Thousands of people had flocked into the shopping centre to see the big man himself switch on the Christmas lights and in typically jovial fashion Santa had not wanted to disappoint the crowds who had flocked to see him.

The rapturous applause of the thronging masses however quickly turned to gasps of horror as it became fairly clear to all in attendance that Santa was experiencing some trouble high above the shop floors.

Santa’s luxurious white beard had become stuck in his abseiling ropes, meaning that he could neither go back up to the roof or down to the floor.

As they say in the business “the show must go on”, and so it did with the shopping centre pushing on with the big switch on ably assisted by a couple of stars off Coronation Street whilst Santa dangled ten feet above the proceedings like a giant bauble.

In the end it was a couple of men from the army that ended up freeing Santa, much to the relief of many children in the audience and to the mirth of all of the adults.

The stunt ended up costing Santa 40 minutes of his life, minutes that he is unlikely ever to get back.