Be warned that the following has some adult content, so please make sure it isn’t read by any children.

You see, this week I am going to talk about mascots, such as the ones you see at big sporting events or representing charities, and we don’t want little ’uns to know their secrets.

Like the jolly guy in the red suit and white beard who hangs around at Christmas, there is a strict code of practice that applies whenever a mascot goes to work, ensuring the magic is always preserved.

However, as I have arranged for the little darlings’ eyes to be safely averted, I can reveal that sometimes mascots are not what they seem, nor are they actual animals, but people dressed up.

It’s true.

And I know from personal experience.

A couple of years ago I was involved in an event in the town centre and a friend who does a lot of work for a charity told me their mascot would like to attend, but was… um… unavailable, and did I know anybody who could step in?

I am sworn not to reveal the name of the charity nor the type of animal he was, but I can say it was no coincidence that you never saw me and the mascot together, nor that we were roughly the same height.

If he had talked - which, of course, he must never do - he would have had a Swindon accent.

OK: it was me, and I am pretty relieved that the secret is out.

To tell the truth, I have been itching to tell people, because it was such fun.

I thought I was pretty good at it too, but only until we visited the recent World Athletics Championships in London and found ourselves in the presence of three heroes.

One was Usain Bolt, one was Mo Farah and the other hero was a big hedgehog who was actually called Hero.

Call us big kids if you like, but we found the antics of Hero really entertaining, and he subsequently became a social media star, even though the BBC cameras, for some reason, mostly ignored him - or her (nobody seemed to know whether Hero was male of female).

I could never emulate Hero, who really turned out to be the king of mascots, but I did thoroughly enjoy my hour in costume.

Honestly, it’s great, and if you ever get the chance to be one, go for it.

The best thing is nobody knows who’s inside, so you can say goodbye to any last vestige of self-consciousness.

I literally haven’t danced a step in the last 25 years, apart from in that suit, when I became Lionel Blair.

The kids adore you, naturally, but so do the adults, even attractive young ladies, who get the urge to cuddle you.

There is a downside, though, as I discovered, because a big furry animal suit also has a similar effect on hairy Hell’s Angels.

And you can go anywhere. There were vintage cars there, which nobody would ever let you sit in, but if you are wearing a furry suit they will open the door for you to get in and make you pose for pictures.

An hour in a furry suit is like an hour in a sauna, though, so be warned, unless you are looking to get fit and lose weight, in which case half a dozen fetes should do it.

I think I have finally found my vocation, so I am currently on the look-out for more mascot work, if you know of any.

All offers considered, apart from pantomime horses.