How Captain Tom became a beloved celebrity following charity exploits

Keiran Southern, PA
·2-min read

Captain Sir Tom Moore became a household name after endearing himself to the nation with his charitable exploits during lockdown.

The 100-year-old Second World War veteran raised almost £33 million for the NHS, walking 100 laps of his garden in April last year.

It led to Sir Tom rubbing shoulders with celebrities and becoming a star in his own right – in a matter of months he topped the charts, graced magazine covers and had film producers fighting for the rights to tell his story on the big screen.

In April, Sir Tom teamed up with singer Michael Ball for a cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Captain Sir Tom Moore
Captain Sir Tom Moore was honoured at the GQ Men Of The Year awards (GQ/PA)

It went to number one in the singles charts, knocking Canadian superstar The Weeknd off the top spot, making Sir Tom – then aged 99 – the oldest artist to have a UK number one single.

He became a national treasure, being knighted by the Queen and appearing in an episode of Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, where he discussed his life from war hero to national inspiration.

In September it emerged his fairy tale story was getting the Hollywood treatment following a fierce bidding war.

The “uplifting” and “life-affirming” biopic will focus on the former British Army captain’s “close relationship with his family and explore how his strength, wisdom and humour changed the way they viewed the world”.

Captain Sir Tom Moore
Captain Sir Tom Moore made chart history when he reached number one at the age of 99 (Emma Sohl/Capture The Light Photography/PA)

After news of the biopic broke, Sir Tom quipped: “I don’t know of any 100-year-old actors but I’m sure Michael Caine or Anthony Hopkins could do a wonderful job if they were prepared to age up!”

In November he received another accolade as the oldest cover star for British GQ magazine.

Sir Tom took a spot usually reserved for Hollywood A-listers or giants of the music world in honour of his charity work.

He was honoured with the Inspiration Of The Year gong at the GQ Men Of The Year Awards.

Sir Tom also wrote a book about his life titled Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day.