Friday, 27 November 2015

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Cumbrian soldier behind gangnam hit on YouTube

A gangnam-style video made by troops serving in Afghanistan was the idea of a 20-year-old Cumbrian soldier who wanted to lift their spirits.

Gangnam soldiers photo
Soldiers perform their routine

The parody shows troops from the 4th Mechanized Brigade, part of 21 Engineer Regiment and known as “The Black Rats”, dancing around at Camp Bastion in costumes to the catchy chart song by South Korean star PSY.

It has become an instant internet hit, with hundreds of likes on the regiment’s Facebook page and 90,000 views on YouTube.

Sapper Ryan Jackson, 20, from Woodhouse, Whitehaven, came up with the idea as a morale booster at Christmas. It is the first time he has been away from home for the festive period after going to Afghanistan in September.

“It’s good to see that everyone is backing us and that they are enjoying the video and can see where we’re coming from,” he said. “It’s a chance to boost the lads’ morale at this time of year.”

Watch the video. Article continues below...

Costumes and props which feature in the clip include a giant inflatable turkey, Santa hats and suits, a pink crop top, a blonde wig, and tiger and monkey all-in-one suits.

The lively group do the Gangnam-style dance, which shot to fame in PSY’s official music video.

The clip – which is raising money for Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team – was filmed with the help of British Forces Broadcasting Service over a three-month period during the soldiers’ downtime.

Ryan’s proud mum Sammy Moore said the video was “just like him”.

“It’s Ryan through and through,” she said. “He would do anything for charity, particularly if it’s fun.”

She said Ryan told her about the filming and said he probably got the idea from his cousin Stephanie Coulter, a world champion line dancer who dances to the song.

“Everyone’s doing it,” she said. “We do it at line dancing on Thursday nights. We all know it.”

Staff Sergeant Tony Gibson, 44, said: “Sapper Jackson came in and said it would be a good laugh on the tour if we did a video. We decided what song we were going to do, then it just grew arms and legs from there.

“It’s a six-month tour, it’s a long time and now we’re into the Christmas period. It was just something to pick our spirits up while we’re away from our families back in the UK.

“We knew we would be away from home for Christmas so some of the lads had brought some costumes out so that over the festive period we would have a chance for some stand-down and joviality.

“It’s not the best [to be away at Christmas], but we are soldiers: This is what we’ve signed up to do.”

Sammy is taking part in the Support Our Soldiers campaign, sending out parcels and home comforts to troops. She said she was missing Ryan. “Christmas won’t be the same without him,” she said. She sent him a Santa suit because; “he’s a bit of a comedian”.

Ryan was home for a brief visit a month ago when he got engaged to girlfriend Natalie-Ann Ball, who he has been seeing since January last year.

“She loves the video.” Sammy added. “She’s really proud of him, we all are.”

She said Ryan had talked her through setting up Skype and she hopes to be able to talk to him on Christmas Day.

The regiment is using the video to help raise funds for the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team, which operates close to the troops’ UK base in Ripon, North Yorkshire. Donations to the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team can be made via

Archbishop’s army message – page 6

Opinion – page 12


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