Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford Park Concerts: 'No brainer' for Tom Walker to step in

Tom Walker Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Tom Walker won British Breakthrough Act at the Brit Awards in February

Brit Award winner Tom Walker said it was a "no brainer" to step in and play at a town's three-day music event when headliner Rita Ora pulled out.

More than 15,000 people are expected to attend Bedford Park Concerts this Friday to Sunday.

Ora has been replaced by Best British Breakthrough Act 2019 Walker, who joins Tom Odell, Fleur East and others.

Leave a Light On singer Walker said: "It was all down to right place right time really."

Walker, who is playing on Saturday, said: "My whole diary had recently shifted around because I'm now having to record some new music.

"We then got asked to play and coincidentally that day had literally just become free,

"I do a lot of rehearsals before my tours at a studio in Bedford so it was a no brainer really."

Image copyright Bedford Park Concerts
Image caption Jess Glynne headlined in Bedford Park on 4 August 2018

Over the years, acts including Status Quo, Sir Tom Jones, Kaiser Chiefs, Jess Glynne and Jason Donovan have performed at the 14,999-capacity park.

'Proper party'

Rita Ora pulled out earlier this month, releasing a statement saying it was due to "unexpected scheduling issues".

"I'm sorry that I can't be there. I hope to return to Bedford soon," she added.

Walker said he did not feel that agreeing to perform was a case of saving the day.

"To be honest I didn't realise I was 'saving' anything," he said.

"At the time of being asked, I was told how many people it was and just thought 'let's do it'.

"All I know is they better be ready to have a proper party. It should be well hot, so pack your sun cream and your dancing shoes."

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Media captionTom Walker dedicates award to Scots gran

Promoter Mark Harrison said: "The show must go on.

"The team worked around the clock to pull some of the most exciting talent in the UK for the line-up.

"Anyone who only wanted to see Rita is having their ticket refunded."

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