HE S famed for his work documenting Exmoor s elusive stags. But local wildlife television personality Johnny Kingdom got up close and personal with a different variety of deer when Donner, Blitzen - and of course Rudolph - made a flying pre-Christmas visit to Barnstaple

HE'S famed for his work documenting Exmoor's elusive stags. But local wildlife television personality Johnny Kingdom got up close and personal with a different variety of deer when Donner, Blitzen - and of course Rudolph - made a flying pre-Christmas visit to Barnstaple last week.

Johnny joined Santa and his reindeer, Mayor of Barnstaple Sue Haywood and Barnstaple Youth Marching Band in a traditional parade that was enjoyed by hundreds of shoppers.

The parade - organised by Barnstaple Town Centre Management and Green Lanes Shopping Centre in association with Stagecoach - helped set a magical Christmas scene as it weaved its way through the town on route to the Pannier Market, where it joined young carol singers from Ashleigh Primary School.

n Fans of Johnny can watch a one-hour Christmas special on Friday (28) on BBC Two at 8pm. The programme, Johnny Goes To Scotland, is all about Johnny's antics at Aigas House, in Scotland, earlier this year.

And following the success of his hit series Johnny Kingdom: A Year On Exmoor, he told the Gazette that filming had now finished on the second series.

"The new 10-part series is due to be aired in the spring," he said.

"We have been working extremely hard and I'm sure that you will find it just as entertaining as the first.