Updated: Tuesday, 7th July 2020 @ 11:04pm

So you think it's grim up north? Dancing video called Happy in Manchester aims to put a smile on your face

So you think it's grim up north? Dancing video called Happy in Manchester aims to put a smile on your face

By Kenny Lomas

If you’re in need for a little pick-me-up or feeling blue, a host of Manchester celebrities, businesses, residents and even a newly-wed couple have come together for a feel-good video named Happy in Manchester .

Pharrell Williams ‘Happy’ song is the basis for the smile-inducing film, which features everyone from DJ Clint Boon to chef Aiden Byrne dancing in the street.

Lawrence Jones, CEO of UKFast, the internet company behind the video, says the reaction just goes to prove what they think about the city.  

“There is this misconception that it’s quite a gloomy place to be, it rains a lot but it’s a really happy city,” he said.

 “It’s crazy, it just proves what a great city it is.”


Lawrence explained he was inspired by Pharrell’s 24-hour music video.

“We saw this 24-hour happy video and we thought, well Manchester is a pretty happy place. We’re fed up of hearing how grim it is up north,” Lawrence said.

“So we spent a week going round Manchester speaking to people and well know figures and just had fun.”

The firm contacted a wealth of well know figures in the city to get involved, including XFM presenter Clint Boon and North West Business Insider Editor, Chris Maguire.

It wasn’t just well known figures who got involved in the dance-athon, numerous people off the street were asked to join in, including a newly-wed couple.

“We interrupted a bride and groom on their wedding day who were very happy to join in and have a dance with us,” Lawrence said.

Recruitment executive Gary Chaplin also displayed his dancing moves in the video.

“They contacted me on Tuesday to see if I wanted to take part. It was all very top secret, I wasn’t able to tell anyone,” Gary said.

“I met them around three o’clock not really knowing what it was about other than it was about being happy in Manchester.

“And then they just said, ‘do you mind dancing for a couple of minutes outside John Rylands library?’ So I thought, in for a penny, in for a pound, why not?”

Gary said he gained more than the odd look from passers-by curious by what was taking place.

“We had two or three Japanese tourists taking photographs, but then when it finished we just walked off, which caused even more surprise,” he told MM.

“It was just a bit of fun. It was quite typical of Manchester-born businesses who just enjoy having fun and doing fun things just to try and make people smile.

“It was just nice to see a great Manchester business just putting smiles on people faces on a Friday Morning.”

Craig Gill, the owner of Manchester Music Tours, was hijacked while taking the Australian radio presenter, Francis Leach round a tour of the city’s iconic music landmarks. 

“It was just timing really. I was just outside Salford Lads Club, and they were doing some filming there and just asked us if we wanted to get involved,” Craig told MM. 

“They said I could do what I want. I felt a bit awkward so I just sort of stood there clicking my fingers. I was out-of time, being a drummer,” Craig laughed.

Craig says his guest was also persuaded to join in. Craig said: “The guy that I was taking on the music tour is quite a big radio presenter in Australia. 

“He works for a radio company called triple j, it’s probably the biggest radio station in Melbourne. He was roped into it as well.”

The video was released this morning, and has already begun trending for Manchester on Twitter.

Image courtesy of UK Fast via YouTube, with thanks.

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