• This is the right decision says Freddie parrot face Davies

By Andrew Atkinson

Former Butlin’s Redcoat Freddie ‘parrot face’ Davies said it’s the right decision for Butlin’s to shut down two of its holiday resorts in an effort to keep its staff and guests safe and reduce the spread of coronavirus as more areas are plunged into the strictest Tier restrictions.

“I think that’s as it should be in this current situation of the coronavirus outbreak,” Davies a former Butlin’s Redcoat at Minehead, told The Leader.

Butlin’s in Bognor Regis, west Sussex, and Minehead in Somerset closed on December 18 in order to limit contact and avoiding unnecessary journeys during the coronavirus outbreak.

Freddie 'Parrot Face' Davies
Freddie ‘Parrot Face’ Davies

Davies, who achieved fame when winning TV talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1964, recalled his time at Minehead as a Butlin’s Redcoat.

Speaking exclusively to The Leader, Freddie said: “Wages rose to the dizzy heights of £14.00 per week in my last season at Minehead, from that of £6.10 shillings in the early sixties.”

New Tier protocols, prohibiting people from meeting other households indoors, have seen some areas placed in Tier 4 as the new strain of coronavirus spirals out of control.

In a statement Butlin’s said:  ‘Due to the number of areas moving into Tier 3 and to continue to keep our guests and team safe by following the latest government guidance of limiting contact and avoiding unnecessary journeys, we’re sad to say that we’ll be closing our Bognor Regis and Minehead resorts from 18th December, for the remainder of 2020.

‘We know this will be disappointing for you and your family, particularly during this time of year.

‘We’ve worked hard over the past few months to be as flexible as possible following the change in government advice, whilst continuing to give our guests a memorable and fun break and keeping you and our team.

‘We’d like to thank all of you for your support this year and we can’t wait to see you all again in 2021. – Your Butlin’s Team.’

Davies, 82, looking back on his Butlin’s Redcoat days at Minehead, said: “The entertainment manager told me I was rubbish – and would never make a living in showbusiness!”.