ONE of Bolton Market’s biggest characters served up a special Christmas lunch to help the town’s homeless.

Alain Job, who owns the Cameroonian food stall, Nkono, invited all his loyal customers to have a taste of Christmas, African-style, on Saturday.

In exchange for a donation to local homeless charities, customers forsook turkey and tucked into grilled baby octopus, grilled red snapper, Cameroonian pistachio cake and sweet dumplings instead.

“I wanted to celebrate with my customers and the local community and, while celebrating, do something to help those less fortunate,” said Alain.

Customer Barbara Gichard said: “I think it’s fantastic that Alain thought of doing something like this. It really brings the community together.”

Emmalene Byrne said:”It’s amazing. Alain’s such a big part of the market community.”

Alain’s dishes reminded Thulisile Ndhlovu of her native Africa.

Mrs Ndhlovu, originally from Zimbabwe, said: “It’s a very thoughtful thing that Alain has done. I think it’s great. People get to taste great food and help the homeless at the same time.”