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Barrow hospital radio volunteer set to meet his hero Michael Ball at BBC Studios in London

2 June 2023

  • Furness General Hospital

Harrison Holmes 2.PNGA young volunteer from Radio Lonsdale at Furness General Hospital (FGH) in Barrow has had his greatest wish granted and is to meet West End stage celebrity, Michael Ball, at the BBC Studios in London.

Michael surprised Harrison with the amazing opportunity while he was on air and presenting his regular Wednesday night Radio Lonsdale show for patients at FGH.

Harrison, 22, who was treated at FGH as a child, was highly delighted with the video call and was over the moon to hear Michel call him “an amazing person and an inspiration.”

A video of Harrison being surprised by Michael can be viewed here.

Harrison Holmes 1.PNGMichael said to Harrison: “You're passionate, you're entertaining, you're kind and you're a real character.

“I'd like you to show me how it's done. I'm so looking forward to you joining me - I think you're an inspiration young man. I can't wait to meet you. God bless.”

Tom Brownlee, Membership Secretary for Radio Lonsdale in Barrow, said Harrison was a big hit with his listeners who always enjoy his show and like to hear from the guests he brings in.

Michael Ball inviting Harrison Holmes to meet him UHMBT 2023.PNGJo Holmes, Harrison’s mum, said: “I can't believe we've kept the secret for so long. He's always said his dream is to work on BBC Radio 2, so he's had high aims.”

Jo said Harrison had been extremely unwell after he was born and his life expectancy was around eight months.

She added: “When he got home, he started to thrive and the doctors couldn't believe it. He's had 28 operations. He's had such a really hard start in life, but you'd never know it. He kept everyone else going. This is his dream come true. It's like winning the lottery.”

Harrison will meet with Michael in the next few weeks in London.