Surprise Surprise - North Walsham charity fundraiser Barry Holden meets his rock hero Rod Stewart on emotional TV show

MAGIC MOMENT: Barry Holden hugs his rock hero Rod Stewart. MAGIC MOMENT: Barry Holden hugs his rock hero Rod Stewart.

Monday, December 2, 2013
2:12 PM

Music fan and charity fund-raiser Barry Holden, from North Walsham, hugged his rock idol Rod Stewart in an emotional episode of ITV show Surprise Surprise last night.

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And internationally-famous singer-songwriter Stewart told Mr Holden, of Birds Road, that he would appear as guest of honour at one of his charity gigs.

Mr Holden had been secretly nominated to appear on the show by his granddaughter Daisy who wanted the world to know about the £45,000-plus he has raised for children’s charities and other causes in the past 30 years through his annual Live Aid gigs in North Walsham.

Believing he was just one of the audience, Mr Holden was stunned to be called to the stage by show host Holly Willoughby who then recounted his fund-raising feats which began following the Ethiopian famine in the 1980s and resumed annually following the 2004 Asian tsunami.

A major feature of the Live Aid concerts is an auction of rock memorabilia which Mr Holden persuades stars to sign whenever he is at one of their gigs.

He had expressed his disappointment to his family at missing the chance to get Rod Stewart’s signature when he went to his Carrow Road gig in Norwich in 2011.

Tears flowed when Rod Stewart walked on to the stage, embraced Mr Holden and then sat and chatted. He signed a guitar for him and Mr Holden also went home with a signed platinum disc of Stewart’s latest album “Time”.

Surprise Surprise features ordinary people with exceptional stories to tell and rewards them for their efforts.

The popular show has recently returned after a 12-year break. Last night’s episode saw former presenter Cilla Black make a guest appearance.

■ Buy tomorrow’s EDP for more on this story.

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