Singer Michael Ball has dedicated his BBC Radio 2 show to “the nation’s hero” Captain Sir Tom Moore.
The musical theatre star, 58, who recorded a charity single with Sir Tom that reached number one, said he hoped to “spread the positivity that he was such a beacon of”.
Kicking off his show with The Rose by Bette Midler, an emotional Ball told his listeners: “I am playing this in loving memory of my hero, the nation’s hero, my pal, Captain Sir Tom Moore.”
Fundraising veteran Sir Tom died on Tuesday aged 100 after testing positive for Covid-19, prompting tributes to pour in from across the UK and further afield.
Introducing his radio show on Sunday morning, Ball said: “My heart goes out to all of his family and the family of everybody who has lost someone during this awful pandemic.
“It has been a sad week for all of us but we have to keep Captain Tom’s spirit alive, and knowing him as I did, he wouldn’t want us to feel down or remember him with sadness. He wouldn’t want any fuss at all.
“So today in memory of Captain Tom we are going to keep our spirits up and we are going to spread the positivity that he was such a beacon of.”
Ball dedicated the first half of the show to “Captain Tom’s beloved NHS” while the second half featured a conversation Ball had with Sir Tom around the time of his book release in summer 2020.
The singer also encouraged listeners to write to him with their memories of Sir Tom.
In April last year, Sir Tom became the oldest artist to reach number one in the UK singles charts with his rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone, recorded with Ball.
The pair later performed their version during the annual Royal Variety Performance.