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2023 Highlights

Appeared live by zoom on Sky News Breakfast on Christmas Day

Appeared live from home, with ITV cameraman filming, on This Morning on Monday 18th December.

Appeared on ITV News on 7th December 2023.

Interviewed by Norwegian journalist on 4th December, feature published on 9th.
Online features with Metro and Daily Express.

Chat with JK & Kelly on Heart Breakfast Radio Show on 20th December.

25th December 2023: Appeared live, by zoom, on Sky News Breakfast Show.

18th December 2023: Appeared live on This Morning on Monday 18th December.

20th December 2023: Pre-recorded interview broadcast on Heart Breakfast.

9th December 2023: Online article posted by Dagbladet, Norway's 3rd largest newspaper. Read a translation of the feature here.

9th December 2023: Online article posted by the Daily Express.

7th December 2023: Filmed for ITV Meridian. You can view it all on the ITV News page.

1st December 2023: Wonderful online feature with
Metro with images dating back to the 1970's and my parent's decorated pub.

13th December 2022: Featured "live" on
The Jeremy Vine Show on Channel 5 in a debate
"Is Tinsel Tacky or Tasteful?"

9th December 2022: Featured in short film on Mittags Magazin, a lunchtime German national TV programme, ZDF, following 2 filming sessions on 24th November and 6th December.

6th December 2022: Chrissy Reidy from
BBC SE Today spent 2 hours filming a piece for the local evening news broadcast that evening.

18th November 2022: Joined Matt Chorley on
Times Radio for his debate on Christmas lights.

2nd December 2020: We were invited to be live on This Morning with Philip and Holly providing a tour of the decorations in the house.

28th November 2020: C5 filmed a segment in their programme Incredible Christmas Trees And How To Decorate Them, talking to me about my collection which was also repeated on 4th December 2021.

23rd December 2017: A collage of my trees, as requested by the Daily Mail, were arranged in the lounge and a feature appeared on page 3 of the newspaper.

15th December 2017: Reporter, Juliette Parkin, from BBC SE Today, came and filmed a short piece to be shown on the local evening news.

Below you can see all the details in each year and plus Christmas photos from my childhood in the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's at the very end.



Simply amazing coverage on Tv, online and in print for 2023.

On 9th December, Sky News confirmed that I was to be included on a live link up on Christmas morning on The Sky News Breakfast Show. There was a great deal of exchange between the production team and myself in the lead up to the big day and I was linked live at 0923 on the day for a chat with Gillian Joseph!

You can see the interview here.

Above, Gillian Joseph in the studio, centre, the studio I had set up in my garden room, ready to be interviewed along with Frosty the snowman and on right a screenshot from the interview. Below the tweet posted by Sky News on Christmas Day.

On 18th December I was live from home on This Morning with Josie Gibson and Craig Doyle.

Below, on camera in all three rooms filmed on the day.

Below, opening the gift presented live, holding the special "This Morning" Christmas bauble and on camera in the dining room.

You can watch the whole 7 minute film with Josie Gibson and Craig Doyle here.

After filming, Lucy Jones, their Senior News Producer wrote "Thank you so much for joining us on This Morning yesterday - it was an absolute pleasure working with you and we really appreciate you giving up your time and letting us into your home for the segment. You were fantastic, especially leading the segment yourself."

In November 2023 I was approached by a PR company in London, acting on behalf of a client, Airtasker, to see if I was interested in Christmas related tasks, linked to my decorations! Once I confirmed my interest they pushed out some PR and ITV Meridian picked up the idea.

Following a telephone chat on 14th November ITV set up a slow motion camera to film me while I decorate one room over a weekend. The finished report included the speeded up segment. The crew came and interviewed me and filmed the decorations on the morning of the 6th December.

The film was broadcast on the evening news on the 7th December and also posted to the internet, along with an additional segment about some of the different trees decorated.

You can view the introductions and film shown here and the additional online clip here. Charlotte Wilkins was the reporter who visited.

Sussex News website posted the final festive feature on Christmas Eve on their web site too.


I was approached by Heart Breakfast. on 18th December and asked if I would be willing to do an interview for them. Click link to hear the session, which was pre-recorded on the 19th December and broadcast on 20th December. Sadly there was a lot of editing and quite a lot left out, especially my answer to the most expensive Christmas decoration and cut to talking about battery operated lights!

