BBC Radio 4 presenter apologises over Father Christmas blunder

Radio 4's Nick Robinson

Radio 4's Nick Robinson

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Radio 4's Nick Robinson has apologised to horrified listeners after suggesting live on air that Father Christmas is not real.

The presenter "confirmed" on Twitter that Santa Claus exists and that any claims to the contrary were "fake news".

He posted on Tuesday: "An apology - Father Christmas confirms that he is real. All suggestions to the contrary are fake news @BBCr4today."

Speaking earlier in the day on the station's Today programme, he said: "It's like learning that Father Christmas isn't real for the first time - I'm still in shock."

He was responding to Charles Collingwood and Cara Courage, of BBC Radio 4 drama The Archers, who joined the show to promote a conference event delving into the true stories behind the plot lines.

A number of listeners replied to Robinson's tweet with some festive puns of their own.

@menhealuk posted: "Thanks for being a saint Nick," and "Share prices in tinsel temporarily dropped. But they have now recovered. Phew."

@JennieBaillie added: "Phew, my kids are starting to question his existence along with Easter bunny and tooth fairy."