MANY farms sell Christmas trees at this time of year – but few are lucky enough to be able to rope in none other than a former Miss Norway to help out.
For the last nine years, the Seels family – Jonathan and Debbie, and their sons Joe and Ben – have been selling Norway spruce and Nordman fir Christmas trees from Highgate House farm, near Goldthorpe in South Yorkshire.
This year, however, the Seels will be having extra help on the farm from a Norwegian Miss World contestant, who will be adding a touch of glamour to the enterprise.
In April, 23-year-old Joe Seels was travelling in south east Asia when he met Norwegian model Hege Torresdal.
The pair quickly became an item and now Mr Seels has convinced his girlfriend to travel from her native Oslo to South Yorkshire this Christmas to help out on the family farm.
He said: “We grew up on the farm and, nine years ago, me and my brother Ben set up the Christmas tree business.
“The farm is mainly Aberdeen Angus beef, which we sell to Waitrose, and although there is a bit of arable land the crops are mainly used to feed the cattle.
“The idea for the Christmas trees was for me and my brother to get a bit of extra money to go to university with.
“We bought them in from Lincolnshire, at first to sell to family and friends, but it’s really expanded.”
Mr Seels and 27-year-old Miss Torresdal are now debating whether to make their home in Goldthorpe, or in Oslo.
Miss Torresdal, a journalism student, has done a range of modelling in the past, working for makeup companies, bridal magazines and on the catwalk.
She said she was excited to be spending her first Christmas at Highgate House Farm, and added: “I like being at the farm, getting out in the fresh air and getting into the Christmas spirit.”
She admits its a far cry from her modelling days, however, which included an “extremely exciting” trip to the Miss World contest in China.