Colonel Tom Moore’s incredible National Health Service fundraising attempt isn’t his first brush with fame, as it’s revealed he previously appeared on Blankety Blank.
An unearthed clip shows Colonel Tom aged 63 charm the audience as he chats to the late Terry Wogan, while appearing on the game show in 1983.
Fans of Tom, who celebrated his 100th birthday on Thursday, lauded the veteran after the short clip was shown on BBC Breakfast.
Surprise! Colonel Tom Moore’s incredible National Health Service fundraising attempt isn’t his first brush with fame, as it’s revealed he previously appeared on Blankety Blank
Amazing: An unearthed clip shows Colonel Tom aged 63 charm the audience as he chats to the late Terry Wogan (pictured), while appearing on the game show in 1983
The former Captain’s witty demeanour was evident as he made the host and audience laugh while telling them he was from a ‘good place’ called Tipps End.
Tipps End is in Cambridgeshire, the nation’s favourite has since moved to Marston Moretaine, in Bedfordshire.
He also revealed his ‘girls’ – daughters Hannah and Lucy – aged 14 and 16 would be watching from home.
Sadly Tom didn’t win on the show so Tom walked away with the consolation prize; its infamous chequebook and pen, after appearing on a Christmas special version of the programme.
After taking home the booby prize, Terry joked: ‘You’ll be able to show it to your grandchildren for many-a-year!’
Tom, who has wowed the nation with his £31million fundraising effort, was reunited with the chequebook during an appearance on the morning TV show.
Also appearing was actress and singer Ruth Madoc wishing him a happy birthday via video message, as she revealed she was the celebrity guest on the show that day.
She said: ‘We met on Blankety Blank many years go. Well, haven’t you done well. It’s wonderful what you’ve done. Many congratulations to you on your 100th birthday!
‘No wonder you saved the notepad and pen from it because it was very special.’
Celebrity panel: The show always featured six celebrity panelists. Colonel Tom appeared on the Christmas episode alongside (back row, left to right); actor Roy Kinnear, actress Beryl Reid and Sky At Night presenter Patrick Moore and (front row, left to right); actresses Sabina Franlyn, comedian Freddie Starr and Ruth Madoc
What a legend! Fans of Tom, who celebrated his 100th birthday on Thursday, lauded the veteran after the short clip was shown on BBC Breakfast
Ha Ha! The former Captain’s witty demeanour was evident as he made the host and audience laugh while telling them he was from a ‘good place’ called Tipps End
Blankety Blank: While a different user added: ‘As if we didn’t love Colonel Tom Moore enough already it now turns out he was on Blankety Blank back in the day!’
Happy Birthday! Colonel Tom, who has raised £30m for the NHS, celebrated his 100th birthday on Thursday
Zimmer of hope for the world: How WWII hero become a beacon of light in the planet’s darkest days
Colonel Moore, who was born and raised in Keighley, West Yorkshire, before joining the British Army aged 20 as the Second World War broke out.
He trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the army for the Second World War, rising to captain and serving in India and Myanmar.
He went on to serve on the Arakan in south east Asia before he returned to Britain to become an instructor at the Armoured Fighting Vehicle School in Bovington.
At 50, he married wife Pamela and raised two daughters, Lucy and Hannah, while working as a salesman.
Captain Tom’s story has been a rare piece of good news in a world full of fear at the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives globally.
People from 53 different countries donated millions to Captain Tom Moore’s fundraiser for the NHS – with the total continuing to rise even after he achieved his goal of 100 laps of his garden.
The Second World War veteran completed his target of laps at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, on April 16 – a fornight before his 100th birthday on April 30.
Captain Moore’s story has been picked up by newspapers and TV networks around the world, from The Times of Israel to The Phuket News in Thailand.
Captain Moore raised more than £31million on his JustGiving page, despite having an initial target of £1,000 when he began fundraising.
The fundraising campaign was launched on April 9, and soon hit its initial target within the first 24 hours.
Fans were bowled over after seeing the clip and took to Twitter to hail Tom a ‘legend’, with one writing: ‘Just read he was on Blankety black in 1983, what a legend!’
While another added: ‘A very happy #100thbirthday to the incredible @captaintommoore, who appeared on the 1983 Christmas edition of Blankety Blank!
‘What an absolute legend & gentleman. Have an incredible day from all at #FOB towers x.’
One person, who appeared to be the researcher behind the find, said: ‘While looking into @captaintommoore’s amazing 100 years we found this BRILLIANT appearance on #blanketyblank on #ChristmasDay in 1983!’
