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Ant and Dec take a spin on Suffolk ‘trishaw’

PUBLISHED: 07:30 24 January 2019

Presenters Ant and Dec on the Framlingham trishaw at the London Palladium Picture: JOHN STILLWELL/PA WIRE

Presenters Ant and Dec on the Framlingham trishaw at the London Palladium Picture: JOHN STILLWELL/PA WIRE

JOHN STILLWELL/PA WIRE

A Suffolk charity had a true night to remember as they joined one of TV’s most iconic duos for a dynamic reunion on the red carpet.

Nick Corke chief executive of Hour Community, with Ant and Dec on the trishaw Picture: NICK CORKENick Corke chief executive of Hour Community, with Ant and Dec on the trishaw Picture: NICK CORKE

When his phone rang last Friday, Nick Corke, chief executive of Framlingham charity Hour Community, had no reason to suspect it would be anything out of the ordinary.

However things quickly turned surreal when he was asked to pack up one of his ‘trishaws’ for a trip to the famous London Palladium – where he would join the popular TV duo Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly for their first day seen entering work together in almost a year.

The trishaws – cycle-powered chairs in which two people sit in front of the cyclist – are normally used by the charity to take elderly residents on trips around the town.

So it was a bit of a shock when, just two days after the initial call, Mr Corke and a colleague found themselves bundling one into the back of a van for an unforgettable trip to the big smoke.

The trishaw was signed by the iconic TV duo at the red carpet event in London Picture: NICK CORKEThe trishaw was signed by the iconic TV duo at the red carpet event in London Picture: NICK CORKE

“It is not every day you get a phone call saying: ‘Can you bring your trishaw to the Palladium on Sunday to take Ant and Dec around Soho for some filming and then join with all the judges on Britain’s got Talent and cycle to the front of the Palladium on the red carpet’,” Mr Corke said.

When asked what it was like to meet Ant and Dec, he said: “They are just ordinary people to be frank.

“When we arrived at the Palladium we were met by two of the production team who had reserved a parking slot for us. We were then ushered into the Palladium where we were given our passes for the day, a sandwich, cup of coffee and a rough idea of what the day held, with the proviso that things would probably change.

“We then sat down and watched rehearsals until they called us to get the bike out and make for the back of the theatre where we would do a trial run with the production team.

The Hour Community representatives got to visit the Britain's Got Talent studios in London Picture: NICK CORKEThe Hour Community representatives got to visit the Britain's Got Talent studios in London Picture: NICK CORKE

“There was then a lot of hanging about until Ant and Dec came out to start filming at which point we had a chance to have a few words while we strapped them in and got the props ready. Half an hour later the filming was finished and we took them back to the Palladium and waited for the judges to turn up with their bikes.”

The duo made a dynamic entry on the trishaw, sipping tea and tucking into sandwiches in quintessentially English fashion as they were steered up the red carpet.

Before they returned to Framlingham, Mr Corke and his colleague also persuaded the pair to sign the trishaw – which he said was “a great keep sake of the day”.

Hour Community was set up as a by Framlingham Rotary Club in 2011 and has grown into a charity with more than 40 volunteers providing services in rural areas.

The trishaw, provided by Hour Community, was signed by the boys at the Palladium Picture: NICK CORKEThe trishaw, provided by Hour Community, was signed by the boys at the Palladium Picture: NICK CORKE

Roles include transporting patients to appointments with doctors, dentists, hospitals and vets, as well as running a befriending service and the dementia-friendly Forget Me Not lunch club.

The charity also runs The Worry Tree Cafe, a mental health service operating in Framlingham and Leiston. Its volunteers take care home residents on rides on its fleet of trishaw bikes, and provide free smoke detector fitting services.


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