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Stig’s beard shapes up perfectly for Christmas

Stig’s beard shapes up perfectly for Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park

Stars set to shine this Christmas!
Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park 2007
Saturday 24 November, Hagley Park, Christchurch
Saturday 8 December, Auckland Domain

Christchurch based entertainer Stig Eldred has shown real commitment to growing a genuine Santa-Claus beard for the title role at Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park.

It wasn’t difficult for organisers to choose Stig from amongst the dozens of audition tapes they received: in fact artistic producer Kate Ward-Smythe’s three year old daughter, helping her mother scan the tapes at home, was immediately adamant that he was ‘the one’.

The only problem was that, apart from a goatee, he was bare-faced. So the role came with one proviso: Stig, who has had roles in movies like Dick Tracy and King Kong, had to promise to grow a thick and luscious beard for the part that was fitting of a true Santa-Claus.

Stig is generally used to shaving for movie roles, rather than growing facial hair, but back in September, he started work on the four-month task of letting his standard goatee become a haze of grey hair that Santa himself would be proud of.

“We are definitely doing Santa Claus with an authentic beard this year,” he says. “No stick-ons.”

It isn’t Stig’s first time as Santa, but it is the occasion with the biggest audience: In times gone by he was a phone line Santa-Claus in California for a time, and as a solo artist, every Christmas for years he’d pick a nice spot, dress up in Santa’s outfit, and ‘sing carols for all the waifs and strays who had nowhere to go on Christmas eve.’

Stig is to be joined at the Christchurch edition of Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park by dozens of big names including Simon Barnett and Gary McCormick, Jackie Clarke, Frankie Stevens, Will Martin and Steve Broad, and in Auckland by Alvin and the Chipmunks, Frankie Stevens, Jackie Clark, Ben Lummis, Sela Mahe and Elizabeth Marvelly. Both events commence at 7.30pm.

Since 1994 Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park has raised millions of dollars for child health related charities. Funds from this year’s concerts will go to Youthline, and all proceeds will be dedicated to the support of youth work services and youth mentoring.


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