As part of their ‘Not Your Usual Christmas’ campaign, Selfridges has knocked down Santa’s Grotto and replaced it with a giant wrapped-up Christmas gift. Climb inside and you’ll find a mini snowy wonderland with wishing trees, Alice in Wonderland-like ‘Eat Me’ and ‘Drink Me’ treats, and screenings of a specially commissioned short film by Bruce Weber. Oh, and then there’s the ballerina and the WIZARD.
Last night we shared five intimate minutes with the magic man himself…
Are you a real wizard?
How old are you?
‘I’m about 1100 years old. But I don’t like to brag. When people hear how old I am they always ask if I knew so-and-so, kings and queens and all that. I mean, I don’t know everybody in history. Just the important ones.’
Your beard’s a bit short for a wizard. Is it usually a bit longer?
‘Ah, yes… An embarrassing accident I’m afraid, drying my wizardly robes with a mangle. It’ll grow back soon.’
Do you know Merlin?
‘Well… I’m known by many names.’
What about Harry Potter?
‘I have to explain something to you. Those are just stories – although occasionally they’re based on fact.’
Bus, tube or teleportation?
‘I really enjoy public transport, it’s a wonderful thing and a great way to keep in touch with normal people. Although a lot of the time I just click my fingers and I’m there. Especially when the Northern line’s down.’
What’s your best spell?
‘Us wizards just like granting wishes. Whether it’s a pair of glittery pumps – as one customer has already requested – or simply world peace.’
Are there other wizards in London? What about Boris Johnson? He seems to have something a little Hogwartsy about him…
‘Alas, I don’t think there’s anything magical about Boris Johnson. Mr Livingstone on the other hand has something a little reptilian about him, perhaps a clue to his true form? But who’s to say?’