I know this sounds like a weird brag, but I genuinely can’t remember a time I actually believed in Father Christmas. I think it’s because my parents never bothered trying to hide that they were the ones who put presents under the tree.

It would be the 16th of December and all of my presents would be under the tree. It doesn’t take a genius to notice that they weren’t put that by an intruder on Christmas eve.

Nonetheless, I still visited grottos and as ever, Santa was very cordial. He’s just a jolly old man, isn’t he? It’s hard to get that wrong.

Well that’s what I thought, as one man playing Santa at a grotto in Cambridgeshire made headlines for being the antithesis of Saint Nick.

Parents and children in St Ives were shocked after their Santa allegedly ripped off his beard and hat, and proceeded to scream at everyone to “get the f**k out!”

The incident occurred at the Corn Exchange in Market Hill on Sunday, December 9, when the Father Christmas event was in full swing.

Annoyingly though, a smoke machine being used in the floor beneath – for a separate event – set fire alarms off (why didn’t anyone account for that?), sending the Father Christmas event into a frenzy.

This is when roughly 50 children and their parents were ferried out, but the Santa at the event began acting rather unSanta-like.

He ripped off his hat and his beard and began yelling at everyone there. One mother, who wanted to remain anonymous, said:

People were in the process of vacating the building and in came angry Santa swearing using the most vile language, ripping off his hat and beard with steam literally coming from his ears… not too sure why he was so cross?

He was shouting at people to leave, which is exactly what we were doing. Very strange behaviour.

My friend’s little boy was upset as his dad was carrying him when Santa told them ‘to get the f*ck out’.

We told our children he wasn’t the real Santa. He was an imposter and will be going on the naughty list.

The organisers of the event, Festival Events St Ives (FESt) have subsequently apologised on their Facebook page, saying:

Last Sunday during a family rave event (not a FESt event) in the Corn Exchange, St Ives, the fire alarms were activated by smoke in the Charter Hall.

Santa was upstairs in his grotto, an event organised by Festival Events St Ives (a voluntary organisation) and immediately assisted in the evacuation of the building.

FESt wish to apologise for any offence or distress caused to parents and children by the attempts to ensure all visitors and staff had exited the building and were safe.

I mean, it is hilarious and the people involved have got an excellent story out of it but yeah, that absolutely shouldn’t have happened.

What if that was the real Santa though?

Images via Getty