I watched as world champion carver Simon McMinnis created former Prime Minister Boris Johnson from a pumpkin

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Editor Vanessa Sims watched in astonishment as Lancashire's world champion carver Simon McMinnis created former Prime Minister Boris Johnson from a pumpkin in front of her eyes.

This is the moment championship-winning pumpkin carver Simon McMinnis, 40, created a series of life like celebrities from the humble pumpkin. I watched in awe as Simon McMinnis, 40, who has perfected his skills over a decade, chiselled his incredible Halloween lanterns - which sell for as much as £500.

The self-employed tiler began carving pumpkins in 2009 as an outlet for his creativity - after growing a squash weighing 158kg in his back garden.

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And he went on to clinch both a British national award and an international title for his amazing vegetable-based crafting skills.

He now sells around 75 of the extremely lifelike sculptures each spooky season, with his work even being showcased on the BBC’s The One Show.

Simon said: “I’m a tiler by trade, but I needed an outlet for the art side, and this seasonal period seemed to work well with me.

“I used to enter competitions if I could, and then I started my [social media] page. And people started seeing the pictures that I was posting.

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“The most pleasing one was being asked to do the pregnancy reveal pumpkin.

"That’s an unusual one, usually people ask for faces and things, but to be part of a reveal is quite a thing to be asked."

Simon, from Poulton-le-Fylde, said he'd considered pursuing a career in art before going to university - and later became an independent tradesman.

His interest in pumpkins had come from his grandfather, Peter Smith, who had used his allotment to grow the root vegetable along with mammoth onions.

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Simon has now carved thousands of pumpkins, which have featured the faces of ‘Lord Voldemort’ from Harry Potter books, ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage and even James Bond actor Daniel Craig.

He said: "A lot of people when they see that can’t get their head around how it’s done. But that’s where I get some nice comments from."


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