A hirsute host has helped raise more than £14,000 for charity by letting his hair and beard grow for the best part of a year.

Ken Harrison, licensee at New River pub The New Inn in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, has avoided barbers and razors to raise funds for charity Derbyshire Blood Bikes. He has been joined in the growing stakes by regular Chris Prosser.

The usually neatly-cropped Ken now has a seven-inch beard which has led regulars to compare him to Charles Darwin and Father Christmas.

He says: "If customers haven't been in for a while, they've been quite shocked seeing me with long hair and a beard and the hairy look has meant I've had quite a few funny looks when I'm walking around town."

He is due to chop it all off on May 26, unless he is sponsored to have his beard dyed, in which case he will leave it for a further week.

Derbyshire Blood Bikes transports lifesaving medical items for hospitals, including, blood, urgent samples and medications.

The New Inn began raising money for the cause in 2017, when biker and pub regular Jamie Henshaw began having cancer treatment. He died last April.

Ken, who is also a biker, added: "A lot of bikers use the pub, and it was Jamie who suggested we help the local blood bikes charity, so we set up the Ride On Jamie fund. Jamie's wife Lisa has been a great inspiration to us all, playing a leading role in organising events, and I'd like to thank everyone who's contributed."