Widowed pensioner Bill Palmer touches the hearts of Radio Solent listeners

Radio presenter Alex Dyke (left) and Bill Palmer

Radio presenter Alex Dyke (left) and Bill Palmer

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A 95-year-old man who called a Radio Solent phone-in to say how lonely he was has become an internet hit after the DJ invited him to join the show for a cup of tea.

Bill Palmer called the Alex Dyke show on the BBC station for a show about loneliness.

He described how his wife, Sheila, 85, - who has dementia and colitis - had fallen and was taken to hospital before she was moved to a nursing home where she now lives.

The pensioner, who married his wife last year after they had been friends for 30 years, told the show he visited his wife every day but said: “Every day is hell. I feel so alone.”

Dyke immediately arranged for a taxi to bring Mr Palmer into the studio for a chat.

And now Mr Palmer’s call has been viewed 41,000 times on the station’s Facebook page and he has been inundated with offers by listeners ranging from Sunday lunch to a private concert by a ukulele orchestra.

Mr Palmer, from Southampton, said: “I can’t believe it. I just sit and listen to the radio and watch TV and have lots of friends, but unfortunately when you get old people don’t visit - that’s life.”

Dyke said Mr Palmer had “touched the hearts of thousands of listeners” and it was his “nicest moment in 30 years of broadcasting”.

Dyke was suspended earlier this year but later reinstated after he said on-air that women should not breastfeed in public as it was a “throwback to the stone age”.

One listener, Jo Smith, wrote on Facebook: “Bless Bill, I would love to bake him a cake. Alex that was sooo lovely of you to invite him on to your show ... You are a true gent too Alex, thank you x”.

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