He already has a knighthood under his belt, a chart-topping single, two books, a forthcoming feature film and a special place in the nation’s affections as a result of his fundraising efforts for the NHS during the pandemic.
Now the centenarian Capt Sir Tom Moore is to become the UK’s oldest podcaster, launching his first series on Monday as part of a national campaign to tackle loneliness among older people, which has worsened during the Covid crisis.
The new podcast – called The Originals – marks the next stage of a campaign by the charity Age UK and the chocolate brand Cadbury that aims to inspire people to “donate your words” and have a meaningful conversation with an older person.
“My mission is simple but important,” said the former British army officer, who turned 100 in April. “I hope The Originals podcast will help encourage everyone to start a proper conversation with an older person. We truly are the originals and we have more in common than you may think – we have hundreds of amazing tales just waiting to be told.”
Moore’s first interviewees are Rose Knox-Peebles, AKA Mary Telford, a 79-year old writer and art collector, who reveals details of a kiss with Elvis Presley, and Winston Garvey, an 83-year-old bodybuilder who still lifts weights three times a week. A later episode will feature the investigative journalist Geoffrey Lean, aged 73, who has been writing about climate change for more than half a century.
Captain Thomas Moore, popularly known as Captain Tom, is a war veteran known for his extraordinary fundraising initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic. It all started in early April 2020, when Moore set out to raise £1,000 for the National Health Service (NHS) by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday. The war hero helped raise more than £32 million ($40 million) from 1.5 million supporters.
Let’s take a look at some interesting things about Captain Tom and the fame that followed after his fundraising efforts.
Instead of quizzing his guests about the weather or their hobbies, Capt Tom presses them on what they did in the 70s or what single life lesson they would pass on to their grandchildren.
Age UK said 225,000 older people typically go for a week without speaking to anyone, while more than 6 million older people say just a few minutes of conversation makes a difference to them.
“We are hearing through our advice lines that since the outbreak many older people are feeling anxious, depressed and lonely,” said Laurie Boult, the fundraising director at Age UK.
“The effects of loneliness can be devastating; we know it is a threat to our physical and mental health, and that it can also increase the risk of developing dementia.
“It’s so hard for many older people to stay connected at the moment, especially if they live alone, and we’re delighted to be working with Cadbury and Capt Tom on this campaign to raise awareness of this heart-breaking issue.”