A man who was diagnosed with cancer has decorated his house in thousands of Christmas lights to raise cash for a leukaemia charity.

Peter Elliott and partner Lesley Haylett have covered the outside of their Noak Hill home and front garden in festive illuminations, with a 17-foot star adorning the roof.

Peter was diagnosed with leukaemia in February and the 71-year-old is hoping to raise money for charity Leukaemia Care and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

He said: “Every year we raise money for GOSH because my grandchild was in Great Ormond Street years ago, and this year Leukaemia Care, because they’ve been really supportive after I was told my blood count was low and needed to be checked out.

"I just think it’s a good way to show your appreciation.”

After a pared-down display last year due to Covid-19, this year's decorations include a Santa’s grotto with rocking horses, five Father Christmases, elves, reindeer and stars.

Peter said he has created a display for about the last 38 years.

“It started off with just a string of lights," he explained.

"We’ve got some elderly people who live across the road and they sent us a Christmas card saying how much they liked the lights, and it’s just grown from there. People come and see it from all over.

Romford Recorder: People visit Peter and Lesley's festive displayPeople visit Peter and Lesley's festive display (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

“Every year I try to do something different – so I’ve built gingerbread houses, castles, lots of different things."

Lesley said she was really proud of her partner, adding: "A lot of people get cancer and then just lock themselves away. But he’s just been trying to carry on as he always does.”

One feature from the couple’s display is missing this year though.

Two six-foot statues of comics Laurel and Hardy, which Lesley bought for Peter 40 years ago, were stolen from outside their home in the summer.

A £10,000 reward for their safe return has been offered by Dean Floyd, on behalf of his construction company, Chigwell Group, but the statues have not been seen since.

It was the fourth time they had been stolen and Peter hopes they will come back.

He said: "I was gutted when they were nicked again. The house is known for them and the Christmas decorations."

Reporting by Press Association.