Following a telephone interview with a Norwegian journalist, Helene Kjetilsdotter Harridsleff on 4th December, the Norwegian newspaper, Dagbladet, published a feature about my collection on line, click image to read. You can read a translation of the feature here


After a telephone interview with Grace Piercy on 9th December,The Daily Express published a feature about my collection on line, click image to read.

Following a zoom interview with Kirsten Robertson, on 1st December, Metro published a really wonderful feature about my decorations on line with lots of images over the last 50 years, click image to read.

On 7th December Sussex Express newspaper published a great article online, click image on left, about 2023 publicity successes and the hardcopy news paper published a full page feature on 15th December.

The Argus interviewed me at home and published a full page article on 6th December, left, it also featured on the front page and online on 5th December, click image to read.

The December issue of Seaford Scene contained a full page article about my collection too. Click image to read.

On 23rd November, Sussex Exclusive published a great feature about my decorations on line, click image to read.

Below is a 6-minute video of 2023 Christmas decorations.

In March 2023, I was contacted by Thames Tv and subsequently interviewed over the phone for taking part as a contestant in the Christmas 2023 edition of the game show.

This resulted in my having a 30 minute zoom interview with them on Monday 13th March and the clip added to the other possible contestants. Sadly I was advised on 23rd March that I had not been selected, still nice to have been sourced from my online presence for Christmas and approached.



"Most festive man in Britain," as introduced by Jeremy Vine on C5.

"Geoff Stonebanks might be Britain's most dedicated Christmas decorator"
so said BBC SE Today in their broadcast on 6th December.

"Geoff Stonebanks is probably the biggest Christmas fan, turning his house into a Christmas wonderland".
so said Jana Pareigis when introducing the feature on
Mittags Magazin on German TV on the 8th December.


The segment during a session discussing whether tinsel was tacky or not! You can view the interview here.

Some stills from the film are shown below.

The Jeremy Vine Show posted the clip to twitter after broadcast

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- COVERAGE ON ZDF (Mittags Magazin) IN GERMANY ON

The segment came at the end of the lunchtime programme on
Mittags Magazin, introduced by Jana Pareigis
and spoken over in German by Yacin Hehrlein. The whole lunchtime programme can be viewed here, with the clip at the end, just before the weather.

Some stills from the film are shown below and you can view the whole
3-minute feature aired on the programme below.

Click here to view the Christmas section.

Below is a short film made while the film was being made.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- COVERAGE ON BBC SE TODAY

BBC journalist, Chrissie Reidy and cameraman Peter spent a couple of hours filming a segment that was broadcast on BBC SE Today on the 6th December.

Both my Mum, Barbara, and myself were interviewed for the film.

You can watch the segment broadcast on BBC SE Today on 6th December 2022 below.


Below a 4-minute film of the 2022 decorations.


On 15th December, SWNS, a UK and US news media outlet, came and did a photoshoot of me and the decorations and 6 of the images taken by Tony Kershaw, which were published online in the next few days, are shown above.


On Thursday 15th December, The Sun published a piece, online, which you can read here .

Not long after, The Mirror followed suit and published this.

On Friday morning, 16th December, the Daily Express published online too.

Also published on Friday 16th was this piece in the Hakka News in Taiwan, China.

A post appeared in France too on the 16th, on News Explorer web site here.

On Saturday 17th December a post appeared in Hungary, including the new images taken by SWNS of the photoshoot on the 15th December, which can be viewed here.


On Saturday 10th December, a full page feature appeared on page 3 of the Argus newspaper in Brighton. Click image to read.

The feature was also posted online here.

It was also posted on yahoo.com here, which has a huge circulation.


On Monday 12th December, Scene Magazine in Brighton posted a great feature: "Put the sparkle back in Christmas". Click image to read.


On Thursday 8th December, Sussex Exclusive online posted a great feature about this years decorations. Click image to read.


On Monday 5th December, I joined Allison Ferns on BBC Radio Sussex Breakfast Show talking all things Christmas. Listen again by clicking You Tube link.


Lovely feature on the German visit in the December issue of Seaford Scene and a full page in the December issue of Bournefree Magazine in Eastbourne.


I was invited to join a discussion on Times Radio on 18th November to talk about Christmas lights and the importance of Christmas, you can listen again here.


