb woodland theme."

So how's Rudolf?

"He's very well. It isn't foggy today so we don't need him for the parade. The other reindeer are resting so that's why we have hired a Mitsubishi"

So what do you say to those people who say you're not real?

"Of course I'm real. There are a lot of impostors though."

Do you have a message for the children of Ipswich?

"I'd like to wish them all a Merry Christmas and remind them to be good and remember that Christmas is a time for parents too."

Ho Ho Ho

It's been a busy week in the world of amateur theatre. On Sunday those of us in the Ipswich ever so Operatic and distinctly Dramatic Society auditioned for the forthcoming production of Signing in the Rain.

Naturally I was so nervous I was forced to sip Lucozade and panic backstage.

When it came to the dancing, a routine choreographed by David - the Arlene Philips of the society - I did my best. Simon the director, even said 'well done' which was kind, considering I had made an error or two - purely nerves I'm sure.

Late in the evening I spoke to Margaret, an IODS stalwart, who informed me I had been successful in my bid to play the role of tubby boy at the back.

To quote the show - its wonderful feeling, I'm happy again.

Meanwhile while on the subject of the stage, Strictly was a it nailbiting wasn't it?

I wasn't sure if Letitia would have to face the dance off, but my favourite of the Strictly dancers, managed to get through for another week.

She looked very relieved; I suspect my Vote Letitia campaign is making all the difference.

Isn't there a lot of talk about this football?

By the way some people are reacting the world has ended.

Football is like a joke I never got, partly because when I was a lad it was shrouded in violence and always seemed to attract trouble. England has to play Croatia again in the World Cup qualifying group, and apparently this is, as pundits claimed, a dramatic twist. I am yet to be convinced it makes one iota of difference.

After last week's defeat the golden generation is somewhat tarnished.