THE lonely Irish pensioner who took out a newspaper advert looking for someone to spend Christmas Day with enjoyed the festive season in company for the first time in a decade.
But the Corkman's wishes were answered by London-Irish couple Marian and John Cunningham, who volunteered to join him for Christmas dinner.
"This is like a miracle come true," said James, a retired butler living in south London.
Marian, who is originally from Galway, said she was happy to spend Christmas Day with James because she thought it was brave of him to put up his hands and say that he was feeling lonely.
"It really pulled at my heart-strings when he said he thought he was the only person who was in this situation, because he really is not," she said.
The pensioner had advertised in the hope of finding a Christmas companion, but he received only one reply. And his spirits were crushed when those plans fell through.
He then went public, saying that this time of year is hard if you are old and alone.
Since then, offers have flooded in from across Britain and as far away as the US and Chile, with more than 1,700 cards and gifts being sent to James.