Another said: ‘The fact that #CaptainTom still has his Blankety Blank chequebook (minus the pen) has made my day!’
While a different user added: ‘As if we didn’t love Colonel Tom Moore enough already it now turns out he was on Blankety Blank back in the day!’
Colonel Moore, who was born and raised in Keighley, West Yorkshire, started life as a civil engineer, before joining the British Army aged 20 as the Second World War broke out.
He served in India and fought in battles against invading Japanese in Burma.
At 50, he married wife Pamela and raised two daughters, Lucy and Hannah, while working as a salesman.
Captain Tom completed his target of laps at his home in Marston Moretaine, on April 16 – a fornight before his 100th birthday on April 30.
The Second World War veteran’s fundraising effort led to an outpouring of support from all over the world.
As well as walking, he also recorded a version of You’ll Never Walk Alone with singer Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care Choir, which saw even more money raised for charity.
In celebration of his birthday, Colonel Tom was granted a personalised telegram from the Queen and a poignant flypast in his honour.
The Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis, the Queen’s representative in the county, delivered Captain Tom a birthday card from the monarch, telling him, ‘It was a pleasure to present it to you Sir on behalf of HM The Queen.’
Honour: Captain Tom poses with his birthday card which has a personalised message from Her Majesty The Queen
The Queen wrote: ‘I am so pleased to know that you are celebrating your one hundredth birthday. I was also most interested to hear of your recent fundraising efforts for NHS Charities Together at this difficult time. I send my congratulations and best wishes to you on such a special occasion.’
The Queen wrote: ‘I am so pleased to know that you are celebrating your one hundredth birthday.
‘I was also most interested to hear of your recent fundraising efforts for NHS Charities Together at this difficult time. I send my congratulations and best wishes to you on such a special occasion.’
As well as congratulations from Prince Charles and Camilla, who said he makes her ‘proud to be British’, the veteran has also had a train named after him – The Captain Tom Moore – which will go into service with the new name today, Great Western Railway said.
In a video call with Angela Rippon and Darcey Bussell, the Duchess of Cornwall said: ‘That wonderful man, Captain Tom, walking around and raising all that money – that sort of thing makes you proud to be British, doesn’t it.’
Colonel Tom Moore with his daughter Hannah, and the telegram he received from Her Majesty today
Well done: The Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis, the Queen’s representative in the county, delivered Captain Tom a birthday card from the monarch
From Yorkshire to India: Colonel Tom Moore’s career in the military
Captain Moore is pictured front centre during his days in the Army. He joined the Armed Forces in 1940 when he was aged 20
Captain Tom Moore was conscripted into the British Army in June 1940 when he was 20, alongside all men aged 20 to 35.
He began his military career in Otley, West Yorkshire, where he joined the 8th Battalion, the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment under Lieutenant Lord George Saville.
The Regiment was sent to train in Wadebridge, Cornwall where they were tasked with coastal defence amid a predicted German invasion.
A young Captain Moore was soon promoted to Corporal and sent to the officer cadet training unit in Droitwich Spa.
Here, he celebrated his 21st birthday after he passed as a Second Lieutenant.
In August 1941, he was sent to the DWR headquarters in Halifax where he joined the 9th Battalion at Winchcombe.
The infantry battalion then converted to an armoured regiment 146th Royal Armoured Corp, though the majority of the soldiers could not drive.
In October, the unit was posted to Bombay, now Mumbai, in India. The journey took six weeks by sea, with a four-day delay in Freetown, Sierra Leone and a four-day stop in Cape Town.
Captain Moore then took a train from Bombay to Poona, before arriving at Kirkee, a town now known as Khadki.
The 9th DWR formed the 50th Indian Tank Brigade under the command of Brigadier Schreiber.
Captain Moore was then asked by the Brigadier to start a motorcycling course for the Brigade due to his expertise for the sport.
The Brigade was then ordered to move to Calcutta – the road journey was in a monsoon and took three weeks.
His Battalion was stationed in the Lohardaga district near Ranchi.
They then took part in two exercises in the Arakan before moving further east and south to Rangoon.
Captain Moore was then sent on a course at the approved vehicle depot in Bovington, England.
He remained here as an instructor until it was closed.
He did it! Colonel Tom fist pumped as he watched the flypast in his honour this morning. He said after the event: ‘I am one of the few people here who has seen a hurricane fly past in anger, but today, they’re flying past in peace’
‘Please always remember; Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day’: Colonel Tom Moore’s message on his 100th birthday
In a message to supporters on his 100th birthday, Captain Tom said: ‘Reaching 100 is quite something. Reaching 100 with such interest in me and huge generosity from the public is very overwhelming.
