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Santa Hits The Roof

Published on November 8th 2005.

Santa’s back…..and his front have appeared on the Town Hall once again, at quite an expense, and this easy option displays a severe lack of imagination on the part of the council. The sight of the bearded Saint Nick reappearing over Albert Square is a more predictable Christmas stunt than Cliff Richard bringing out a Christmas single.


With just six and a half weeks to go till Christmas (40 shopping days or 960 hours to get those presents in!), the inflatable Santa is supported by a 32-tonne steel structure, with a huge fan billowing hot air to keep him upright, even though he does look like he’s having slightly more fun with the Town Hall than he should be doing.

In 2002, the Manchester Evening News campaigned to save Santa from the axe after council officials took it down after complaining he was overweight and too heavy for the Town Hall.

But now, Santa looks slightly bedraggled and dirty (or it might be soot on his face), after spending 21 years overlooking Albert Square. It takes a whopping £43,000, a crane and a team of mountaineers every year to move him into place, making sure there are no disasters that have befallen the big man such as in 1984 and 1986 when he burst, leaving him lying in a pool of his own presents.

We also thought that Santa had come too early this year, but a swift look at the calendar states that the Christmas lights are being turned on Thursday night. Next already has their Christmas tapes on and Boots has their Christmas gift sets stacking in place of where the aisles used to be, and so, Christmas is upon us.

Shrek can’t make it for the big Christmas lights switch on this year, so instead its left to the slightly wobbly hand of cheeky chappy and former Blue singer, now desperate to launch a solo pop career, Lee Ryan (see top right). The show kicks off at 6pm in Albert Square.

The show will also see the likes of Lucy-Jo Hudson (Katy Harris from Corrie) and Faith Brown dressed up as Cindarella. Whether they can conjure up as much fun as the sight of Shrek dancing with Shaznay Lewis remains to be seen, but in the meantime, we’d like to know if you think Santa is worth the money being spent on him to maintain? Are his global present delivering efforts once a year worthy of the free promotion he gets every year? Or can the money be better spent? Send us your thoughts and ideas below……

I don't think the Town Hall gives a stuff about the cost, it's only one day's parking fees to them! - Gordo (Click here to see what he's talking about....)

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