Co-owner and frontman of VIVA Blackpool and VIVA Vegas Diner, Leye D Johns, has been praising the NHS ahead of its 70th birthday.
Leye, originally from Barrow-in-Furness, worked as a Health Care Assistant before embarking on a full-time career in entertainment.
For 15 years, Leye worked in Sexual Health Services based in the Whitegate Health Centre, specifically with those diagnosed with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, better known as HIV.
Leye said: “I spent many happy years working for the NHS. I worked 9 to 5 in Sexual Health Services then would be the resident entertainer in the Alabama Showboat at night.
“I still have close friends that I made while working for the NHS.
“I worked with HIV diagnosed patients and it was often an emotional job as back then, they didn’t have the treatments they have now.
“I wanted everyone who tested positive to be comfortable and I tried to have the banter with them to keep their spirits up.”
Leye eventually poured his life savings into buying VIVA, an old empty Mecca building, with friends Martin Heywood and Phil Jeffries. They have recently expanded to encompass the VIVA Vegas Diner.
Leye added: “The NHS enabled me to work as an entertainer and to eventually live my dream.
“We all need to be grateful that we have the NHS. In other countries, they pay for everything and it becomes a big worry if you get ill.
“I’d like to wish a very happy birthday to the NHS. Hail NHS Blackpool!”
For show discounts, Viva has teamed up with Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust charity, Blue Skies Hospital Fund, to provide them with their very own Viva ticket shop. Discounts of 15% are available on all the shows listed and Viva also donates 5% of every ticket sold to Blues Skies. The link for their tickets shop is http://vivablackpoolreps.nutickets.com/845152