THE Tele's vendor is back in the Oak Mall - and he has a tasty surprise in store for all his customers.

Hugh Mallaney returned to his pitch in the shopping centre yesterday as our supply chain gets back up to full speed following the coronavirus lockdown.

Scottish Government restrictions meant the Tele stand near the West Blackhall Street entrance to the Mall - where our vendors have served the Inverclyde public for over 25 years - had to be temporarily withdrawn.

Now the easing of the rules means we are back in business - and returning with a superb surprise snack for all our loyal readers.

We chewed over how to best to celebrate Hugh's return and decided that a giveaway would hit the spot with our customers.

So every time you buy your Tele from him any day during this week, you will get a tasty Twix, worth 65p, absolutely FREE.

We've made sure he is well stocked so that nobody misses out.

All you need to do is purchase your Tele from the stand and Hugh will hand over the chocolate treat for you to enjoy with Inverclyde's favourite paper.

Tele editor Brian Hossack says he is confident the promotion will prove one of most popular yet.

He added: "Everyone likes a freebie and we wanted to make sure his hundreds of regular customers know that Hugh is back at his usual spot and are encouraged to pop along and say hello.

"Since taking up our vendor's job last year, he has loved meeting lots of people, chatting to them and representing our brand.

"Hugh missed everyone during lockdown and is delighted to finally be able to get back to work.

"He was very busy yesterday as he returned to the centre, which was great to see.

"Hopefully all his regulars will pop along and pick up this great free gift with their paper.

"It is our way of saying thanks to our loyal readers for coming back out and supporting the paper - and of course supporting Hugh."

The offer will run all week, only in the Oak Mall.

Telegraph circulation manager David Boyle added: "Our Oak Mall pitch has always been popular and we are delighted to have Hugh back.

"This giveaway is sure to go down well with everyone - we hope our customers enjoy it."