Council recruits celebrities to give lockdown message in Barking & Dagenham

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Coronavirus warning messages from celebrities including Jamie Redknapp are being broadcast from cars driving around the streets of east London to get people to respect the lockdown.

The voice of the former England midfielder is being played from cars fitted with loudspeakers driving around Barking and Dagenham.

West Ham legends Bobby Zamora and Paul Konchesky, team captain Mark Noble, X-Factor winner Louisa Johnson and crime writer Kimberley Chambers have also recorded messages to remind residents they need to stay at home and observe social distancing.

The council said it contacted celebrities with a local connection to help it publicise the “stay home and help save lives” campaign.

More than 150 people were found to be flouting social distancing rules in the borough’s parks in a single weekend last month while 27 shops refused to shut and were issued prohibition notices to close.

“I hope that you’re keeping safe and well in these incredibly difficult times,” Jamie says in his message.

“We all know how hard it is, nobody enjoys being stuck indoors. But, we’ve got to listen to the government, do the right things and that obviously helps the most important people, which is the NHS and all the other key workers.

“So keep going, it is tough. I can’t wait to see my mum and dad and go to the pub to watch the football and do all the things we like doing and that will hopefully happen in time.”

Council leader Darren Rodwell said: “At a time like this we all need to come together as one community, working together to support the most vulnerable in our borough. I am deeply humbled by our well recognised friends who have taken the time out to lend their voices to our appeal.”

Jamie Redknapp (from 1 min 46): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44CSNAHPwYs&feature=youtu.be

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Rachael Burford

Local Democracy Reporter