Fans of Hartlepool couple's lockdown discos turn up on their doorstep to thank them for 16 months of fun
Party lovers turned out in their droves to thank a Hartlepool couple whose weekly online discos have brought joy to people across the world during the pandemic.
Husband and wife Les and Jackie Watts have been bringing the party to fans from their own home for the last 16 months with thousands tuning in on social media every Saturday night.
Dozens of fans, friends and residents surprised them for their final disco last Saturday by turning up outside their home in Oxford Road laden with presents to show their thanks.
Les, 58, a DJ of 42 years who saw most of his gigs cancelled during the last year, said: “The very first one we only did for about two and a half hours and people sent us photos of them dressed up in wigs and contacted us asking if we would do another one so we just carried on till they got longer and longer and finishing at two o’clock in the morning.”
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During the discos, Les spins all types of tunes while Jackie, also 58, dons a dark permed wig and sunglasses as his ‘disco diva dancing queen’.
Fans have tuned weekly from as far as America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Dubai, and all over Europe.
"It’s been worldwide,” said Les. “We called it the world’s biggest lockdown stay in party.”
Last New Year’s Eve alone the stream attracted 35,000 viewers and over 5,000 positive comments.
Their parties have helped people to stay positive during the stress and loneliness for much of the pandemic.
Les added: “We started realising how much it was helping people.
"People have come to our door saying how much they have enjoyed them; people on their own getting some comfort having a dance around in their kitchen with a glass of wine.”
And he and Jackie were presented with gifts including flowers, balloons, champagne and hundreds of thank you cards during their final disco.
"They’ve been so, so generous,” said Les. “We just set out to entertain people. It’s blown us away.”
Saturday was their last disco as restrictions continue to ease.
But Les and Jackie have planned a live disco in August with all the friends they have made.