Fun and magic of being Santa

The Real Santa - Steven Wickham
The Real Santa - Steven Wickham

The Real Santa doesn’t live in Greenland, oh no, he doesn’t.

You’ll find him a lot closer to home – in Longwood Lane, Amersham.

And how do we know he’s the real Santa?

Well, we have to take the word of the grandson of television character Mrs Brown - aka Brendan O’Carroll.

When Steven Wickham appeared on the 2013 Christmas special of Mrs Brown’s Boys, Brendan’s grandson confided to his mother: “I think he’s the real Santa.”

Steven, 53, explained: “Brendan uses his own family in the show and his grandson and I had a really touching scene together. When he turned to his mum and said that, I was chuffed to bits - high praise indeed.”

In fact Steven - who picked up the drama bug at Amersham College - was so thrilled with the accolade that he started a little business on the strength of it and bills himself as a local Santa for hire.

In addition, he’s donned the white beard and traditional red outfit for numerous commercials for multi national companies, including Schweppes, Littlewoods and Lloyds Bank.

He claims he’s growing into the role. “My eyebrows are getting bushier and my waist is getting bigger,” he smiled. I’m very comfortable doing it.

“When I first auditioned I was too young. But I now have the persona and the voice and children believe I’m the real deal straight away.”

His own favourite Father Christmas figure is the late actor Richard Attenborough, who starred in the movie Miracle on 34th Stree

Stephen’s initial ambition was to be a chef but he started getting small parts in soaps such as EastEnders and Casualty as well as series like The Bill and Casualty.

“You have to go with the flow,” he said. “But playing Father Christmas is a role full of happiness.

“It’s all rather fun and magical.”

> More information at www.therealsanta.co.uk