Griff Rhys Jones on Suffolk’s Christmas lights - ‘expressions of individuality like you’ve never seen!’

Griff Rhys Jones

Griff Rhys Jones - Credit: Archant

As a guest on Radio 2’s drivetime show with Jo Whiley and Simon Mayo last night, Griff Rhys Jones described his experience of a Suffolk Christmas.

The star, who is starring as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at London’s Lyceum Theatre, described a typical Christmas day for him in his house in Stutton.

“I remember when Christmas used to be arriving at our parents and persuading them to open a second bottle of wine, and I was so pleased when I bought a big enough house and could say everyone come here, we’ll do it under my rules, my Christmas!” he told Jo and Simon. “That was nearly 40 years ago. Everybody will roll up, bit by bit.

“My mum lives near us in Suffolk and she’ll come over, she’s 94 now, and we’ve had one of those things where every Christmas, she thinks that she’s not going to quite make it and I can’t believe it, here we are again - I’m terrified that the actual activity of Christmas might be a bit much but we’ll have to see.”

Griff left Wales as a toddler and moved to Essex later in life, when his father took up hospital consultancy positions. The Rhys Joneses retired to Woodbridge 30 years ago and Griff moved this way shortly after.

Jo Whiley said to Gryff that he must have to put up a lot of lights around his garden - “I’ve seen your garden on television and I have deep garden envy! Its an amazing place,” she told him.

Gryff replied: “You have to understand I’m in North Esssex, South Suffolk territory where the Christmas lights, individual Christmas lights, are just expressions of individuality like you’ve never seen!

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“The drive up north of Colchester, if you’re ever in the mood to do it, I cannot recommend it highly enough - you’ve never seen so many - every house is absolutely lit up. There is one on the way to Hadleigh that last year, if you look at my instagram, join me on Instagram, I had to stop the car, get out of the car, in the middle of the night, and film this house, I’d never seen anything like it. We saw dancing snowmen, out on the front garden.

“We’re quite restrained in Christmas lights, but...the garden looks at its best in the winter.”

Simon Mayo might have related to Griff’s experience, as he too has a home in Suffolk, on the coast at Walberswick.

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