FATHER Christmas was helped by a special guest as he visited children in the city.

Television presenter Nicholas Owen joined the Santa Bus on its tour of Brighton and Hove to collect money for the Argus Appeal, for which he is a patron, and Martlet’s Hospice on Tuesday.

He said: “I had an absolutely marvellous time and I was so impressed by the dedication of the bus staff, including the volunteers out collecting and, of course, Santa himself.

“What a great start to my Christmas.”

Nicholas has been a journalist since the age of 17 working with the Evening Standard, The Daily Telegraph and ITV, where he presented the news.

He now works for the BBC as a presenter on their news channel and BBC One.

The Santa Bus is run by Brighton and Hove Buses.

This year is its 15th annual tour of the city, and will be its biggest yet.

Argus Appeal co-ordinator Elsa Gillio said: “The Santa Bus has grown and grown each year and we get more and more people asking us to visit their street, so this year we are visiting a record 20 streets.

“Brighton and Hove Buses have done a magnificent job bringing smiles and cheer at a time which can be very poignant for many.”

Tonight, the bus will be in Patcham, starting its route in Barrhill Avenue.

It will follow Barrhill Avenue right into Braeside Avenue, taking a right into Mackie Avenue and following this through into Winfield Avenue.

Then, it will take a left into Carden Avenue, left into Warmdene Road, right into Ladies Mile Road, right into Portfield Avenue, left into Carden Crescent and finishes in Carden Avenue.