“You’re both on the naughty list!” That was the message from the big man himself to two rival Norfolk Santas.

The festive feud began when two members of the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas (IBRBS) fell out.

Accusations over copycat outfits and attempts to close down one anothers' grottos have been flying in Attleborough.

Mitchell Scott and Jonathan Lewis' argument began when Mr Scott turned down the role at the town's Christmas fair which is run by Mr Lewis' daughter. So Mr Lewis decided to take up the job himself.

Mr Scott then accused Mr Lewis of going to the same seamstress for his outfit and even attempting to stop him from working in his grotto at Pride Homecare.

But now the IBRBS - based in Phoenix, Arizona in the USA - has responded saying each Father Christmas will be receiving a notice with "an explanation of why this kind of dust-up is not appropriate".

Eastern Daily Press: Queen's Square in Attleborough where the Christmas fair was due to take placeQueen's Square in Attleborough where the Christmas fair was due to take place (Image: Archant)

The brotherhood said the "trivial disagreement" between the two of them was "something they should avoid".

Chief IBRBS Santa, Stephen Arnold, who plays Saint Nick at Elvis' Graceland home, said contrary to previous reports there was no written rule around two Santas appearing in the same place.

But he added it was common courtesy for Father Christmases to avoid being seen together regardless of whether they are in costume due to their distinguishable beards.

He said: "Santa Lewis joined our organisation in October 2022 and Santa Scott joined our organisation only seven days ago.

"Both are very new with us. We do have a list of tenets to which members must affirm they have read and agreed to.

"Perhaps this mild territorial dispute might be considered a violation of our last tenet regarding bringing embarrassment to the Christmas community."

Unless two events are in such close proximity that someone attending the one event and seeing Santa can look at another event and see the other performer without straining the chief Santa said there were no issues.

But with regards to costume copying, Mr Arnold said while the suit did not make the Santa, any Father Christmas "would feel a bit peeved" if they found their seamstress had provided another performer with an outfit "indistinguishable from our own".

He added: "Mr Scott with more than six years of experience should know better and Mr Lewis having only started might not be aware of common courtesy proffered within our community.  

"I will touch base with both of them."