Beard. Red suit. Belly like jelly. “Ho ho ho.” You might think playing the role of Santa would be easy, but you would be forgetting what an unforgiving perfectionist Saint Nick can be. This is a man who checks lists twice.
Thus in preparing to play the right jolly old elf in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, actor Nick Frost met up with Santa Claus to try and get some insight into the man. “I spent two months with him up in Rovaniemi [in Finland] last October,” he told Doctor Who Extra. “It’s a busy time because they’re really cranking it up. He doesn’t wake up until mid-October. I was just there with the elves and Mary Claus for two weeks.”
Doctor Who’s version of Father Christmas reportedly has a run in with Peter Capaldi’s curmudgeonly Time Lord, but Frost says the real Santa is a long way from the tabloid rumours: “I had been told that he was quite cranky, and he could be quite irritable, but he was a joy to work with. We did a ride along on Christmas Eve and it was just fantastic.”
Indeed, Kringle even came on set to help with the performance. “Essentially he’s been my dialect coach,” the appropriately named Frost explained, “but with Christmas cheer.”
Will Santa have a Hitchcock-style cameo alongside Frost in the Christmas special? There are only 23 sleeps left until we find out. Unless, of course, you have a Tardis…
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news