Gary can’t wait to party at the palace

Newtownabbey man, Gary Johnston, is heading off to Buckingham Palace to join in the Jubilee Picnic and Concert. INNT 21-028-FP
Newtownabbey man, Gary Johnston, is heading off to Buckingham Palace to join in the Jubilee Picnic and Concert. INNT 21-028-FP

A YOUNG Mossley man has won a gem of a prize in a national online ballot - ‘Diamond Tickets’ to next month’s Jubilee Picnic and Concert in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

Gary Johnston was one of 5,000 lucky winners selected from the hundreds of thousands of people who applied for tickets through the BBC’s website.

The 22-year-old, who works at the SPAR Rathcoole Filling Station, won a pair of tickets and will be sharing the once-in-a-lifetime experience with his friend, Laura Hunter, from Mallusk.

Gary and Laura will jet off to London for the special celebration on June 4.

They will be among 10,000 invited guests who will get to enjoy a Jubilee Picnic in the palace gardens, before attending a star-studded Diamond Jubilee Concert later that evening - a show that will be watched on television by millions of people across the globe.

The concert, organised by the BBC and Gary Barlow, will include classic hits and one-off collaborations from artists including Shirley Bassey, Jools Holland, Jessie J, Elton John, Tom Jones, JLS, Annie Lennox, Madness, Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard and Robbie Williams.

The historic events to celebrate The Queen’s 60-year reign will be attended by Her Majesty The Queen, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal Family.

“I’m absolutely delighted and we can’t wait to go. Just getting into the grounds of Buckingham Palace and seeing The Queen will be fantastic,” Gary told the Times.

A former pupil of Ballyclare Secondary School and an ex-member of Newtownabbey Youth Council, Gary explained how he’d entered the online ballot after seeing it advertised on television.

Read the full story in this week’s Times...