A man who has celebrated Christmas every day for the last 14 years with a full roast dinner, champagne and presents is scaling back his celebrations because of the credit crunch.
Andy Park, known as Mr Christmas, has munched his way through 117,600 sprouts, quaffed 5,110 bottles of Moet, and sent himself more than 230,000 Christmas cards since his festive fetish began.
But this year the 44-year-old electrician, from Melksham, Wiltshire, is having to make swingeing cuts to keep his unique devotion to Yuletide on the road.
Mr Park, a divorcee, said: “I’ve been through 37 electric ovens and worn out 23 video recorders by watching the Queen’s Speech every day. I’ve also sent myself 235,206 Christmas cards. But these days the postage is so dear I’m having to deliver them myself.
“The credit crunch is getting to me big time and I may even have to cut out the champagne and start singing for my Christmas dinner.
“The lunch with all the trimmings and alcohol is costing in excess of £150 a week, but I’m fighting hard not to let the financial crisis ruin the celebrations.
“I’m not being tight but a few of the little extras are having to go. I’m only having one Christmas tree this year, instead of two, and I’m cutting back on the Christmas lights because of energy bills.
“I used to get a 14lb turkey, now I’m going for a 9lb one. I refuse to compromise on champagne and always have Moet, but now I’m having to make it last two days.”
Every morning since July 14 1994, the father of one has breakfasted on mince pies and sherry, before opening the presents he has bought for himself. Then he eats a full roast turkey lunch and watches the Queen’s Speech on video, his favourite being her “annus horribilis” address.
When he last took stock of his intake in October, Mr Park calculated that he had consumed 5,110 turkeys, 94,080 mince pies, 28,224 roast potatoes, and opened 204,400 Christmas crackers.
Explaining the moment his life changed, Mr Park said: “I’ll never forget the day it started. The sun was shining, but I was just feeling fed up and bored, so I went home and put the decorations up. Suddenly I was happy. I thought, this is fun. So I did it again the next day, and the day after that.
“People do think I’m crackers, but I enjoy treating myself and I’m the only one in the world who does it. Others have tried to copy me, but they can’t last.
Maybe Mr Christmas should have a go on our Happy Christmas Turkey Scoffing Game?
Source: The Telegraph
The Prince of Wales will feature in a special edition of the Antiques Roadshow, Top of the Pops will return and the cast of Blackadder will come together for a one off special to mark its 25th birthday - these are some of the highlights of the BBC’s Christmas schedule that have been unveiled.
The Prince will talk to Fiona Bruce from Dumfries House near Cumnock in East Ayrshire and Blackadder Rides Again will include the first ever in-depth interview with Rowan Atkinson, about his personal experience of being involved in the show.
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly will also present a Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special, featuring previous winners Alesha Dixon and Jill Halfpenny, also Kelly Brook, who pulled out last year after the death of her father will return to compete with the remaining contestants of the latest series.
Nigella Lawson will be returning with a five part series ‘Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen’ comprising of three new programmes and Rab C Nesbitt returns in a 45 minute long special.
As well as special holly-encrusted editions of Doctor Who, The Royal Family, EastEnders and Gavin and Stacey, other BBC1 highlights include a Christmas edition of the detective series Jonathan Creek and The 39 Steps, a drama based on the novel by John Buchan, and set in the build up to the First World War, starring Rupert Penry Jones.
Comedy will include the return of Shooting Stars, and Jack Dee will star in a special of Lead Balloon. Among the plethora of feature films due to get a Christmas airing will be the television premier of a new Wallace and Gromit adventure In A Matter of Loaf and Death, and Finding Nemo, Shark Tale, The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest and Starter for Ten.
Jana Bennett, director of BBC Vision, said the BBC had: “Pulled out all the stops this year to ensure a truly wonderful holiday schedule featuring the very best of British talent in a great line-up of exciting seasonal specials”.
She added there was something to appeal to everyone. So while the schedule of BBC1 is unashamedly populist, BBC2 is emphasising the highbrow in its own Christmas offering.