I was invited to join "Ginger & Nuts" alias Daz & Kat on their weekly community radio show on the 16th December to talk about my Christmas decorations. You can listen in here.


New this year, a small tree in the new patio area of the garden along with lights and baubles.

In recognition of the German filming I introduced a weihnachtspyramide and some nutcrackers to the display this year.



"Sussex's Mr Christmas! Aglow in Seaford! Is this Sussex's most decorated house?"
Asks Sussex Life Magazine.



There was a wonderful 2-page feature in the Argus newspaper on the 22nd December, including a picture on the front page. The Argus comment section referred to the decorations too.
It featured online here too.


This year there are 32 Christmas trees of varying sizes, from 9 inches up to 6 feet, throughout the 4 downstairs rooms. A selection of images below.

Channel 5 repeated the programme,
"Incredible Christmas Trees and how to decorate them"
on Saturday 4th December.
You can view the programme here.

Below a 5-minute virtual tour or the 2021 decorations.

Lounge tree 2021 shot by John Glover.

Below are 12 images of the the decorations shot by professional photographer, John Glover

3 images of the Nordman Fir in the hall, lit and decorated.

3 images of decorations on the main lounge tree above and one below.

Main lounge tree in bay window and small wall tree in porch.

Tree with bird decorations, dining room fireplace and wall tree in porch.

3 small trees on dining room sideboard, tree with trains circling and trio of trees in dining room bay window.

2 small trees on lounge windowsill and White House tree decorations.

I began putting this years decorations up on 22nd November, moving all the crates to the dining room and starting to put up the 3 trees in there and the main tree in the lounge.

2020 Coverage

After featuring in the Christmas programme on Channel 5 on the 28th November, I was invited to be "live from home" on ITV's This Morning on Wednesday 2nd December. As a result of this I created a 9-minute virtual tour of the decorations which can be viewed by clicking image on the right. It was posted on social media to try and raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support too.

I have created an 8-minute virtual tour of this years Christmas decorations which can be seen by clicking the image above.

If you would like to donate to
Macmillan Cancer Support
after seeing it, please click on image to the left.

ITV's "This Morning".
Wednesday 2nd December 2020.

Phillip and Holly raised a glass with me at the end of the film.

Below 6 screenshots taken from the programme.

Click here to watch the live broadcast on the programme. It was filmed on an iPhone and relayed via a skype link, hence not fabulous sound and imagery but nonetheless a fabulous moment!

Below the 2020 lounge Christmas Tree in all its glory


"Incredible Christmas Trees & How To Decorate Them".
Saturday 28th November 2020.

See the short segment from the show in the film below

Channel 5 tweeted about the programme the day of the broadcast. You can see the whole show on My5 Catch up by clicking link below.

A lovely half page feature appeared in The Argus newspaper on the 11th December, helping to promote the fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support.

It appeared online too, view here.

The December issue of G Scene Magazine (left) in Brighton printed a whole page feature about the Christmas decorations and the appearance on Channel 5 last month.

A lovely article appeared in the Eastbourne magazine, Bournefree (right), in their December issue.

Wonderful coverage on top of front page and whole page feature inside Sussex Express on 27th November too, click both images to view.

On Thursday 26th November, both G Scene in Brighton and Haven News ran stories online of the upcoming C5 programme. Click images to read.

Bournefree Magazine in Eastbourne printed an online feature about me, my decorations and the TV programme on 24th November, ahead of the broadcast. Sussex Express newspaper featured an online piece on 25th November too. Click images to read.

Two other Sussex newspapers, Mid Sussex Times and Eastbourne Herald printed similar stories online too on the 25th November.


On the 17th November, Athena, a TV production company visited and spent 3 hours (under Covid secure restrictions) filming the tree and decorations in the lounge. They interviewed me for about 45 minutes too. It was edited down for the short clip broadcast on Channel 5.

A wonderful bonus following the shoot with Athena Films was a payment from them to me, for my work in preparing the room for the filming, which has been donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Putting up the lounge Christmas tree in under a minute!

The tree above alone has 15 metres of tinsel, 1700 fairy lights, over 800 baubles and 10 metres of silver beading! I always feel, when getting my garden ready to open every year, that I am dressing a film set for visitors to view and the same principle applies with my Christmas decorations. Iā€™m a bit of a perfectionist! The artificial tree takes ages to set up with all the branches having to be just right. Once assembled, there are 3 strings of lights, one goes top to bottom, up and down the tree, one spirals around bottom to top in one direction and the final one spirals up in the opposite direction. Flashing sequences of the three sets are then adjusted to give the perfect look! Next, tinsel and silver beads are carefully positioned to create evenly balanced swirls all the way up the tree followed by the baubles and other decorations.