‘People keep saying what I have done is remarkable, however it’s actually what you have done for me which is remarkable.
‘I felt a little frustrated and disappointed after I broke my hip and it knocked my confidence. However, the past three weeks have put a spring back in my step. I have renewed purpose and have thoroughly enjoyed every second of this exciting adventure, but I can’t keep walking forever.
‘The donations page will close at midnight this evening. NHS Charities Together still have their urgent appeal, so people can donate to them that way.
‘I am going to spend my birthday with my family, both here in person and with my daughter remotely, and then I am going to have a few days’ rest. My legs may be tired, but my mind is racing and I’m hoping to be back very soon with other ways in which I can help people, help others.
‘Please always remember, ‘Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day’. With my sincerest gratitude, Captain Tom Moore.’
On an overwhelming day, the inspirational World War II veteran was also promoted to Honorary Colonel by her Majesty after he captured the hearts of the nation by raising £31 million for the NHS by doing laps of his garden.
The 100-year-old was then treated to two flypasts by Army Air Corps helicopters as well as a Spitfire and a Hurricane to mark his big day, fighting back tears as the historic aircraft thundered across the skies.
The fly over consisted of two aircraft, a Hurricane, flown by Squadron Leader Mark ‘Disco’ Discombe and a Spitfire, flown by Flight Lieutenant Andy Preece. They took off and reached Captain Moore’s home in Bedfordshire, before returning back to base.
Colonel Tom said after watching the event: ‘I am one of the few people here who has seen a hurricane fly past in anger, but today, they’re flying past in peace.’
The Prime Minister today called the Colonel a ‘point of light in our lives’ as he wished him a happy 100th birthday and thanked him for pulling the nation together through the coronavirus pandemic.
Boris Johnson told Colonel Tom on BBC Breakfast: ‘Your heroic efforts have lifted the spirits of the entire nation.
‘You’ve created a channel to enable millions to say a heartfelt thank you to the remarkable men and women in our NHS who are doing the most astounding job.
‘There is a tradition going back some years now where the Prime Minister takes a moment each day to thank someone for their service to others.
‘By recognising them as a point of light. Captain Tom, that is exactly what you are – a point of light in all our lives.
‘So, on behalf of the whole country, thank you, and have a very special 100th birthday.’
How Blankety Blank was a British TV favourite over two decades
Blankety Blank is a comedy game show which ran from January 1979 to 12 March 1990 on BBC1, first hosted by Terry Wogan from 1979 to 1983.
Les Dawson took over as host in 1984 – ceremonially breaking the wand microphone on his first appearance – and gave the programme a fresh lease of life. He hosted until 1990.
Although there was a US game show called Blankety Blanks, the British version was in fact closely based on another American programme, The Match Game. However with Wogan’s self-deprecating wit sparring with the guests and playing on the cheap nature of Blankety Blank – the grand prize on the first episode was a fridge freezer – a durable British hit was born.
The American show was loved by more than 20million viewers and quickly became a British favourite too.
The legendary comedy game show ran for around 15 series across more than 20 years, continuing to thrive despite the face of the show changing over the years.
The show featured regular celebrity panelists Kenny Everett, Lorraine Chase, Gareth Hunt, Gary Davies, Paul Daniels and Cheryl Baker.
The aim of the game sees two contestants compete to match the answers of as many of the six celebrity panelists as possible on fill-in-the-blank statements.
The main game was played in two rounds, and the contestant was given a choice of two statements labelled either A or B.
The show became a massive hit due to the success of Terry Wogan’s self-deprecating wit and his mocking of the show’s cheapness.
The grand prize on the first episode was a fridge freezer and the star prize was once a ‘flight on Concorde’, and not one to New York.
Les Dawson was also famous for ridiculing the modest prizes given to the winners.
A 72-year-old woman even won a bodybuilding kit, and the BBC refused to let her swap.
But the hilarious prizes did not stop viewers from crowding round their televisions every week to watch the show. In fact, the cheap, and sometimes random, prizes were part of the appeal for British families.
A revived version of the show was hosted by Paul O’Grady’s Lily Savage from December 1997 to December 1999 on the BBC.
It was taken over by ITV in January 2001 but was short-lived on the new channel.
It was a household favourite for an entire generation, but is sadly not one that the next generation of quiz show fans can enjoy as the show came to an end in August 2002.
The British hit returned for a 2016 Christmas special hosted by David Walliams on ITV but was not revived for another series.