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‘Lost for words’: Chesney Hawkes surprises Cranham fan who completed Isle of Wight driveway walk

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:34 17 June 2020

Lesley Dunn with Chesney Hawkes in June 2019. Picture: Lesley Dunn

Lesley Dunn with Chesney Hawkes in June 2019. Picture: Lesley Dunn

Lesley Dunn

A Cranham woman received a surprise message from pop star Chesney Hawkes after she listened to his music while walking the length of the Isle of Wight coastline along her driveway.

Lesley Dunn, who walked the length of the Isle of Wight coastline up and down her driveway, tracked her progress using a map her husband John painted on their garage. Picture: Lesley DunnLesley Dunn, who walked the length of the Isle of Wight coastline up and down her driveway, tracked her progress using a map her husband John painted on their garage. Picture: Lesley Dunn

Lesley Dunn, 69, walked 74 miles mirroring the coastline and finished her challenge by moving “inland” to Newport, the town where she was born.

She took on the feat after her husband John, 77, was told he would have to remain shielding at home during the coronavirus crisis.

Lesley said she listened to songs by Chesney or his dad Chip – a member of the Dagenham 1960s group The Tremeloes – throughout her walk and revealed she has been a “huge” fan of Chesney for almost 30 years.

Her story was reported on in last week’s Recorder and picked up by BBC Essex, who arranged a special surprise with a recorded message from the One and Only singer.

Chesney said: “Thank you Lesley in Cranham for listening to me whilst walking 103 miles.

“I think the least I can do is gift you a ticket to my Live and Unfiltered online show on June 26th.”

Lesley was “lost for words” when she heard the message, adding: “I felt very emotional while I was on the radio and heard his voice and I have to admit I had a few joyous tears afterwards.

“I will never tire of listening to him on my daily walk.

“I was thrilled to think he took the time to surprise me and he has given me a ticket for his Live and Unfiltered show which I am so excited about.

The surprise took place during BBC Essex’s breakfast show on Friday (June 12), presented by Sonia Watson and Ben Fryer.

Sonia said: “When we spotted Lesley’s story in the Recorder, we knew we had to share it and when she told us it was Chesney Hawkes who’d kept her going, we couldn’t resist getting in touch with him.

“It was one of those magical moments that only local radio and papers can do.

“Lesley was chuffed to bits and everyone listening got to share a bit of that excitement and joy.”

Chesney is hosting the Live and Unfiltered events online every fortnight for 100 people and donating 20 per cent of ticket fees to charity.


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