‘My family don’t know I dress up as Santa – I’ve kept it as a secret for years’

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Most people are busy around Christmas time.

However, for Mike Facherty, it's extra hectic – this is because he's a professional Santa impersonator.

Mike, who is known as Henley Santa, has been dressing up as Father Christmas for years.

However, he admits that not everyone knows he does it.

Mike says he has kept the fact that he is 'Santa' a secret from his grandchildren.

Asked if he ever dresses up as Santa in front of his family, Mike admits he has never.

"No, none of them know I'm Santa," he says.

"Some of my grandchildren say to me 'you really like Christmas, don't you' and I just nod my head.

"I suspect my oldest grandchild who is 11 may guess soon."

Unfortunately, Mike's Santa Grotto is closed again this year, as it was last year too, due to Covid restrictions.

However he has been doing door-stop visits and Zoom Santa calls instead.

Mike says he usually has Christmas Day off though to spend it with his family.

However, he did do a doorstop visit last year due to an exceptional circumstance.

"I did one last year as someone got in touch who had 5-year-old twins," he said.

"It was her husband's last Christmas so I did it for them but I don't normally."

Mike admits its been "hard" with his grotto not open, and says he's found it hard filling up the days with work sometimes.

However, thing such as the Zoom calls have bought new opportunities.

As well as playing Santa, Mike is also an author and has created his own range of Christmas children's books.

Alongside this, he's an actor too.

Asked what is favourite part he's ever played in a film was, he said Father Christmas, of course.

However, luckily he isn't typecast, with him played an Oxford professor a couple of times and even a gangster.

It's safe to say, with all this going on, it seems like he's gonna have a jolly busy festive season this year.

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  • Santa Claus
  • Christmas
  • Family

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