Great Yarmouth roller skating legend Jocelyn Taylor’s star turn in Bupa TV advert
GET me a roller skating gran!
It is the kind of demand a stressed ad man might bawl at his bewildered staff, uncertain as to where they might turn up such a remarkable specimen combining age, grace, strength and poise.
But having placed a small ad for fit old folk they got just what they wanted.
For gliding across our small screens is Great Yarmouth roller skating legend Jocelyn Taylor - the perfect embodiment of active old age.
In scenes mingling flirtatious girls in swirly skirts, cute toddlers in wellies and super-fit joggers she flies across the telly on rollerskates with an un-forced ease which belies her years, in perfect unison with her partner.
Or so it would seem.
In fact the couple on wheels were once arch rivals competing for Britain’s top pairs titles, reunited for the first time in 60 years for the Bupa TV advertisement first shown on Friday.
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As the music builds to a crescendo the camera closes in on Mrs Taylor - performing a perfect arabesque that most people even a quarter of her age would be hard pushed to achieve.
But the former British champion and international judge who had her heyday in Great Yarmouth has never let herself slow down and is still taking up new challenges and living by her watchwords “never, ever give up.”
Even at 83 she is not content to slip into sedentary old-age and was delighted to do a turn for the advertisement which celebrates healthy living at any age.
Following a recent move nearer to son Ashley in Bury St Edmunds Mrs Taylor, who held nine British championship titles, teaches twice a week in Colchester and regularly visits Retroskate in Yarmouth, run by her former pupil Glenn Wicks whom she holds in high affection.
Unlike her partner for the ad fruit farmer Stanley Balls she had never given up skating and is clearly seen in the short film flowing across the polished floor of Shoreditch town hall with a delightful ease matched by a twinkling smile.
“I skated against him in 1951,” she recalls. “He and his partner were doing overhead lifts and they were not allowed then. It was great seeing him and we had a lot of fun.”
“I really did enjoy it. At my time of life you think ‘I have had a good life and a lot of success’ and you think that it is over. Then somebody asks you to do something else and so it goes on.
“Roller skating is a passion for me. I do not think I shall ever lose it. Never, ever give up - that is what I say. It is a wonderful reflection to have.”
Since the advert was first screened during Monroe on ITV1 on Friday she has had feedback from across the globe. Although the day’s filming in snowy London on December 30 was trimmed to a few fleeting seconds Mrs Tayor said she was pleased with it all the same.
“I was sitting watching the television on Friday and all of sudden I came across the screen. It is very satisfying to think that people aren’t saying ‘oh she’s too old we don’t want her.’ We had to do it over and over again and you have to have good staying power, life teaches you that.”
Mrs Taylor has also appeared on Blue Peter several times and was recently asked to supply some skaters for Ant and Dec’s Saturday night show.
She achieved competition success with skating partners Frank Martin and George Thompson. She married Richard Moore and the couple ran the seafront Shadingfield Lodge. Her son Ashley, also a champion skater, has two children.
Having lived in Yarmouth for most of her adult life she said she missed the fresh air and hadn’t ruled out moving back, many of the boxes she packed three years ago still stubbornly clinging to their contents.
View the advert at http://findhealthy.bupa.co.uk/bupa-tv-advert.html