Gary lifts lockdown spirits with special surprise messages

Highland-born accordionist and broadcaster Gary Innes has been lifting spirits for hundreds of people during lockdown.

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Accordionist and broadcaster Gary Innes has been lifting the hearts of hundreds of people during lockdown with some specially-recorded personal messages for fans and their loved ones.

Born in Spean Bridge, Gary is one of the founding members of award-winning supergroup Mànran, as well as the presenter for BBC Radio Scotland’s longest running radio show, Take the Floor.

Gary was inspired to start recording messages for people after launching the Take The Floor – Your Requests show which calls for people to give a shoutout to friends and family around the world who they can’t see in person during the current pandemic.

Since then the former Fort William and Scotland shinty captain, has been inundated with hundreds of video requests, from wedding and anniversary messages of congratulations to birthday tunes and dedications.

In just two weeks Gary has recorded around 100 personalised messages for people from around the world, including Canada, Australia, Spain and Germany, appearing in countless family zoom calls, bringing a surprise element to their celebration.

‘Not being able to see friends and family and go to all the usual celebrations like birthday parties and weddings has been hard for lots of us and I wanted to do something that let people give their loved ones an extra special message at a time when they had hoped to be celebrating together,’ he said.

‘The response has been just brilliant and there’s been so many really touching moments.

‘Music and celebrating with loved ones are two things which mark good times and also help a lot of us through hard times – something that’s particularly important just now as we mark Mental Health Awareness Week.’

Gary, who is married to Taynuilt lass Hannah Matheson, is calling on anyone who feels that a personal message would help lift the spirits of a family member or friend during these difficult times to get in touch with him via social media.

You can find Gary on social media at @Gary.Innes on Facebook, @gary innes123 on Instagram and @GaryInnes on Twitter.