Santa stuck by beard at Reading shopping centre

Stranded Santa at Reading shopping centre; video courtesy Andrew Maunder

A Santa Claus was left dangling from the ceiling after his beard became trapped while abseiling inside a Reading shopping centre as part of a Christmas lights switch-on show.

He was stuck for about 30 minutes about 15ft off the ground in the Broad Street Mall on Saturday afternoon.

Eyewitness Ryan Gaudreau said: "Everyone was laughing at him - he didn't really know what to do."

Stephanie Maynard, marketing manager at the centre, said Santa was not hurt.

"He could have just taken his beard off and let himself down but he was such a professional and he didn't want to let the children down," she said.

"He lost his footing as he came through the hole in the ceiling and there was a sudden jolt and he got caught in the clip on the rope.

"Some people were absolutely mortified while others thought it was the funniest thing ever.

"They had to let another rope down and get him down and there was such a roar from the crowd.

"Usually after the lights switch-on the centre empties but there were so many people still there waiting to see if Father Christmas was going to get down."

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