Singing medical secretary celebrated NHS with David Essex

Lesley Brady helped celebrate in song with Seventies film and pop heartthrob David Essex when the NHS had a big birthday 25 years ago.

At the time, Lesley, who joined the haematology team at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals as an audiotypist four years ago, was known as the “singing medical secretary” at Royal Oldham Hospital. 

“Having sent many a consultant on their happy way to retirement with a song, I was obviously delighted and honoured to be asked,” she said. 

The NHS 50th anniversary gala show at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London, was organised by the Royal College of Midwives and Lesley Lee as she was then appeared with an NHS choir for the final number, Spread a Little Happiness. 

“One of my memories of that night was David Essex praising the NHS as he had experienced the US following an accident to his daughter and he said we had the greatest health system in the world.   

“As I am now in my 34th year of working for the NHS, it is still a memory I will treasure for ever and I'm still proud of our NHS despite all the problems we have incurred in the last few years.” 


Lesley started singing around the age of 30, having always enjoyed it but never having had the confidence to perform. She got her break while helping a friend at a club. No one was coming up to sing so he asked her to step in. Someone who booked acts on the Manchester club circuit heard her and a semi-professional singing career was born. 

Her other claim to fame was singing with the Irish boy band Westlife. Her initial audition was down the phone but she made a shortlist of 120 from a list of 11,000 hopefuls. 

“They wanted to do a swing number and needed someone older to sing with them,” said Lesley. “I didn’t get the job but the whole thing was filmed and they were absolutely brilliant.” 

Lesley’s singing took a backseat for a number of years but she recently got a coach who’s taking her to new places vocally. 

She sings regularly at The Top Club in Cleveleys and is part of her coach’s The Hope Choir in Blackpool. They plan to go singing in local care homes over the summer. 


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Posted in Home Page, NHS75.