Stars take to the skies to entertain residents on Wigan street

Residents on a Wigan street have been joined by surprise guests as they show their thanks to the NHS.
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People living on Old Road in Ashton left their houses on Thursday evening for the weekly applause and were shocked to be joined by Freddie Mercury.

John Price - dressed as the Queen star - went up in a cherry picker to the sound of We Are The Champions just before the applause.

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After everyone showed their gratitude for healthcare workers, Queen’s We Will Rock You and I Want To Break Free were played as the cherry picker was lowered.

Entertaining residents from a cherry pickerEntertaining residents from a cherry picker
Entertaining residents from a cherry picker

Freddie Mercury was the second star to appear on the street recently, with a Stormtrooper from Star Wars making a dramatic entrance on the cherry picker as music from the film series was played ahead of last week’s clap for carers.

It was the idea of Old Road resident Geoff Collier and his friend and neighbour John Price, who met six years ago when John came to the rescue of Geoff’s wife Susan and dog Bob when they were attacked by another dog. Susan had to spend four days in hospital for injuries to her hand, while Bob lost a leg.

John had already visited shop Iceland in his Stormtrooper costume and when Geoff saw him walking past his home one day, he suggested that he wear it for the special appearance last week.

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Geoff, 53, has a cherry picker that he uses for his work as a handyman.

He said: “It was just for something different, to put a smile on people’s faces rather than doom and gloom. Everybody loved it, everyone was smiling, young and old. There are a few older people near us and they liked it and the children liked it too.”

The Stormtrooper arrived five minutes before the applause and afterwards people clapped and sang along to (Is This The Way To) Amarillo.

The appearance had such a positive response that Geoff and John decided to organiser another VIP visit to the street - though they kept the star’s identity a secret until Thursday evening.

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Geoff, who has four grandchildren, said: “I have been asked to do it every week so we will try to come up with different ideas.”

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