Monday, October 26, 2015

The nicest moment in 30 years of broadcasting

Meet Bill Palmer. He's 95 and lives in Southampton, Hampshire, England. Last year he robbed the cradle and married Sheila. She's only 85, but they've been friends since 1984, so they figured the age gap wouldn't matter. It didn't until Sheila was hospitalized after a fall, and then moved permanently to a nursing home. Bill visits her every day, but when he comes home, he's crushed with loneliness. He listens to the Alex Dyke call-in show on BBC Radio Solent, and recently the topic was loneliness, so he called in. "Alex, just talking with you has made a difference," he said. "I have lots of friends but unfortunately, when you get old, people don't visit." Then Alex took it up a notch. Would Bill come to the studio and chat on the air?  Bill remembered, "No only did they offer me coffee. They showed me around the whole building and made me feel welcome. I'll never forget it as long as I live."

                                                                                                          Photos by Facebook/BBC Radio Solent
Bill's visit has been viewed 41,000 times on the radio station's Facebook page. Listeners have deluged him with offers, from Sunday lunch to a private concert by a ukulele orchestra. "I've had so many people get in touch, even a chappie from North Carolina," Bill said, adding that his wife couldn't believe it when he told how their story made the headlines. "We're the talk of the nation," she responded, happy to be in a nursing home that cares for her so well.

"I was coming home from the nursing home and I heard my name on the radio!" Bill said. "I just couldn't get over it. I'm overwhelmed by the kindness of people." And what about talk show host Alex Dyke? He believes Bill touched the hearts of thousands of listeners and "it was the nicest moment in 30 years of broadcasting."

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