Macclesfield’s Keith Morton-Davies has taken the top job at the Trafford Centre in Manchester. Once again, Keith will play the role of Santa in the busy shopping centre’s Christmas grotto.
In 2018 Keith was put forward to audition for the role of Santa with a theatre company which specialises in providing Father Christmas experiences in major shopping malls around the country. He explained: “Like a lot of men, I have played Santa before, in schools, nurseries, and of course church Christmas fairs. I passed the audition and was selected to join its team at the Trafford Centre. It is nothing like a church fair; suddenly you are a world of professional character actors, with Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck and Mrs Tiggywinckle. The hours are long with 12 hour shifts, the costumes are hot, but the reward of seeing little faces light up, or more often scream in terror, are immeasurable.”
And this is not Keith’s first taste of fame. “After retiring about seven years ago, I needed a hobby to get me out and about, meeting new people, so I joined a casting agency in Manchester. I passed the audition and became a commercial artiste, which means I can act in minor roles, rather than just be a background extra.”
From there Keith has appeared in numerous programs, mainly as an extra, or a supporting artiste, including Peaky Blinders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, as Charity Dingle’s solicitor and Hollyoakes, as the mayor. He will also be starring in ‘Anne’, the Hillsborough story, alongside Maxine Peake and ‘The Barking Murders’ alongside Stephen Merchant, where he plays a high court judge.
Keith has been in lots of TV adverts for companies such as Iceland, Adidas, Sofology, Your Move, Monarch Airlines, Manchester United, and Mentos Mints and can be seen in several Jimmy McGovern TV stories, which are filmed in and around Liverpool
He added: “In general many of the days out filming are long, very boring, poorly paid, but great fun. We get fed well, meet old friends from past jobs and make lots of new friends.”
Macclesfield’s Keith Morton-Davies as Santa