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Excited reporter meets the man behind the beard as Romford Santa’s grotto officially opens

PUBLISHED: 15:00 13 November 2017

Santa Claus outside his grotto at Mercury Mall.

Santa Claus outside his grotto at Mercury Mall.

Mercury Mall

He has got to be one of the most recognisable faces in the world, making millions of children happy every year and it was an honour to meet him for an exclusive interview for the very first time.

Santa Claus will once again be spending a lot of time in the Mercury Mall shopping centre, Romford, after his grotto officially opened last week.

As the ceremonial ribbon was cut, the little girl inside me yelped with joy, knowing that I was finally going to speak to him face to face rather than just through one of my many letters addressed to him over the years.

Sat down side by side surrounded by bags full of presents ready to be handed out, I asked Mr Cringle what it was like to be back in Romford.

“It’s lovely coming back here, I always look forward to making my way to Romford every year”, he chuckled.

“The children are always so well behaved and I can’t wait to meet them all over again.

“We’ve been really busy this time around, with the elves working around the clock - we’ve had a lot of fidget spinners being made at the workshop in particular!”

But that wasn’t all I needed to know.

I wanted to ask as many questions as I could squeeze into my allotted time - he is a very busy man after all.

From how he sneaks into people’s homes so effortlessly, to how is it possible for him to travel the world in one night.

Simply put, he replied: “Time zones.

“My strategy is to start at the bottom with places like Australia and New Zealand, work my way up to Dubai and then go from there really.

“As for getting into everyone’s homes, I have a magic key that opens all the doors but if you have been naughty, the key won’t work on your house.”

But what does he exactly tell those that visit him?

“I always make sure that they are well behaved and take care of their mums.

“After all, you only get one mum and they’re the most important people in the world.”

Santa’s grotto will be open Monday - Saturday from 10am-5pm until December 24 and open Sundays 11am-4pm with lunch between 1-2pm.

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