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Mildenhall DJ Chris Sykes keeps town dancing during lockdown




Lockdown might feel never ending to some but residents of one Suffolk town are keeping dancing thanks to the innovation of a veteran DJ.

Chris Sykes, 58, has been playing classics new and old twice a week from his caravan in Comet Way, Mildenhall. The grandfather has 36 years of experience behind the decks.

He is best known for his residency at the Riverside House Hotel in Mildenhall and is also known for providing PA for the town’s annual Remembrance Day events.

Chris has been performing DJ sets from his caravan. Picture by Mark Westley.
Chris has been performing DJ sets from his caravan. Picture by Mark Westley.

But during the days of the pandemic, he is broadcasting from roadside to a Facebook audience of hundreds on Thursdays from 3.30-5.30pm and on Saturdays from 12.30-2pm.

“I just love it,” said Chris. “I play requests and songs on different themes, such as soul, or Motown, or rock. I play all sorts of music. I want people to keep going and stay safe, and I am doing it for them.”

Chris, a long-suffering Leeds United football fan, has lived in Mildenhall all his life and says he ‘lives to entertain people’.

Chris is a long-suffering Leeds United fan. Picture by Mark Westley.
Chris is a long-suffering Leeds United fan. Picture by Mark Westley.

“This is what I am doing to stay sane,” he said. “I DJ at a lot of weddings but they all got moved to this year and now they are being moved to next year!

“It has been very hard for people and this has kept me going. People have sent me cakes to say thank you for what I have been doing.”

Chris’s own cooking meanwhile has become a source of local amusement, with his regular pictures of his burned attempts at meals provoking some good-natured banter on Facebook.

His neighbour Linda Flack said: “This really brings the community together. His antics lead us all to have a laugh and a joke.

Chris is also famed for his terrible cooking. Picture by Mark Westley.
Chris is also famed for his terrible cooking. Picture by Mark Westley.

“It lifts everybody’s spirits up. We used to go out to enjoy the music, but since this latest lockdown has occured since the weather has been colder we have stayed inside. But I want to say thank you to Chris.

“He is a really nice guy and is known all over Mildenhall. We have nicknamed him Sir Chris!”

She added: “He is not the best cook though. He puts pictures of his meals on Facebook and we all have a laugh at how rubbish they are!”

Chris is performing virtual sets with Club 76 in Colchester. To listen, visit facebook.com and search ‘Club 76 Colchester’.

Read more: All the latest news from Mildenhall

Read more: All the latest news from Suffolk