Not many women can boast that they’ve kissed music legend Elvis Presley.
But 79-year-old Rose Knox-Peebles can – and remembers the moment as one of the best times in her life.
The writer and artist from West London had gone to Las Vegas on 1970 to watch the King perform, when the opportunity arose as he suddenly got down from the stage and walked through the audience.
Rose moved quickly and headed towards him, before leaning in and planting the kiss on him that she would remember for the rest of her life.
Her fond memory of that night is just one of the inspiring stories that Capt Sir Tom Moore features on his new The Originals podcast series.
This year, the issue of loneliness amongst older people within Britain’s communities has become more important than ever before and even more and even more so with the pandemic.
Capt Sir Tom Moore has become the UK’s oldest podcaster, having just launched a new podcast called The Originals as part of a national campaign to tackle loneliness among older people, which has worsened during the Covid crisis.
It marks the next stage of a campaign by the charity Age UK and Cadbury that aims to inspire people to “donate your words” and have a meaningful conversation with an older person.
Rose told the Mirror: “My husband Brian and I were Elvis fans, so we thought we should go see him perform. So we travelled out there and went to the evening dinner show. We were sat right at the back.
“Everyone else must have tipped the maitre-d’ and got good seats but we didn’t so we were sat right at the back. During the show Elvis stepped down from the stage and started walking through the audience. I couldn’t believe it, so I grabbed the opportunity, grabbed his head and kissed him.”
Rose said she felt like a teenager – although she was aged 30 at the time.
She explained: “It was absolutely wonderful and it was everything I thought it would have been like kissing Elvis. “it was great. Of course I kissed him on the lips – I wouldn’t have given up a chance like that!”
She added: “He was probably very used to being grabbed by women. I just felt the pressure of his lips and that’s what I remember. Afterwards, I just thought, ‘Shall I wash my face?’.
A while later, Rose and her husband went to watch an Elvis film in Leicester Square.
“I couldn’t believe it, I was in the film,” said Rose.
“Brian suddenly said: ‘Look, you’re kissing Elvis’. They’d included me kissing Elvis as part of this film. Pit’s amazing that we have this clip that we can look back on.”
Rose says she is fully behind the campaign.
“I am married and have four children and six granchildren so have never been lonely,” she said.
“But I have an interest in getting the elderly to talk. Sadly I do think that loneliness is quite common amongst older people these days”.
“I think this is a brilliant idea and campaign and there is no one better to lead it than Capt Tom.”