When an opportunity arises to showcase the incredible talents of my musicians with learning disabilities I usually grab it with both hands. The chance to appear on BBC1 TV's Morning Live programme was no exception, but the filming was due to take place exactly a week after the death of our charity President, Sir David Amess. The news of this awful tragedy hadn't sunk in. Staff, volunteers and students were all feeling emotional and raw. I seriously considered cancelling the whole thing.
But then I stopped and thought, "What would Sir David have wanted?".
For over 20 years my friend had encouraged me to take every opportunity to further my campaign on behalf of people with learning disabilities. In my head I could hear Sir David telling me that TV coverage of this type was not something to pass over. "You've got to go for it", he would say. So, despite the terrible timing, that's what we did...
The programme focused on Jamaican-born British fitness instructor, Mr Motivator, who rose to fame in the early 1990s through appearances on the UK breakfast television show GMTV, where he performed live fitness sessions and offered tips and advice to viewers. Now aged 70, Mr Motivator still had all the moves and was full of energy when he approached our Music Man Project session in October 2021. However, he certainly met his match in the enthusiasm and excitement of the students at The Music Man Project headquarters in Southend!
Mr Motivator sang and danced to our music, he interviewed our students and posed for photos. He was incredibly generous with his time and never stopped smiling. He was, in his own words, "blown away" by our music and our zest for life. The programme was broadcast on BBC1 a week later and I know Sir David would have approved.
You can enjoy the moment Mr Motivator met The Music Man Project on our YouTube channel here or below: