A popular Leamington barber – who will have been cutting hair in the town for 65 years this Christmas – will swap his comb and scissors for the Leamington Christmas light-swich on this year.

Tony Eden – who runs Anthony Eden Barbers in Clarendon Street, alongside his son, Kristian, and friend, Daren Papworth – has been invited to be part of the Christmas lights switch-on in the town on Sunday, November 6.

Tony will join the Mayor of Leamington, Councillor Nick Wilkins, and local boxing hero Lewis Williams, who won Gold in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games earlier this year, at the event at 5.30pm.

Stephanie Kerr, the Executive Director of BID Leamington, popped into the salon with Kate Livingstone, the manager of the switch on event, to let him know the surprise news after receiving a tip off from Daren that Tony is turning 80 in November.

Stephanie said: “Tony is well-known and well-loved character in the town and when we found it was his special birthday just a few days after the switch-on, we thought it would be a lovely surprise to invite him to be part of the ceremony.

“The switch-on is always a fantastic, family event and it is great to be able to involve a real family business from the town.”

Tony, who is married to Anne and has four children – Joanna, Paul, Karen and Christian – started cutting hair when he left school at 15 and within a few years was running his own barbers.

Daren said: “Tony is a really popular guy. Everyone knows him and I am sure he could go out in the evening in Leamington without a penny on him because everyone wants to buy him a drink! It’s getting on for 65 years working as a barber so he will have cut thousands of heads of hair.

“I think it is fitting that he will have the honour of switching on the lights this Christmas because he loves the town and, it’s fair to say, the town loves him!”

Tony said: “I am honoured to be invited to be asked to turn the Christmas Lights on this year and was very surprised and humbled. I will be celebrating my 80th birthday this year and this is really wonderful way to mark the occasion.”

Photo Caption: Kate Livingstone, Entertainment Manager for Leamington Christmas Light Switch on 2022 presenting Tony Eden of Anthony Eden Barbers an invitation to join the switch on ceremony.