03/12/2011 06:13 GMT | Updated 03/12/2011 06:22 GMT

TV News Anchor Tells Viewers 'There's No Santa' (VIDEO)

A TV newsreader has been forced to issue an apology after telling (potentially young) viewers that Santa Claus is not real.

Robin Robinson of FOX Chicago had been talking to her co-host about the problem of children's Christmas expectations when she broke the un-festive news.

"Stop trying to convince your kids that Santa is Santa," she said during the 9pm broadcast. "That's what my take is. Forget about it.

"That's why they have these high expectations. They know you can't afford it, so they're going to ask some man in a red suit. There's no Santa!

"He's not coming down the chimney, he's not eating those cookies, he's not bringing you anything."

She added that as soon as children are able to talk, they should be told that Father Christmas isn't real -- which, for any younger readers, he obviously is.

Unsurprisingly, the channel was quickly bombarded with phone calls and emails from irate viewers demanding an apology, which they got the following evening.

"It was careless and callous to say what I said in what could have been mixed company," she said.

"So many kids don'’t get to be children that for those who do get to live the wonder and magic of Christmas, I would never spoil it intentionally. So I sincerely apologise."