Santa’s in the frame for elf abuse

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YOU better watch out, you better not shout Santa Claus is coming to a small screen near you this Christmas.

Yes, March’s very own Father Christmas is set to appear in the award-winning ITV programme ‘You’ve Been Framed’ on December 25.

And it is all thanks to the antics of Father Christmas captured on video by local hotelier and councillor Rob Skoulding during the annual Christmas lights switch-on in 2007.

Rob’s young sons Harry and Jay were elves and were riding on the sleigh with Father Christmas - played that year by town clerk Clive Lemmon, because obviously the real Santa was busy getting ready for the big day.

As the sleigh drove onto the Market Place with Father Christmas, the elves and Mayor at the time Jan French there was a bit of a mishap.

Santa was throwing sweets to the waiting crowds when he managed to hit poor Harry, who was about five at the time, in the face sending him flying off the bench seat and tumbling to the floor.

Rob had organised for the whole thing to be filmed and Father Christmas hitting an elf in the face was an unexpected bonus to the footage capture.

The clip was submitted to ‘You’ve Been Framed’ well over a year ago by Rob but nothing was heard until recently when the cast were asked to sign disclaimer forms with the understanding it will be shown as part of the Christmas special.

“Fortunately, I can say no elves were seriously injured in the making of this video,” laughed Clive, who is unsure about making his national television debut in such a fashion.

Rob said: “We haven’t been told it will definitely be shown, but we’ve signed the forms and we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

“Harry has agreed to donate all the £250 he will get from the show to the Christmas Lights Appeal. The lights committee do a fantastic job, so it’s great to be able to give them some support.”

The write-up on the ITV website regarding the Christmas Day ‘You’ve Been Framed’ episode, which goes out at 5.30pm, cryptically reads: “The show features rocking around the Christmas tree and five ways to kill a snowman. Plus Santa Claus is coming to town!”