Coronavirus: Rick Astley to play free gig for NHS and emergency workers at end of pandemic | Ents & Arts News

Rick Astley has announced a free gig for NHS staff and emergency workers once venues are open again at the end of the coronavirus crisis.

The singer, best known for his late-’80s hit Never Gonna Give You Up, posted details of the Manchester Arena show on social media.

In a video message, the 54-year-old said it is the only way he knows how to say thank you to those working on the frontline to fight the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

“Our NHS and emergency services are amazing,” Astley said in a statement. “This concert is a thank you to all those fantastic frontline staff.

“I promise my band and I will give it everything to give you a great night out.”

Gigs have been called off around the world and venues forced to close for weeks, possibly longer, due to the pandemic.

Astley’s concert is due to take place on 28 October.

Frontline NHS staff, primary care workers, paramedics, firefighters and police will all be welcome, the singer said.

Ticket applications must be made by eligible staff who will be required to bring valid ID to the show.

A statement about the gig promised a “celebration”, mixing old hits with some of the star’s newer songs – and possibly a few surprise covers, too.

Many celebrities have been thanking health and emergency workers on social media as the virus spreads around the world.

Stars including James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie and Roger Federer are among the high-profile figures who have donated to good causes supporting those in need during the crisis.

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