Heroic duo raise voices to the skies

Andy Howarth and Darren Meehan, firefighters at Manchester Airport, have joined their workplace choir for Gareth Malone's Sing While You Work
Andy Howarth and Darren Meehan, firefighters at Manchester Airport, have joined their workplace choir for Gareth Malone's Sing While You Work
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FIREFIGHTERS are known for their bravery tackling blazes, but it took a different kind of bravery for these Fylde firemen to sing in front of the nation’s best loved choirmaster.

Andy Haworth and Darren Meehan are part of a 30-strong choir from Manchester Airport competing in Gareth Malone’s Sing While You Work programme on BBC2.

The pair, who are firefighters at the airport, said the chance to compete in the show was music to their ears, having honed their singing skills while driving to work together each day.

Andy, 51, from Winchcombe Road, Cleveleys, jumped at the chance to take part having been a keen singer from a young age, but Darren, an avid footballer, took a little more persuading to get involved.

The 41-year-old, who lives near Stanley Park, Blackpool, said: “I’d never been in a choir before. Andy had to badger me to go for it and it was a great experience.

“I thought it’d just be a bit of a laugh but it was demanding physically and mentally.”

Choirmaster Gareth Malone, who coached the Military Wives choir for the Queen’s Jubilee concert in June, brings workers from all walks of life together for the choir contest.

The choir practised for three hours, a couple of times a week for four weeks, while continuing work duties.

Andy, a member of Thornton Cleveleys Operatic Choir, said: “I’m constantly singing and I’m a big fan of Gareth too, he’s so inspirational.

“We had to sing on our own in front of him and sometimes, during warm ups, it felt like being filmed for You’ve Been Framed. It was a great experience, probably the highlight of my career.”

And although colleagues usually cannot keep the pair quiet for singing, they remain tight-lipped about the outcome of the contest.

Look out for the firemen in Sing While You Work on BBC2 at 9pm on Thursday, October 4.

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