Being on stage at the London Palladium is an experience in itself but the overwhelming praise and applause an audience showed two police officers from Merseyside was truly remarkable.
Inspector Paul Holden and his wife Natalie, a Detective Constable, had the privilege of attending the recording of the TV show 'Tonight at the Palladium' hosted by Bradley Walsh and were selected to go on stage in front of an audience of over a thousand people, to play a game against another couple.
During the introductions, which unfortunately didn't make it to air, Paul announced he was a serving police officer and to his astonishment the entire audience applauded and cheered, as did Bradley Walsh. It didn’t stop there, when his wife said she was also a police officer the crowd erupted into applause once again, this time with even more gusto followed by a hug and high five from Mr Walsh himself.
“It was a spine-tingling moment. The hairs literally stood up on the back of my neck”, Paul said.
Inspector Holden and his wife went on to win a holiday in the South of France but the officer, with nearly 17 years’ service (his wife has 12) added: “We both knew that the applause was not really for us personally; we are just people at the end of the day – but rather for the public service and organisation that we belong to.
"In our job we seldom feel truly appreciated by the public but this night was different. It was very special and it was overwhelming. It reminded me very much of why we do what we do. I've never had a feeling like it before.
”Yes, my wife and I went on to win the holiday but that doesn't seem particularly relevant to us in the grand scheme of things. We'll remember our night on stage at the London Palladium for the incredible warmth and appreciation shown to us by 2,200 members of the great British public and the feeling of pride in our job that this inspired."