THE true spirit of Christmas is making a comeback.

I refer to two incidents this week that won't normally make the news.

But they have now here at the Inferno news desk.

One involves a charity tombola in Liscard during the Wirral Ladybirds festive fair last week.

A youngster pinning her hopes on winning a teddy bear was visibly disappointed that her numbers didn’t come up.

She walked away – pocket money spent, wide-eyed and bear-less.

Alas, the lady behind her who bought the remaining tickets did win and then happily handed not ONE but TWO prize teddies to the delighted youngster.

Fur enough.

Hugs all round.

Across the water and to Liverpool One and outside a department store just around the corner from The Bridewell where Charles Dickens worked as a special constable.

Now, in 2016, it seems nothing has changed since his day as a homeless person and his dog were sleeping despite the bitter cold wind with only a battered blanket for two to keep them warm.

And there beside him and his loyal rain-soaked pooch was laid a carefully selected mini-hamper of essentials: bread, biscuits, cheese, water and dog biscuits.

Plus a piping hot drink.

I saw the benevolent couple quietly leave without saying a word or making any fuss.


The ghost of Dickens, the outspoken social commentator, would have approved of this act.

The kindness of these strangers managed to outshine the television ads that are now part of our lives – and made me smile far more than the trampolining foxes of John Lewis.


SADLY, one commercial has left me believing that adults are stealing the magic away from our childhoods.

In a week when author Jean Winterson brands Cinderella "sexist" and deleted the fairy godmother in an imagination-free modern makeover, we see a TV advert from a shop chain where a young girl around the Christmas dinner table is sent a text asking her to 'pass the mint sauce'.

Tragic – a situation of our own doing with everyone relying on social media now out of hand.

Have we lost the ability to communicate?

What next – charades played on iPads and Skype?

All I want for Christmas is our innocence back.


I'M A Celebrity prospective winner Carol Vorderman once taught me a lesson in life.

I met her in London when she was presenting How 2 in 1990 – the follow-up to the hit, fact-filled fun children’s series How?

Carol, 56 next month, has had more image changes than Brexit but she remains as down-to-earth as when I met her.

The self-confessed adventure-seeker showed me how to win an egg and spoon race. No yoke here!

We successfully ran up and down the corridors during a press launch stunt at the Science Museum.

"It's all about focus and being prepared to look silly in the process while achieving your goal," the first Countdown queen told me as she gave me a souvenir Media egg cup trophy.

Her philosophy is now just the right formula to be crowned Christmas Carol of the jungle.



The success of Birkenhead Operatic Society – BOST Musicals was a seasonal home-coming for one of its multi-talented sons, co-choreographer Graeme Henderson.

Graeme appeared in a BOST production at the age of eight – a fact the trustees are rightly proud of.

He has been dancing the light fantastic throughout his stunning career, appearing at the National Theatre at 16 and been a shining light in the West End playing opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago.

On stepping out for the five-star Globe-rated performance of White Christmas, Graeme said: "Creating dance routines involving over 50 people dancing on stage at the same time was exciting." 

Standing ovations proved our Graeme has tons of talent on tap ...

Peter Grant