We're all used to the magical stories of Santa, landing on your roof on Christmas morning with his sleigh and popping down the chimney to lay presents under the tree. Navigating chimneys is something that does not deter Santa, so it would stand to reason that he could easily abseil from the roof of a Reading shopping centre to surprise the shoppers below.

Alas, it wasn't Santa's day.

The Broad Street Mall in Reading had planned a special Christmas lights switch-on show, which would see Santa enter via the roof and abseil to the floor. However, due to a slight mishap, Santa got stuck on his way, and was left dangling for 30 minutes about 15ft off the ground by his beard.

Stephanie Maynard, marketing manager at the centre, said that Santa was not hurt, and added, “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.”

“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.”

Editor's note

Do you want to see the video of Santa dangling by his beard? Of course you do… http://cedr.ec/j4