Father Christmas answers Barker's Dozen
23 December 2014
BusinessCar editor Paul Barker puts 13 testing questions to the daddy of the festive season
1. What was your first job?
To be honest with you, I've been doing the same delivery-driving job for as long as I can remember, although I also manage the stock supply and human/elf/reindeer resources.
2. What was your first company car?
It was a 12-reindeer power sled in a beautiful green that came to a sticky end in a nasty incident with a chimney. Always optioned parking sensors after that.
3. What did you listen to on your last car journey?
You can't beat a good Christmas album. Santa Claus is Comin' To Town is a particular favourite, though that Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer song didn't do much for team harmony. No-one really used to laugh and call him names. Honest.
4. What one thing do you wish you could do better?
Spread my workload throughout the year. We always seem to have a peak followed by months of inactivity.
5. What's your biggest achievement?
I'd say getting down every chimney in the world in the space of a night is pretty damn good, wouldn't you?
6. Who is your role model?
Well, I was a fan of [former BBC newsreader] Michael Buerk's beard that he grew during I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! Shame he shaved it off afterwards, though.
7. What's the stupidest thing you've done?
There's an incident with a tight chimney and one-too-many mince pies that we don't talk about any more.
8. What was the most hotly debated topic at your last meeting?
Risk management. Excess driving hours in the winter months, driving after a little glass of sherry or two and overloaded vehicles are all dangers in my profession.
9. What's in your garage?
A few bales of hay, some wine we picked up passing through France before the exchange rates went south and a snowplough. No use for sports cars here, it's too icy!
10. What's the worst thing about your job?
The public expectation. David Cameron messes things up all the time, yet one little mis-delivery and my name's mud.
11. What one law would you make or change?
People should not, I repeat, not be allowed to block up chimneys.
12. What keeps you awake at night?
The red glow from the reindeer field outside.
13. Who is your ideal celebrity date?
I'd share a Christmas pudding with Pixie Lott as her song I Got Love for Xmas is pretty damm good, and Kylie Minogue's version of Santa Baby sent me into a sleigh-spin, so I'd love to take her on a night out drinking Lapland's finest brandy.