Gay couple transform home into festive Wonka wonderland
A gay couple have turned their home into a festive Willy Wonka-themed wonderland in a bid to “spread joy and cheer” this Christmas.
Michael, 39, and Paul Fenning, 33, have gone all out this festive season, decking the halls with Oompa Loompas, golden tickets, multi-coloured lights and a dashing Willy Wonka.
Inspired by the new Wonka movie, in which Timothée Chalamet stars as Willy Wonka and Hugh Grant as the Oompa-Loompa Lofty, Michael said it’s great “being able to spread joy and cheer” while “keeping Christmas magic alive”.
The couple chose the Willy Wonka theme as the classic 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is “on every Christmas, so many families watch it, and then obviously the new one is coming out”.
Wonka was released in UK cinemas on Friday (8 December).
Inside their home, Michal and Paul have not one, not two, but four Wonka-themed Christmas trees, featuring sweet decorations.
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Michael, who works for a bakery, told the PA news agency said they love “seeing kids’ faces light up”.
The Fennings, who have been together for about 15 years, began decorating their home at Christmas during the first Covid lockdown. Their first lighting project was the Grinch.
He told PA: ”We did the Grinch and obviously because no one had anything to do it just went berserk and people just came out in droves.
“Crowds of people were coming around to see the house and see the lights, and then literally it’s just been a thing that we’ve done every year since then.”
Last year’s Christmas display saw the couple decorate their home in the theme of Disney’s Frozen.
Paul, who works for an energy company and as a makeup artist, said there was “a little bit of pressure” this year from locals to out-do their previous years’ efforts.
Those who wish to make a donation to various charities can do so, in a bucket placed outside the couple’s home.
Michael said: “People come to the house and do the giving so it’s all down to them.
“Christmas is a time about giving and that’s the thing about us doing the lights; it’s about giving and just letting people know that you can come out and do things for free and see things that are going to make your kids happy and smile.”
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