Below, a panorama shot of the decorations in the lounge for Christmas 2020.

Many of the decorations on the tree below were bought for me by my grandparents in the 1960's. The pierrot doll was made by my paternal grandmother in about 1961 from a ping pong ball and pipe cleaners! The reindeer and sleigh, hanging at the back from Woolworths in the 60's too. It hung in my parents pub until they retired in the mid 1980's.

2 images of the vintage Woolworths tree from the early 1960's decorated with many vintage baubles from my childhood and beyond, including some from the 1930's, bought in Prague.

Ever since spending 6 consecutive Christmas breaks with friends in Washington DC from 1994 to 2001, I have been collecting The White House official decoration issued by the White House Historical Association.

They are all displayed on a tree in the lounge. Some of my favourites pictured along with the 2020 decoration, one remembering JFK.


In November 2020, Richard Jackson's garden posted a great blog I'd written about my love of Christmas trees over the years! Click image to view!

I have been interested in Christmas decorations since my early childhood. My parents had a country pub in Oxfordshire. Aged 8 or 9, I used to help my mother decorate the 2 public bars and our private accommodation. I soon ended up taking over! I then went on to decorate the pub, The Dolphin, right up to 1987, when my parents retired, continuing to purchase new ones for my own home. My eclectic mix includes some delicate pieces from 1930ā€™s Prague, many glass baubles from the 1950ā€™s and 60ā€™s and a wealth of decorations from Woolworths from 1960, through the decades until its demise. Following a spell of 6 successive Christmas breaks with friends in Washington DC, back in the late 1990ā€™s, I began a collection of the official White House Christmas decorations, issued by the White House Historical Association. They are beautifully crafted pieces in memory of past Presidents, each beautifully packed in decorative boxes and a detailed history of the President immortalised. The 2020 decoration remembered JFK.

2019 Coverage

Below the lounge Christmas Tree in December 2019

Above 2019 images taken by me of living room tree and treasured small vintage tree in display case. Either side, 2 shots of the decorated fireplace in the lounge.

Above 2019 images taken by me of living room tree with the large pointsettia, the wall tree in the porch and the small tree in the dining room.

2018 Coverage

Below, two of the 15 images received from South West News Service from their shoot for web coverage in 2018.

On 24th December I chatted with Mark Carter on BBC Sussex and they posted images on social media. Click link to hear the chat.

Garden photographer, John Glover, shot the decorations on 13th December 2018, see some of the results of his work further down.

A full page featured in the South Coast Argus on 13th December.

The first of Paul Davey's images appeared in a feature in the Mail Online on 4th December, see the pictures below.

On Sunday 2nd December, photographer Paul Davey from SWNS visited. He spent over 3 hours shooting images of both the decorations and myself. He also shot a short video of me talking about my collection. The output will be packaged up and distributed to all national media sources.

The 3 pictures above and 2 either side were in features in the Daily Express Online on the 4th December and the Somerset Live Online web site on the 5th.


Below are 15 of the images that John Glover took of the 2018 decorations.

Below are some of my own images.

Left, miniature vintage tree, centre, 2001 official White House decoration and right, silver tree in lounge bay window.

Left, trio of trees in the hall, centre, vintage table centrepiece and right, glass bird and other small vintage glass decorations.

2017 Coverage

Image above copyright Brighton Pictures, www.brightonpictures.com

After engaging with a journalist about the decorations in 2016, I followed it up earlier in 2017.

Above is the image that appeared on page 17 of the Daily Mail on 23rd December 2017.

Below is a record of what happened, with the most recent first, working back to the first approach back at the beginning of December 2017 when a freelance journalist and photographer came to see the decorations throughout the house!

Finally, after many false starts, the feature appeared on page 17 of the Daily Mail on 23rd December.

There was also a new feature posted by the Mail online too. Click here to read. It was also posted as a story online with the Daily Mirror too.

On the 19th December a fabulous article was printed by the Daily Mail online, which you can read in full by clicking the image below. At the same time, other on line news sites posted similar features based on this.

