THIS week millions of TV viewers tuned in to the story of a pair of Yorkshire pensioners brought together after years apart in the BBC’s Last Tango in Halifax.
And it was a case of art imitating life for Barnsley pair Brenda Loy and Fred Wilcock, who were brought together by fate after more than 60 years of separation.
The heartwarming tale of how love blossomed for Brenda, 82, and Fred, 81, has scooped top prize in The Civic theatre’s quest to find the perfect Yorkshire love story.
The lovebirds first met as four-year-olds in Hoyland, forming a close friendship, but drifted apart when Fred was called up to military service aged 17.
Former Boots worker Brenda and Fred went on to have long marriages to other people, each producing two children along the way.
But it was while Brenda was volunteering for St Luke’s Hospice in Barnsley that they met again, and later grew close after the death of Fred’s wife Dorothy in 2010.
Brenda, who still lives in Hoyland, said: “We did everything together when we were kids. We had an incredibly close relationship from infants school until our teens.
“We were together so much growing up that everyone just expected we’d end up together.”
Great-grandfather Fred currently lives in Leeds but now travels to visit his sweetheart every other weekend.
He said: “Since meeting Brenda I’m a changed man.
“We have great days out and we’re hoping to go on holiday next year. We have a good laugh together. I think it is fate that brought us back together all these years later.”
The pair will be VIP guests at the premiere of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Tin Soldier at The Civic next month.