Santa is naughty, not nice - so Harrods fires him

LONDON (AP) - The famous British department store Harrods said Wednesday it had fired a Santa Claus who made ``inappropriate'' comments to adult visitors.

Harrods said it was able to identify the rude Santa - known in Britain as Father Christmas - and terminated his seasonal contract.

``There is no excuse for causing any level of complaint amongst our customers and even if the remarks were made in good humour we cannot condone behaviour that offends our customers,'' Harrods said in a statement.

``It's also very sad that these incidents may ruin the enchantment of the grotto for our younger customers who still hold dear the fantasy that there is only one Father Christmas.'' The grotto is the area in the store where Santa receives visitors.

Harrods only said the Santa's comments were ``inappropriate,'' and they were not racial.

Copyright 2006 Canadian Press