CHRISTMAS favourite Terry's Chocolate Orange is joining the current craze for festive gonks.

Gonks - ornamental gnome-like creatures - have become one of this year's most sought-after Christmas decoration and toy after celebrities such as Loose Woman star Stacey Solomon and social media influencer and cleaning guru Mrs Hinch shared photos of their favourites on the internet.

Festive shoppers can't get enough of these furry friends and gonks have swamped the high street - and homes.

But now the chocolate we all love to tap and unwrap at Christmas is getting in on the craze - as thousands of people have started making gonks featuring a Terry's Chocolate Orange inside.

Talented cake decorators - using coloured icing and crafting skills - have made gonks in a variety of shapes, forms and colours including everything from Santa Claus and a robin to a camouflage-clad soldier, a kilt-wearing Scotsman and even a cap-donning Peaky Blinder.


Peaky Blinder gonk by Trish Braithwaite from Grimsby

Many have been made as mini mascots for some of the UK's top football teams including Arsenal, Manchester United, Celtic and Rangers.

Although receiving a Terry's Chocolate Orange at Christmas may seem a British tradition, people are making these gonks across the world, including in Australia and the US.

The craze began just five weeks ago in York, England, when mum-of-two Chelle Holmes set up a Facebook group and shared a video tutorial on how to make a Terry's Chocolate Orange gonk.

Previously, she had made a variety of figures using decorative icing and a Chocolate Orange, including Sean Connery, Leonardo DiCaprio, The Grinch, a unicorn and Disney characters.

But when she made her first gonk - a grey figure with a beard, hood, and flat nose - things started to go crazy!


Sean Connery design - inside is a Terry's Chocolate Orange - by Chelle Holmes

Chelle, who runs her own cake decorating business, said everything just went "berserk" with thousands of enthusiastic crafts people joining in and sharing their handiwork on the Facebook page: Terry's Chocolate Orange Decorating UK, which now has thousands of members.

Many are making 100s of Chocolate Orange-covered gonks to sell ahead of Christmas - often at £10 a piece - and say it is helping them earn much-needed cash during the current Covid pandemic.


Festive collection of TCO gonks by Wendy Mardle, from Grantham

Talented crafters can make up to four Chocolate Orange gonks an hour.

Chelle said: "Stacey Solomon and Mrs Hinch have got into gonks as Christmas decorations. My friend showed me one and it gave me the idea to decorate a gonk using a Terry's Chocolate Orange.

"I set up the Facebook group around Halloween and did a video tutorial on how to make a Terry's Chocolate Orange gonk. We only had a few hundred members then - but it just went berserk - now everybody is making gonks - and they are still at it.

"It's the weirdest thing ever!"



TOP: Chelle Holmes turns a Chocolate Orange into Leonardo DiCaprio - inspired by his popular meme

BOTTOM: Scottish football gonks, by Fatima Hashemi of Motherwell