Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott to play free NHS concert

By Mark Savage
BBC music reporter

  • Published
Paul Heaton and Jacqui AbbottImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott first performed together in the Beautiful South

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbot have announced they will play a free show for NHS staff working on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic.

The duo, who recently scored a number one album with Manchester Calling, are giving away 9,000 tickets for the show in Nottingham in October.

All NHS staff, including "doctors, nurses, support workers, porters and cleaners", will be welcome.

Hospital staff "can never be thanked enough", said Heaton in a statement.

"The coronavirus pandemic should remind everyone, and let no-one forget, that our National Health Service is the most brilliant and significant institution in our lives.

"We are just musicians, so there is little we can do but sing for you.

"From the porters, the cleaners and the drivers, to the doctors and the nurses; thank you."

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The show will take place at Nottingham's Motorpoint Arena on Tuesday 13 October.

Tickets will be made available from Tuesday 31 March and will be limited to two per person. Concertgoers will need to bring a valid NHS or Primary Care Trust ID card when they attend the show.

Oasis reunion?

Heaton and Abbott, who were formerly members of the Beautiful South, are not the only musicians offering support to the NHS.

Liam Gallagher has even floated the idea of a one-off Oasis reunion in aid of frontline workers.

"Sick of pleading, begging, etc," he wrote on Twitter in a message apparently aimed at brother and former bandmate Noel. "I demand an Oasis reunion after this is all over, all money going to NHS. C'mon, you know."

Touring company Vans for Bands has also volunteered to hand over its entire fleet of vehicles to the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak.

"We would like to offer our sleeper buses to be parked outside hospitals and used by doctors, nurses and staff to sleep/take a rest during their extended shifts," wrote chief executive Edward Thompson in an open letter.

Meanwhile, pop star Peter Andre has praised his wife Emily MacDonagh, a junior doctor, and her colleagues for working tirelessly during the crisis.

He shared a photo of the staff on her ward holding up signs reading: "We stay here for you, please stay home for us," with the hashtag #supportthenhs.

"Thank you so much to ALL the NHS and the carers up and down the country," he added.

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