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Red Funnel's dancing man needs your votes for national award

Jim, Red Funnel's 'dancing man', has been nominated for a tourism award.

Jim, Red Funnel's 'dancing man', has been nominated for a tourism award.

Lori Little

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - 15:15

A DANCING man who puts a smile on people's faces as they arrive and leave the Isle of Wight, has been nominated for a tourism award.

Jim O'Reilly is a Red Funnel employee who uses his own dance moves as he directs cars on and off the ferries.

If Jim has entertained you, now is the chance to say thank you, by choosing him as your VisitEngland Tourism Superstar.

Jim, 53, has made it through to the final stage of the national competition after being nominated by Visit Isle of Wight.

The competition recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry and is awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors have an unforgettable experience.

The competition is organised by the Daily Mirror.

Jim, of Cowes, is a familiar figure to customers on the Southampton to East Cowes route.

He said: "My approach is to give everyone a warm welcome when they arrive and then bid them a fond farewell. I like to help start and finish their holiday with a smile and hope they have a great time in between as well.

"I'm out there having fun, and if you are too that's fantastic. Vote for me, by all means, as long as you're enjoying it."

Visit Isle of Wight's Simon Dabell said: "Memories from holidays are as much about the people you meet as the places you stay and visit. A genuine welcome is always appreciated and if that is accompanied by a song or a dance, then all the better."

Murray Carter, customer services director at Red Funnel, said: "We are absolutely thrilled about Jim's nomination. Jim completely embodies everything this award stands for and he is a wonderful ambassador for the Isle of Wight.

"I hope everyone who has ever found themselves smiling because of Jim will take a moment and vote."

Jim admits that when he started dancing, his colleagues weren't sure what to think.

But there is an additional benefit for Jim, as he suffers from arthritis and had a hip replacement at 45, but the dancing helps keep his body active.

You can vote for Jim here.

By voting, you will be automatically entered into a draw to win a £1,000 staycation holiday or a £500 city break in London.

Voting ends at midnight on March 20 and the winner will be announced on March 24.

 


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