An entertainment company in eastern Ukraine is offering the public a drinking companion for hire during the Christmas period.

The firm will provide a drinking buddy with whom you can talk everything from politics, to art, to women, or simply bemoan the condition of the world.

The head of Kind Fairy, organisers of weddings and birthdays, says offering drinking companions for hire have been one of her firm's most in-demand services since they opened last December.

'It is a pleasant companion who can enliven a boring evening,' Yulia Peyeva told AFP from Dneprodzerzhinsk, a town of 300,000 on the Dnieper River.

'Virtually all of our people are talented. They can play guitar, sing or recite poetry.

'Today you may want to talk about art and tomorrow to read Faust,' she said, referring to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's tragic play.

The service, which costs up to 150 Ukrainian hryvnias (€14), is also popular among people who are reluctant to seek therapy but find it comfortable talking to strangers, she said.

Ms Peyeva insisted the firm, whose staff includes psychologists, does not encourage binge drinking nor does it provide escort services.

'We are not a dating or matchmaking service.'