Bill phoned BBC Radio Solent. He was upset, lonely and missing his wife. Alex decided to invite him in. We sent a cab to pick him up, have a listen to what happened next.
Posted by BBC Radio Solent on Wednesday, October 21, 2015
A British radio host invited a lonely 95-year-old fan to the studio for a milky coffee and cake, and to sit in as his VIP guest.
Their exchange is crushingly beautiful, showcasing humanity at its best.
It happened after Bill Palmer of Southampton, England called the Alex Dyke Show on BBC radio Wednesday for a segment “Love Later in Life,” to talk about his wife. They’d married just over a year ago, but she took a bad fall, has dementia and is now living in a nursing home. His voice quivering, Palmer told Dyke he visits her every day, but that “it’s hell” being apart. He said he feels so alone.
“Alex, just talking to you has made a difference,” Palmer said.
That’s when Dyke offered to send a car that moment to pick up Palmer to be a special guest on the show. Palmer, who listens to the radio show every morning, said, “he’d love to.”
Later, as a guest on the show, Palmer said, “I just sit and listen to the radio and watch television at night … I’ve got a lot of friends, but unfortunately when you get old people don’t visit – that’s life.”
He said he sits with his wife at the home, “and we tell each other we love each other.” She still knows him, and she’ll reference their June wedding day. “That’s when it hurts,” he said.
He then took calls from listeners, who asked him questions, shared their own stories of loss and loneliness, and told him how much people care about him.
“I found that out,” he said.
“What can I say, I feel overwhelmed today,” he said, audibly choked up, at the end of his visit. Dyke suggested that he become a regular guest.
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