An autistic five-year-old boy who became so obsessed with the Venus flytrap from John Lewis’s Christmas advert that he watches it hundreds of times a day has thanked the retailer for sending him Snapper-themed goodies.

Tommy Lamb fell in love with Snapper, the mischievous Venus flytrap from the department store’s festive promotion, playing the ad repeatedly and shouting “back” when it finishes, his mother Bethany Lamb, 30, from South Shields in South Tyneside, said.

The team at John Lewis were so touched that they sent Tommy a box of goodies, including Snapper-themed pyjamas and a soft toy.

Ms Lamb told the PA news agency: “He brings Snapper to bed every night, and cheekily tries to sneak Snapper to school every morning!

“The minute he’s back home he’s using his voice, asking for Snapper again on repeat and happily reunited with his new gift from John Lewis.

“If he’s colouring… Snapper’s there. If he’s reading… Snapper’s there. He’s obsessed. It’s beautiful to see how much joy it has brought him.”

The five-year-old created a special thank-you card for the staff at the retailer after receiving his gifts, featuring a hand-drawn picture of Snapper which he delivered to his local branch in Newcastle.

He was then able to see the Snapper toys on display with his mother and nan Michelle, 54.

Ms Lamb said: “He doesn’t always interact with things and can struggle making connections. But this ‘mischievous Venus flytrap’ has won his heart.”

She added: “Watching the John Lewis advert 500 times a day may be a little extreme for some. For Tommy, though, each time is as thrilling as the last.

“After visiting Snapper in John Lewis, Tommy told me it was the best day ever and clearly it still wasn’t enough. The second we got home, before I’d even got my coat off, he pointed at the TV and told me ‘Snapper’ and was back to watching it on repeat.”

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John Lewis’ customer director, Charlotte Lock, said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled that our advert has made such an impact on Tommy and his family and the card he made was wonderful.

“Our ad is about the shared joy of evolving Christmas traditions – and it’s so touching that Snapper the Venus flytrap from our ad will also become part of Tommy’s festivities.”

Ms Lamb added: “It brings me so much happiness and John Lewis have done so much for him. It really is magical. I never thought in my life that a Venus flytrap would make me so emotional! I’m so proud of Tommy.”