Meet the lifeboatman hero of the airwaves who is keeping the wards virus-free
PUBLISHED: 10:47 15 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:52 15 April 2020
From the boom of maroons to the pound of pop music a lifeboatman is cleaning up as a DJ and spinning discs for people in their homes.
Hundreds of listeners from across the UK are tuning into Ian Papworth from 7-8pm, with requests, dedications and shout-outs making the stint fun and interactive.
And the 57-year-old crew member at Hemsby who has been hitting the decks for 29 years is also juggling a new job as a hospital cleaner helping to keep the wards virus-free.
Fellow lifeboatman Kevin Fenn was keen to give his rescue colleague a pat on the back for going the extra mile during the pandemic.
Having volunteered for free on the lifesaving service he was now in the front line of the coronavirus battle, helping to prevent the spread of the disease,
He said: “He is a damn nice chap and a fine fellow and he deserves some recognition for what he is doing.
“He is helping a lot of people to stay in rather than going out, especially in a coastal area, and he is helping the NHS by cleaning at the James Paget University Hospital.”
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Mr Papworth said his DJ income had taken a huge hit when the pubs and clubs had shut, but that he was more than happy to answer the call for cleaners.
Meanwhile, he saw singers and acts had taken to performing online to combat isolation and thought he could do the same.
So if it’s 7pm, it’s time to join DJ Ian at his home office studio in Caister before he heads off to do a night shift at the sharp end of a Covid-19 ward.
“I almost wish I never started it but I am glad I did at the same time,
“I may even carry on after this,” said the father-of-four who broadcasts over Hemsby Local Chat’s community page.
“I am putting music on every night and the amount of listeners I am getting is amazing.
“They are in Manchester, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Somerset, all over.
“It’s absolutely gone mental.”
Working permanent nights he can only do one hour slots in the evenings with two shows at 2pm and 7pm at the weekends.
Often they are themed with a Christmas one going down well on Easter Monday, and he likes to look the part - dressing up to match the music.
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