A special series of programmes being broadcast this Easter on local BBC radio will celebrate community heroes by introducing them to their favourite stars.
Michael Bublé will surprise key workers as the BBC’s 39 local radio stations thank those who have made a difference where they live. Singers Becky Hill and Emeli Sandé join Michael in surprising their fans who deserve a special thanks.
Michael meets a nurse who works at St George’s Hospital in Tooting. Marlene Johnson is head of nursing at the hospital and has worked on wards throughout the pandemic.
She’s a huge fan of Michael Bublé and tells him about the challenges of keeping staff going through the crisis. She says: “There were times when it was quite frightening and there were times when you just didn’t know how you would put one foot in front of the other and it was like coming into a battlefield for healthcare professionals, not knowing the enormity of what you would be face each day.”
Michael says: “I spent a lot of the pandemic advocating for you – and for people like you – because we worried so much about our healthcare system because of what I had gone through with my son, who was ill. I had become friends with so many of the healthcare professionals and we had a mission that we wanted to keep them going.
“In my country Canada, the healthcare system was bending under the pressure and on behalf of all my friends, family and my country and this country, I just say thank you so much. We teach our kids that Spiderman and Batman are awesome, but they’re not the real superheroes, YOU ARE.”
Becky Hill speaks to a cleaner from Wakefield and Scottish star Emeli Sandé chats to a supermarket worker from Jarrow. The programmes will be a tribute to the key workers who keep our communities going and feature music from the artists throughout.
Emeli Sandé and Becky Hill can be heard on your local BBC station at 9am and 9pm Good Friday 15 April and Michael Bublé, 9am and 9pm Easter Monday 18 April.
On Good Friday, all 39 local stations will hear ‘Keeping Faith’ at Easter, featuring stories of hope and renewal from around England. This includes how local churches are helping to settle thousands of people from Hong Kong in England, and how two sisters, after serving time for a serious crime, were driven by their strong faith to help young people in their communities who are heading the same way. The programme is presented by Louise Hulland.
On Easter Sunday at 8am, all local BBC radio stations will bring listeners an Easter service with a message from the Archbishop of Canterbury and voices from churches around England, presented by Canon Tim Daykin.
Chris Burns, Head of BBC Audio and Digital for BBC England, says: “Over the last two years our stations, through the Make A Difference campaign, have been hearing about the great work these key workers have been continuously doing in their communities and we wanted to give them the opportunity to be thanked by their music heroes. This Easter schedule looks to celebrate everything people have done and are still doing.”