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‘Keep smiling’: 83-year-old’s inspiring dance tribute for NHS

PUBLISHED: 15:07 27 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:08 27 March 2020

An 83-year-old who had an illustrious career as a ballroom dancer put on a fresh performance for the NHS today from his driveway. Photos: Louisa Tinks

An 83-year-old who had an illustrious career as a ballroom dancer put on a fresh performance for the NHS today from his driveway. Photos: Louisa Tinks

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An 83-year-old who had an illustrious career as a ballroom dancer put on a fresh performance for the NHS today from his driveway.

Mr Sykes said: Mr Sykes said: "We couldn’t do anything without the NHS, hopefully this crisis will change our perspectives and we will give more respect to people who work in care and the NHS." Photos: Louisa Tinks

Malcolm Skyes, from Beccles, said he wanted to “keep everybody happy and support the NHS because they’re doing a brilliant job.”

Mr Sykes has been dancing since he was 14, and says he still manages to find the time to dance and play music every day.

Having lived through the Second World War, Mr Sykes said he understands what it is like to live through a time of crisis.

“It’s not exactly the same as the war,” he said. “But I remember the music of Vera Lynn getting me through nights in the Anderson shelter.”

While following social distancing guidelines, many of Mr Sykes’ neighbours on Worlingham Road came out to see him perform. Photos: Louisa TinksWhile following social distancing guidelines, many of Mr Sykes’ neighbours on Worlingham Road came out to see him perform. Photos: Louisa Tinks

“It kept everyone’s spirits up and that’s what I am hopefully trying to do. Most people enjoy it,” he added.

WATCH: ‘Long live the NHS’ - Norfolk cheers and claps for carers

While following social distancing guidelines, many of Mr Sykes’ neighbours on Worlingham Road came out to see him perform.

“His music was lovely today and a few neighbours came out,” neighbour Louisa Tink said. “It’s just something lovely for him and it makes us all smile.

“He usually sits and plays music from his conservatory, and since the isolation began he plays it louder.”

Mr Sykes said he has danced on stages in Blackpool and has appeared on Strictly Come Dancing before, and said music was his and his wife’s passion.

“When she had her stroke at age 55 I had to pack that up but I still listen when I can. It keeps me healthy too - mind my knees are overworked though.”

READ MORE: Six new coronavirus cases in Norfolk as total reaches 51

The joyous dancer decided to put on a show for neighbours, and as a tribute for the NHS, after millions of people took to their front doors to applaud care workers last night, Thursday, March 26.

He said: “That really was wonderful, I think I could dance every Thursday just the same. We couldn’t do anything without the NHS, hopefully this crisis will change our perspectives and we will give more respect to people who work in care and the NHS. They really are the front line. It is just unbelievable what they do.”


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