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Retired teacher Chris Connell, of Farndon, amazed at response following feature in BBC programme Our Dementia Choir with Vicky McClure




A retired teacher who featured in a BBC programme about dementia says he has been amazed at the response.

Chris Connell, 67, of Farndon, was one of those whose story was followed in the two-part documentary, Our Dementia Choir, fronted by Vicky McClure.

In it, the Line Of Duty star looked at the effect on dementia of music and singing in a choir in particular.

RETIRED teacher Chris Connell is pictured alongside Vicky McClure and other members of the dementia choir, performing on stage at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham.
RETIRED teacher Chris Connell is pictured alongside Vicky McClure and other members of the dementia choir, performing on stage at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham.

Chris spent all his working life as a woodwork teacher, including 22 years at the former Grove School, Balderton.

He was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2015, and now struggles with many routine aspects of life.

But Chris has always enjoyed music and jumped at the chance to join a choir for people with dementia.

The 20-strong choir spent 12 weeks rehearsing for a performance at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham, which was filmed for the documentary.

Chris, and his wife, Jane, were also seen at home in Farndon, with Vicky McClure.

The second programme was watched by just under 3m people, Chris said.

Chris Connell and Vicky McClure (10343842)
Chris Connell and Vicky McClure (10343842)

Since it aired, he has been contacted by many people, including former pupils, saying they had seen him on television, and wishing him well.

He was even recognised twice within a few minutes while stopping off in a small fishing village en route home after a holiday in Scotland.

“People I don’t know from Adam have got in touch or stopped me in the street. The response has just been amazing,” he said.

He has even had people sending letters to his home.

Chris has been invited to be guest at an event tomorrow to raise money for Newark Dementia Carers Group.

The grand summer dance, being held at Balderton Village Community Centre on Coronation Street, will feature dancing to a 16-piece band, The Monsonaires.

The band leader, Ken Daubney, who has led the band for 60 years, is also chairman of the dementia carers group.

Tomorrow’s event includes a bar, buffet, and big band vocalist Susan Dawn, of Lincoln.



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