HARROW'S own X Factor star turned TV presenter Johnny Robinson will be playing Santa for our Toy Appeal 2012, we can reveal.
The 45-year-old flamboyant singer will make a special visit to the children's ward at Northwick Park Hospital in time for Christmas, giving out gifts that have been kindly donated by our readers to bring a smile to their faces.
Johnny told the Observer: “I’m so looking forward to meeting all the lovely children, especially so close to Christmas.
“It’s nice that having been on the X Factor it gives me the opportunity to bring a smile to the children’s faces over Christmas. I can’t wait to meet them all.”
The Observer runs the appeal every Christmas and last year X Factor contestant Katie Waissel donned the Santa's hat and helped cheer up patients on Jack's Place ward, at the hospital in Watford Road, Harrow.
Our readers have once again been extremely generous and this week is the last chance to donate a new gift for a boy or girl to any of the borough's libraries during opening hours by the closing date on Saturday .
Ward matron Victoria Peploe said: “We are very excited that Johnny will be visiting us. His visit will be much appreciated and it will brighten up the day of the children and the staff. It will be a fantastic day for everyone and they will all be delighted to meet an X Factor star.
“While many children now don’t need to stay in hospital for a long time, there are still some who have to spend the festive season on our ward. It’s really hard for them and it’s a joy to see their faces when they receive the gifts. It certainly brings some Christmas cheer to the ward.”
Since leaving the X-Factor in week five of the live shows, Johnny has been a regular presenter on the This Morning programme on ITV1.
The borough also welcomed the former care home worker back to his home town on Thursday when he switched on the town centre Christmas lights.