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Ipswich's Duke of York among 60 pubs to offer free drinks by Beautiful South and Housemartins singer Paul Heaton to celebrate 60th birthday



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Musician Paul Heaton is celebrating his 60th birthday today by putting money behind the bar at 60 pubs across the UK, including one in Suffolk.

Ipswich pub The Duke of York on Woodbridge Road was lucky enough to make the list, so fans can 'have a drink on me' according to the Beautiful South singer and former frontman of the Housemartins.

The singer previously planned a bicycle tour of 60 pubs, but plans were stalled due to covid.

He tweeted: "To celebrate my 60th birthday I’d originally intended to do another bicycle tour, visiting and performing at 60 pubs across the UK & Ireland.

"However, due to recording delays caused by the pandemic, I’ve had to shelve these plans for the time being. Instead, I've decided the next best way to celebrate this coming of age is to handpick 60 pubs across the UK and Ireland and put a given amount of money behind the bar of each one.

"The both regulars and yourselves can enjoy a birthday drink on me (until the money runs out or the bar runs dry!) the hope is to bring people together on the day whilst recognising that many folk bought my records or have shown me support over the years could do with a wee party as we come out of covid and hit potential financial struggles. Raise a toast!"

He has not said how much will go behind the bar at each pub, or at what particular time it will start.

But yesterday, the team at The Duke said on Facebook: "Humbled & delighted to be part of this. We look forward to welcoming you all in tomorrow for a drink to toast Paul’s 60th birthday. Thank you."

Paul's love of pubs is well known, as he previously owned the King's Arms in Salford and famously banned previous Prime Minister David Cameron.

During the pandemic, the Manchester-born singer, alongside bandmate Jacqui Abbott, played a free concert for the NHS with their album Manchester Calling.

The pair are touring again this year.