CHRISTMAS festivities are well under way at Dudley Zoo after Santa arrived at his Winter Wonderland grotto.

The man in red was welcomed on Friday (December 1) by The Bill star, Graham Cole, who played PC Tony Stamp in the long-running show for 25 years.

He is currently preparing to tread the boards at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre as Fleshcreep, the baddie in this year’s Dudley Zoo sponsored pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk.

Andrea Hales, the zoo's marketing manager, said: "We were delighted Graham took time out of his pantomime rehearsals to visit us and open our Santa’s grotto and we’re all looking forward to watching him in the show.

"Santa’s elves have been busy spending the last few weeks transforming our indoor Castle Creatures exhibit into the Winter Wonderland and it’s definitely now feeling festive on site!”

To book to see Santa at the zoo, call 01384 215306.

Jack and the Beanstalk runs at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from December 9 to January 14.

Tickets are available via the theatre’s box office on 01902 429212.