Local man, Martin Shuttlecock, a stunningly athletic Olympic gymnastics gold medallist and three time World Ker-Plunk champion, today shocked friends, family, neighbours, the media, and former boxing champion, Ricky Hatton, by declaring to the world at large that Father Christmas is a real person, and not a figment of somebody's imagination.
Shuttlecock, in an impassioned speech on the doorstep of his Hampshire home, swore blind that not only is Father Christmas real, but that he categorically does not drive a sleigh, powered by reindeer with daft names.
Apparently, Father Christmas drives a cart, powered by a shire horse, and he could be seen in full public view on the streets of Hampshire on Christmas Eve at about lunchtime.
Along with a helper, and an elf.
Although nobody reported seeing him climbing in and out of chimneys bearing gifts.
"It's true," Shuttlecock told reporters. "I seen him on our street. And you know what? He actually does wear a red suit, and he actually does have a humungous white beard. I seen him with me own two peepers! So I did. Large as life! Mind you, I must admit that I didn't hear him go: 'YO HO HO!' or anything like that. But he was right there on our street on his cart wiv a helper and an elf. An' a shire horse and that. Waved at me, so he did. I got a piccy of him on me mobile phone. But it came out all fuzzy, so you can't really make out what it is."
"I don't know whether to believe the daft bastard or not," said long suffering wife Anne. "For once, he hadn't started on the cooking sherry at the time, so he can't have been pissed. Maybe he really has finally flipped his lid."
"It's true I tell you!" Shuttlecock screeched as he was forcibly restrained by health care professionals and loaded unceremoniously into the back of a white van.
More as we get it.