One Love Manchester: Dancing policeman captures spirit of city


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Media captionAriana Grande thanks the crowd and praises the city’s spirit at One Love Manchester.

One Love Manchester has been praised for bringing the city together at a time of grief.

The benefit concert was described invariably – and correctly – as a night of joy, unity, solidarity and defiance.

Those in attendance, including some of the artists, struggled to hold back tears – the emotion still raw from the suicide bombing that killed 22 people last month.

For viewers at home who’d just about managed to hold it together, the moment that tipped them over the edge involved a policeman who was working at the concert.

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Media captionDarlington police officer PC Paul Taylor dances with children at the One Love benefit in Manchester

As Justin Bieber spoke to the crowd between songs, the camera cut to a group of six fans – who were holding hands and dancing in a circle with Darlington-based officer, PC Paul Taylor.

It was a glorious moment.

BBC music reporter Mark Savage described it as the point he “broke” while others said it was their “favourite moment” of the show, with others adding that they were “weeping”.

Police officer’s ‘amazing experience’

PC Taylor, who is usually based in Darlington and has 20 years in service, got back home at 3:30 BST after working at the concert.

He said: “One Love Manchester was an amazing experience and it made such a change to have people coming up to us saying they were glad we were there and how reassured they felt.



Justin Bieber was on stage at the moment PC Taylor was seen dancing

“We were just there to play our part helping our Greater Manchester Police colleagues after such an enormous and tragic event.

“I had posed for a picture with these two young girls who were with their mum, and they asked if I’d like to dance.

“I can’t remember what was playing at the time, I think it may have been Justin Bieber. Since the clip went viral my phone hasn’t stopped ringing!”

It may only have lasted for a few seconds on screen, but it was seized upon by fans as a symbol of Manchester’s spirit of resilience.

And it’s fair to say the city feels a certain bond with Ariana, as many of the tweets on Sunday night proved.


“So impressed with Ariana Grande’s strength and love for her fans. Seems they have an unbreakable bond in Manchester now,” said fan Graeme Shield.

The concert was watched by an average of 10.9 million viewers, peaking at 14.5 million as the gig drew to a close – making it the most watched TV show of the year so far.

The dancing policeman was one of several moments which made concertgoers and viewers emotional.

Katy Perry’s dress paid tribute to the victims

BBC / Getty

Katy Perry’s performance was one of the highlights of the evening.

She perfectly captured the mood of the night by performing Part of Me and Roar – probably the two most lyrically poignant songs from her back catalogue she could choose to sing.

But music aside, there was one other seriously classy touch which went unnoticed by many.

When she took off her white-feathered gown, it became apparent the singer was wearing a dress which had photographs printed on it – apparently of some of the victims of the Manchester attack

Taking to social media, fans described it as a “beautiful gesture”.

Ariana’s mum is almost as popular as Ariana

Joan Grande, the singer’s mother, was spotted in the crowd, supporting her daughter and meeting members of the audience.

She was seen walking around the edge of the crowd, stopping for selfies and hugs with several fans on the way and telling one: “Do not be afraid.”

She had previously tweeted: “I stand with you all in the face of evil and we stand together to never let it ruin our lives.”

Miley and Ariana’s love for each other was everything

Viewers certainly noticed the love flowing between Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande as they took to the stage to perform Don’t Dream its Over as a duet.

The pair exchanged looks of pure love, shared hugs and got the whole audience to wave their hands in unison to the Crowded House song.

Speaking afterwards, Miley said she wanted to turn such events into a regular occurrence.

She told Nick Grimshaw: “I plan on making music for the rest of my life, and I think that’s [Ariana’s] plan too, and I think we can be this team until we’re old, continue to do things like this, let’s not stop today.


“I spoke to her about whether this is going to become an annual thing, let’s make it a plan that her and I always do it, so we’re always going to make sure that we keep doing this for the rest of our lives.”

Crowded House front man Neil Finn tweeted his approval of the them joining forces.

Scooter Braun’s touching speech

Ariana Grande’s manager Scooter Braun introduced the singer on stage at the show, and took the opportunity to pay a graceful and emotional tribute to those who were caught up in the attack.

He made reference to the terrorist attack on London Bridge on Saturday evening, in which seven people were killed and 48 injured.

Speaking from the stage at One Love Manchester, Braun said: “Last night this nation was challenged, and you had a decision to make if you were going to come out here tonight.

“And this is so beautiful. You guys made that decision, you looked fear right in the face and said: ‘No, we are Manchester and the world is watching’.”



Grande performed with the Black Eyed Peas at the benefit gig

Braun also told the audience about a 15-year-old boy named Adam, who was injured in the Manchester Arena attack, whom he met on Friday in hospital.

He explained: “After surgery we met him, and just as I was about to leave the room, Adam looked at me and he said, ‘Hey Scooter, make sure you tell them, don’t go forward in anger, love spreads’. Adam – if you’re watching, you’re our hero tonight.

“This tragedy has made us throw away our divides, or politics, and look to our children. Manchester, your bravery is our hope.”

Read more:

Joy shines through pain at benefit concert

One Love Manchester: The most emotional moments

As it happened: One Love Manchester

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