Foil decorations land dad in front of TV show judge.
WHEN Carl Jones decided to cut the cost of Christmas by decorating his house with tin foil - the last thing he expected was for his story to go viral.
But that's exactly what happened.
The 46-year-old ambulance driver's life has been completely transformed after the story about his unusual festive decorations hit headlines last week.
Every Christmas, Carl, who lives in Bargoed with his wife, daughter and mother-in-law, covers his entire living room with tin foil. Armed with metal sheets, Blu-Tack and artificial snow, he manages to put up his decorations in just under two hours - and all for less than PS20.
And since his story first featured in the Echo, Carl has now been contacted by countless magazines as well as ITV's This Morning.
"It's gone massive," Carl said.
"I love it - it's all a bit of fun. My grandchildren all love it too. My daughter thinks I'm a superstar."
Carl, who has been decorating his home in the same way for about seven years, has also been contacted by ITV producers and is due to appear on an episode of daytime favourite Judge Ringer.
"I'm currently in a hotel room in Manchester, waiting to go on Judge Ringer," Carl said.
"My mother-in-law is suing me for damaging the walls of the house with tin foil. The producers phoned me last week. They heard about my story and asked if I wanted to be on the show.
"My mother-in-law said she would be up for suing me. Well you can't blame her - she's put up with the tin foil for six years.
"It's just gone absolutely bonkers. It's surreal."
As well as countless offers from news outlets and television shows, Carl has also been contacted by one the UK's biggest aluminium foil company, Bacofoil - which started a social media campaign to track him down.
The company tweeted a link to Carl's story along with the caption: "What do you think of this creative use of Bacofoil? Carl if you spot this, drop us a message and we'll help you do the whole house rather than just the living room. RT to help us find Carl. #FindCarl."
The post was retweeted a number of times, before Carl finally got in touch.
"I hadn't been on Twitter in a while, but on the weekend my wife told me I had to check it," Carl said.
"When I had a look - Bacofoil had put out a post 'looking for Carl.' .' There was even a hashtag - #find-Carl.
"I got in touch with them and they asked for my address."
By Saturday morning a hamper had arrived, filled with four rolls of Bacofoil, sandwich bags and PS50 worth of vouchers, along with a note which read: "Hey Carl. Love what you did with the house. Your wife might not let you do the whole house, but we're sure this lot will come in useful."
And Carl couldn't have been more delighted.
"I haven't got to buy Bacofoil for a couple of Christmases now - lucky because I was due to run out in January," he said.
"It was a lovely gesture - I think it's absolutely fantastic.
"With everything that's going on in the world at the moment - it's nice to have some good, light-hearted news."
"It's snowballed - it's just been one thing after another.
"My life has been turned upside down over the course of a week - it's just phenomenal.
"I just want to carry on spreading the Christmas cheer."