Leeds king of panto Billy Pearce records message of support to local community

Leeds comedian and panto star Billy Pearce has recorded a video message to lift the spirits of people in his community during the current coronavirus lockdown.

By Joanna Wardill
Sunday, 29th March 2020, 2:06 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th March 2020, 3:07 pm

The 69-year-old performer, who lives in Tingley, south Leeds, filmed himself cracking jokes and urging people to stay safe in the video which he sent to local volunteer group WF3 Kindness.

The group was set up in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and covers the Tingley, Ardsley and Thorpe areas of the city, aiming to bring together relatives, neighbours and friends who need support while in isolation.

Founder Dan Frank said he made contact with the comedy legend to spread the word about their efforts.

Billy Pearce as Muddles in the 2019 Snow White and the Seven Dwarves at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford, alongside Steps star Faye Tozer as the Wicked Queen and fellow-funny man Paul Chuckle as Henchman.Picture Bruce Rollinson

He said: "I got in touch with Billy Pearce this week and told him what we were doing and he was more than happy to support his own local community.

"He sent me a video showing his support to post on the group and website. In typical Billy style he brought a smile to many people's faces."

Entertainer Billy - dubbed the 'King of Panto' - is a regular at Bradford's Alhambra theatre as well as in Blackpool and has previously appeared in three Royal Variety Shows.

In the video, he cracks the jokes his fans know and love as well as adding heartfelt messages of support to those separated from family members during these times of crisis.

Explaining he is unable to see his mum or stepdad at the moment, he says he "hopes everybody is alright" and signs off with: "Good luck everybody, look after each other and stay safe."

The video certainly had the desired effect on WF3 Kindness's Facebook page 'Tingley, Ardsley and Thorpe - Viral Kindness' where comments included: "Superb - really cheered me up!" and "Love it, made us smile this afternoon at work".

The WF3 Kindness group has been going from strength to strength since it was set up, as the communities rally together to support those in need.

Within hours of the Facebook group being launched, it had attracted over 300 members and its current tally stands at nearly 900.

A website, at www.wf3kindness.co.uk, was also set up to reach those not on Facebook as well as a helpline and email address - which came to the rescue of nearly 50 people within the first five days.

An army of around 40 volunteers from the group have also been out and about distributing 4,500 leaflets - made possible thanks to a local printer answering an online call for help - to try and reach vulnerable households across the community.

For more information on the group, or to view the Billy Pearce video in full, visit www.wf3kindness.co.uk or request to join the Facebook group Tingley, Ardsley and Thorpe - Viral Kindness.

*Share your acts of kindness with us on Twitter using #actsofkindness and #leeds or emailing [email protected]