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Lionel steps out for visit to town

LIGHT-footed Lionel Blair swept into Solihull last week to open a new retirement development.

LIGHT-footed Lionel Blair swept into Solihull last week to open a new retirement development.

The dancer, who has been in showbiz over 60 years, was invited to Churchill Retirement Living, in Cornyx Lane, to have a “tap and chat” with visitors.

St Francis Lodge, on the former site of the St Francis of Assisi Church, will welcome its first residents next month.

Speaking to the Solihull News, the 79-year-old said that people had very different ideas about old age these days.

“I do a lot of cruises now and meet all these people in their 60s, 70s and 80s seeing the world,” he said.

“They call them skis, ‘spending kids’ inheritance’ and I completely approve of them.”

Last year, Lionel took part in The Young Ones, a BBC programme about six senior celebrities.

They were invited to join in a week-long experiment, an attempt to reverse the ageing process.

“It was amazing,” said Lionel.

“We all lived together in this house and it taught us to be independent.

“They ran tests, getting us to stand on one leg for 30 seconds - which even some young people would struggle with- and doing step-ups.

“And at the end of it all, it turned out that I had 20-20 vision!”

Since January, Lionel has been an ambassador for Churchill, which has also opened a development in Warwick Road.

Suzanne Revell, group marketing manager, said: “Some people might have pre-conceived ideas about places like this.

“They expect we’re like a nursing home and then they come here and realise it’s nothing like that.”

 

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