Louis Tomlinson, former member of the band One Direction, warmed hearts everywhere with a viral video of his friendship with an 83-year-old man. The former boy band member introduced the adorable video recording with a post on Twitter.
“A month or so ago I met an amazing man called Richard. He had a few things he wanted to do so I thought I’d help him out. This video feels particularly relevant and powerful to me. Richard is a classic example of a fearless man who in light of tragedy still pushes himself to live with as much laughter and happiness as possible. I hope you enjoy watching this video as much as I did making it. Loads of love, Louis.”
In the video, Louis explained that he had heard that Richard had been married for 60 years before his wife passed away in December of 2016. Louis then commented that he, himself, had suffered a loss in December of 2016 as well. His mother tragically passed away at the age of 43.
The singer explained that he felt a sense of connection with the man because of this shared loss, and was motivated to help the elderly gentleman after hearing that he had a bucket list.
The first thing that Richard wanted to do was fly a helicopter, so Louis brought the former RAF pilot to a facility which could accommodate this wish. Richard can be seen smiling as he navigates his helicopter through the air. Louis is in the backseat, clearly enjoying the ride.
“You did well,” the former One Direction star said upon landing, to which the octogenarian gave a typically British response.
“Well, we’re still in one piece anyway.”
The second item on Richard’s list was his desire to drive a race car. Richard beams as he speeds in a BMW after Louis brings him to a race track.
The third item listed was the elderly man’s curiosity about getting a tattoo. Louis is known for his extensive body art, including a huge chest tattoo of the phrase “it is what it is.” But this was Richard’s first time getting inked.
However, the video took a lighthearted turn — instead of getting a tattoo, Richard chose to give one to Louis instead. The video shows Richard carefully adding to Louis’ collection by placing his initials — “R.G.” — on Louis’ forearm.
The last item on the bucket list was going on a roller coaster.
“Are you ready?” Louis asked as the two walk towards the entrance of the ride.
“Ready as I’ll ever be,” Richard returned.
Though this event completed Richard’s bucket list, Louis had a final surprise task — having Richard sing in front of a live audience. The 83-year-old had loved singing, but put his passion away after his wife had gotten sick. Louis stopped one of his performances and ceded the stage to Richard, who came out to roaring applause.
The applause would only grow after Richard wowed the crowd with a rendition of the aria “Nessun dorma.”
With the video having gone viral, the associated hashtag of #louisandrichard has been trending, with many users urging viewers to “keep the tissues close.”
In addition to pursuing his solo career, Tomlinson is also a judge on the British version of X-Factor.