Highlights include the conductor Daniel Barenboim in The New Year’s Day Concert 2008: Live from Vienna and two major religious documentaries In The Truth about Carols, looking at the major traditions and Star of Bethlehem -Behind the Myth, which takes a look at the latest findings of scientists, astronomers and historians as they map the night skies.
Source: The Telegraph
Work has got under way to decorate a giant Redwood tree with 1,800 lights at Kew’s country garden in West Sussex. The 100ft Redwood at Wakehurst Place is said to be the UK’s tallest Christmas tree - and when lit up is visible from the sky on flights to Gatwick Airport.
Expert tree climbers were scaling the tree with ropes and high-level platforms from 0730 GMT on Wednesday. James Pumfrey, from the conservation and woodland unit, said work would take most of the day to complete.
Mr Pumfrey is one of a team of arborists who look after trees around the 500 acre estate near Haywards Heath. He said: “Stringing up 1,800 Christmas lights is a bit different to our normal work, and it always marks the start of the build-up to Christmas here at Wakehurst.
“The tree is a local landmark which can be seen for miles when the lights are switched on and it is great to be part of this festive tradition.”
The energy-saving lightbulbs will be tested on Wednesday and will be officially lit up on 28 November.
source: The BBC
More than 50,000 people gathered in central London to watch pop stars McFly turn on the Regent Street Christmas lights. The foursome did the honours at 6.50pm from a stage set up at the junction of New Burlington Street and Regent Street.
Bass guitarist Dougie Paynter said: “It was awesome and there was so many people there to see it.”He added: “So many great people have done it before. When we did it there was a plaque saying who had done it in the past and there was people like Sir Anthony Hopkins and members of the Royal Family.
Thousands of small energy-efficient lightbulbs have been used to design the lights which are based on the theme of stars.
The tradition of switching on the Christmas lights dates back to 1954 and previous guests invited to turn them on include Diana, Princess of Wales, pop star Kylie Minogue and jockey Frankie Dettori.
McFly begin a UK and Ireland tour on Friday in Sheffield and will release their next single, backing the Children in Need appeal, on November 24. Dougie said: “We have been on the show before a few times and we opened it last year I think, but doing the single is another honour.”
The double-A side features the track Do Ya, from their current album Radio:ACTIVE, and a cover version of The Faces’ Stay With Me.
Source: The Press Association
This year the theme for the Regent Street lights is ‘stars’ and the famous “mile of style” will be transformed into a winter wonderland for Christmas shoppers. Since the 1950s international celebrities have turned on the lights to mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
Past personalities include HRH The Prince of Wales, Kylie Minogue, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sylvester Stallone and Sir Ian McKellen.
Danny from McFly said: “We’re really excited to be switching on the Regent Street Christmas lights.
“So many great people have done it in the past. “It’s also fantastic that BBC Children in Need are involved. “Hopefully we can help encourage people to think of ideas to raise even more money this year”.
McFly are releasing an official single for BBC Children in Need, which helps disadvantaged children and young people across the UK. The switch-on event is supporting the charity with many of the Regent Street retailers collecting donations throughout the week.
This year Hollyoaks star John Pickard, who plays the character Dominic Reilly, will MC the event and the London Gospel Community Choir will be performing a selection of songs from the stage keeping the audience entertained in the lead up to McFly switching on the lights.
The Regent Street Christmas lights are one of London’s major tourist attractions and draw a huge number of visitors each year.
source: This is Lancashire
I stumbled across this exhibition of illumination whilst driving through South London late last year. I kid you not this house is real!!!
How they afford the electricity bill is anyones guess.
Love it or loath it, DIY Christmas lighting is here to stay and we want to see your pictures of lighting jobs gone wrong or those that are just too bright to ignore! Below is one we saw on our festive travels. It is not a bad start but we know there is better out there.
Share your pictures with us: Elves@happychristmas.com