On 19th December the garden website, Richard Jackson's Garden posted a news item about Christmas at Driftwood too. You can read it by clicking the image to the right.

Amazingly, on 18th December, another newspaper journalist contacted me and wanted to come and shoot the decorations. I agreed and a photographer came and spent an hour looking at the hall tree and a few other trees around it!

Tony Kershaw from the news agency SWNS came and took some images, two of my favourites are below.

On Sunday 17th December, a clip of the BBC SE filming session, from Friday 15th was also posted on the national BBC News website.
You can view the item by clicking the image below. At one point over the weekend, it was the 6th most watched item! It's since had over 3100 views on BBC Sussex's twitter feed too!

Here is a second short video posted by the BBC on twitter on the 17th December.

Seahaven Fm invited me to talk about the decorations on the local radio station on Saturday 16th December and you can hear the interview as soon as they have sent me a copy!

Below you can see the screenshots from the BBC SE Today broadcast on Friday 15th December, of the introduction on the programme and Geoff and Barbara being interviewed!

Below you can watch the piece as screened on BBC South East Today.

Reporter, Juliette Parkin, contacted me on the morning of the 15th and arranged to come with a cameraman to film a short report for the evening news!

Left, Juliette films the introduction, talking about the White House Christmas Tree, and on the right she can be seen interviewing my 90 year old mother, Barbara Stonebanks, with our dog Albert on her lap. Below is the tweet that BBC SE Today posted before the show.

The story soon moved on with BBC South East Today contacting me to ask if they could come and film the decorations for the local evening news! I explained they would have to wait until the national newspaper had shot their tableau. I contacted them at the end of the week and they arranged to come and shoot the decorations on Friday 15th December!

In the meantime, BBC Sussex Breakfast Show had got wind of the decorations and contacted me to talk to Neil Pringle on the Breakfast Show on Monday 11th December. They posted the pictures on the left on their facebook page after the interview which you can listen to by clicking here.

On 12th December 2017 the photographer returned to take the images of the tableau of 24 trees, my image of them is above.

Rosie Taylor sent off the images and words to the newspaper, who fell in love with the story BUT said they would like to see all the Christmas Trees as a tableau in one room. I was asked to relocate them all but said it was too much of a job. However, the paper agreed to pay me a three figure sum to do it, so I agreed. You can see 3 pictures below of setting the trees up in the lounge. I had to take all the decorations off the tree in the dining room and set up again in the lounge as well as to remove all the fragile, vintage, glass balls from the tree in the hall and drag it into the lounge bay window!

On Friday 8th December 2017, a freelance journalist, Rosie Taylor and a photographer came to see the Christmas decorations, with a view to get an article in a national daily newspaper. You can see them working in the lounge and dining room in these images.

2014 Coverage

Back in 2014, I made several gardening videos for the local Brighton TV station, Latest Tv. This one was made with Simone Thorogood and Andrew Bullock. We visited a Christmas Tree Farm to cut down a tree and return to Driftwood to make decorations for the birds over Christmas. It was broadcast week commencing 10th December that year.

This segment on Latest Tv was where I showed Andrew and Simone how to make a Christmas wreath, which was broadcast week commencing 17th December.

Vintage 1960's & 1970's Christmas

Below some images from back in the late 1960's and early 1970's in my parent's public house, The Dolphin, taken from slides at the time.

Many of the decorations in these images are still with me today and come out each year!

The image on the left is of the lounge bar with holly, ivy and other decorations inter twined in wrought iron canopy above the bar. Centre image of the Christmas tree in our private quarters with buffet table set up and the one on the right of me (centre) with my brother and maternal grandmother dated 1971.

On the left the Woolworths tree in the lounge bar. Centre image of the Christmas decorations I put up on the ceiling of my bedroom. All the paper chains were made from crepe paper and put up. On the right the tree in our private quarters of the pub. All taken in 1968.

The real tree on the left from 1968 and the small Woolworth's tree on the television in 1966, a tree I still have and decorate today with small vintage decorations In the centre a picture of me with my maternal grandparents and parents back in 1971.

Three images above, taken of the lounge bar at the Dolphin during the 1980's.

An image from 1972 of a group including me with our dog Mac, by the Christmas tree in the lounge bar of my parent's pub, The Dolphin, in Middleton Cheney, near Banbury. All images taken from slides, hence not brilliant quality.