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Twelve-year-old Mikey Collins, who’s dirt-poor and hates Christmas, finds two Santa Clauses in the woods. One has just robbed a bank (James Nesbitt) and is on the run with the cash, the other Santa (Timothy Spall) claims to have fallen out of his sleigh.

Mikey has no time for this second guy – he’s well past believing any of the Jingle Bells, spirit-of-the-season rubbish, even if his little brother Sean insists on treating the old man like a superstar.

Instead, Mikey’s determined to get his hands on the bank-robber’s cash, convinced that this is the answer to giving his family the Christmas they all crave. But as Mikey risks everything for the loot, he comes to realise that maybe the spirit of Christmas is alive after all…

Timothy Spall said: “I’m delighted to be involved with this unique festive adventure. It’s a rare thing that a story has the perfect mixture of social commentary grit, suspense, emotional bite and original comedy, plus a myriad of Santas (one of them possibly the real one)!..

"I’m looking forward to working with Ed Hall and the fabulous team that’s being packed up into what promises to be an extremely novel festive pressie!”

James Nesbitt said: “It is incredibly exciting to be back in Belfast and part of something that is both funny, heartwarming and yet which also holds a mirror up to society. The script lifts your spirits while brilliantly addressing the cost of living crisis affecting so many families in the UK and Ireland right now. It’s also a joy to be reunited with my old cell mate Timothy Spall.”

More details about Joy To The World will be announced in due course.The festive special is from SHUK and Calico Pictures for Sky.

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