Lionel Blair has Covid-19 jab: ‘It means a great deal’

Lionel Blair said it meant a “great deal” to have been given the Covid-19 jab – as he dubbed those who turn it down “crazy”.

The star, 92, received the first of two vaccine injections at an NHS vaccine centre, set up in the grounds of the horse racing course at Epsom, Surrey.

“I couldn’t believe it when they called me and said, ‘It’s next week and then the next one is in January’ and here I am,” he said.

“I’m just … thinking, thank God I live here.”

Entertainer Lionel Blair getting his vaccine
Entertainer Lionel Blair getting his vaccine

The entertainer added: “I’m hoping it’s going to make me live a bit longer! And seeing my grandchildren and children growing up.

“The whole thing means a great deal to me.”

Blair said he “hadn’t been out” because of the pandemic and that he missed “buying presents for the kids” and “going out for lunch”.

He added: “My back is the only thing that is weak. My doctor says it’s because of all the dancing in my career.”

Asked about those with worries about the vaccine, he said: “I couldn’t wait for them to phone me, I thought, ‘How do you get in touch?'”

Marty Wilde was one of the first celebrities to receive the jab last week
Marty Wilde was one of the first celebrities to receive the jab last week

And Blair, who “gave up smoking five years ago” and usually feels “marvellous”, said of those who decide they do not want the jab: “If they don’t they’re crazy!”

He added; “It’s been a horrid year for everybody and to finish the year with hope, that this is going to help everybody, how wonderful.”

He said he would keep his Christmas plans small.

“Having heard there might be another wave if too many people get together, we’re going to keep it just (wife) Sue and I,” the veteran tap dancer said.

“We bought a small turkey, so we’ll have turkey, and then before we go to bed – turkey sandwiches. We’re going to have a lot of turkey!

“We can talk to the children, they can come up our drive, we’ll still be in touch.”

Blair usually does pantomime every year but admitted, “I don’t miss that so much!”

“At 92, doing two shows a day, it’s a lot,” he said, adding he is “a bit bored of saying, ‘Hello boys and girls!'”

He said of those without jobs in the entertainment world: “One thing I feel so bad about are the pros that can’t work at the moment.

“I think that is tragic. If I could do anything (to help) I would do it. But I’m not allowed to.”

Asked whether he might tap dance home, he quipped: “I don’t know. I don’t want to do anything that might affect (this)!”