Telford woman's amazing encounter with Joe Lycett and Tom Daley after Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

A Commonwealth Games volunteer has been rubbing shoulders with stars including Tom Daley and Joe Lycett after taking centre stage at the opening ceremony.

Julie Kaur Duhra, centre with comic Joe Lycett
Julie Kaur Duhra, centre with comic Joe Lycett

Julie Kaur Duhra, who has run Jules Convenience Store in Haybridge Road, Hadley, Telford for the last 32 years, took part in the star-studded showpiece to kick off 12 days of elite sporting competition in Birmingham.

She was on stage during a celebration of education, dressed in a book costume, as an inspirational speech was delivered by female education activist Malala - who now calls Birmingham home after being shot by a Taliban gunman on a bus in Pakistan as a 15-year-old.

Later on, Julie was back on stage with fellow volunteer performers for a dance as Duran Duran rocked the Alexander Stadium.

Afterwards, she met a plethora of big names, including diving star Daley, popular Brummie comedian Lycett, and swimming sensation Ellie Simmonds.

She said: "It was a really great opportunity. I got to meet Tom Daley. He was a lovely chap. He took the phone off us and said he'd take the picture. Ellie Simmonds was really nice as well."

Julie Kaur Duhra with diver Tom Daley

Cheeky comic Lycett, known for his on-stage charm and positive attitude towards inclusivity, ruffled a few feathers with the joke: "I'm going to do something now that the British Government doesn't always do, and welcome some foreigners - this time from the region of Asia!"

The quip earned him praise and sparked debate on social media. He also had people in stitches backstage.

Julie said: "Joe Lycett was so nice and really funny. I actually photo-bombed a picture with him and shouted 'take it quick!' He turned round and said 'I love that!'"

After carrying the Queen's Baton on July 19 in Telford, and having taken part in the opening ceremony, Julie is now preparing to be in the closing show.

She has five four-hour rehearsal sessions in Birmingham, which may sound like a big commitment, but she said: "It's not something that's going to come again so you've got to make the most of it."

She is sworn to secrecy on what the ceremony involves, but she did say: "I can tell you I'm dancing. That's as much as you're getting."

As a keen netball player for the Netseekers in Telford, who play on Monday nights, she has been keeping a close eye on the netball competition in the games.

Julie, who is married to husband Joey, 56, and has three adult children and two young grandchildren, was nominated as a baton carrier by a customer from her shop.

She added: "I was 50 in June. What better way to celebrate? You're only young once."

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News