The £20k Santa’s grotto: Christmas fanatic transforms homs into winter wonderland with 60,000 flashing lights
A festive fanatic has spent more than £20,000 transforming his home into the ultimate winter wonderland with 60,000 lights – which flash in time to his own radio station.
Christmas crazy Paul Toole, 37, puts on a seasonal spectacular every year, attracting global attention for his efforts.
And the entertainer has gone all rock and roll this year – with Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis agreeing to switch the lights on at the official opening.
Scroll down for a video of the lights
Paul has been decorating his bungalow in Wells, Somerset, since 1998 and has spent more than £20,000 on lights and gadgets.
This year’s spectacle includes eight Christmas trees, reindeer, penguins, seals and polar bears and a massive wreath which stands 8ft tall.
Visitors are invited tune their car radios to 89.2FM when they enter the cul-de-sac so they can listen to his own radio station which belts out eight Christmas classics on a loop.
He said: “I am completely Christmas mad and every year I try to go full out and put on a great display for the community.
“I have just finished it and the garden is all white. I started earlier this year as well and I’m glad I did as the recent weather could have threatened the big switch-on.
“This year we have got 60,000 LEDs which is 10,000 more than last year. The whole display is easily better than any we’ve done before.”
The house, which has been dubbed ‘The House on Christmas Street’ by locals, has more than 500 metres of fake snow in the garden and over a mile of wiring.
Paul admits that, while the display raises money for charity, it is not to everyone’s taste.
He said: “I get a mixed reaction from neighbours, some think it is tacky and I don’t understand this but the majority enjoy it. I know who the grinches are.
“I am hoping around 1,500 people will show up for the official switch on. We had Boycie from Only Fools and Horses switch the lights on last year.
“This year we’ve got Michael Eavis. I asked him if he fancied the job and he said yes straight away.”
The self-employed karaoke and disco entertainer raised more than £7,000 for the Make A Wish Foundation last year.
He added: “I am hoping to raise even more this year. At Friday’s ceremony there will be free minced pies and mulled wine with presents for the children.
“When I first looked at the display I would say it has easily exceeded last year’s. It’s going to be hard to beat it next year.”