Richard Dawkins forbids giving his books as Christmas presents

RICHARD Dawkins has threatened punitive action against anyone giving or receiving his books for Christmas.

Dawkins took action after seeing his books displayed at Waterstones next to ‘Unto Us A Child Is Born’ wrapping paper, which he feared would give people ideas.

He said: “Christmas is a gateway holiday, leading to ignorance, pro-life lunacy and moral complacency.

“If you buy my book as a festive gift, especially for a male relative who quite likes telly science but finds Stephen Hawking impenetrable, you’re playing straight into Bin Laden’s spindly dead hands.

“And if I hear about my work being put under any bedecked trees I’m coming around personally to get it off you, plus petrol expenses and a £50 fine for making me look a twat.”

Nine-year-old Nathan Muir had written to Father Christmas asking for a copy of An Appetite For Wonder.

He said: “Richard Dawkins is my favourite scientist after Brian Cox and Doctor Who.

“But Mummy said that he wants me to buy the book with my own money, so now I have to tell Santa not to get it.

“I’m really worried that Santa has already bought it, and that Richard Dawkins is going to shout at him.”

Nathan’s mother Nicola Muir said “We’ve found him this Bill O’Reilly book Killing Jesus which you’re still allowed to give to people for Christmas, so hopefully he won’t be too disappointed. Also, some Lego.”

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Francis Bacon paintings bought for back bedroom

FRANCIS Bacon artwork sold for a record £89.6 million will be the centrepiece of a newly redecorated guest bedroom.

The Bacon triptych will be the basis of a feature wall above a guest bed accessorised by sequinned throw pillows in a three bedroom Loughborough home.

Purchaser Emma Bradford described the pictures as “something to look at”.

She continued: “Now our Jason’s moved out we’ve put all his rubbish in the loft and repainted in Jasmine Sorbet, with flock wallpaper in a very strong raspberry coulis to anchor the room.

“Unfortunately on the opposite wall, where it was all blank, you could see the marks from where he used to have his telly so we needed something to cover those up.”

The triptych joins a tall vase with long silver sticks in and a pair of Laura Ashley tealight holders, an unwanted gift from last Christmas, in the room which Bradford wants to look like a boutique hotel but more homely.

She admitted: “I didn’t know there were three of them – we never did triptychs in art at school – and there isn’t actually room, so the one on the right’s in the garage for the time being.

“I’ve slotted it in next to that Van Gogh sunflower painting which clashed horribly with the lounge curtains.”