Sussex Stars – from horses to national TV, Marvin Ford

Starting our new series celebrating Sussex people doing extraordinary things

Marvin and Michael McIntyre Title Sussex Magazine

Sussex horse trainer Marvin Ford got more than he bargained for when he agreed to appear as a body double for an actor with a fear of horses and found himself live on stage at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, on prime time national television!

When he’s not training horses, Marvin is a singer and a regular on the Sussex wedding scene, as is his wife Ellen who recently opened The Enchanted Florist in Angmering. The couple met in Marvin’s native Bermuda when Ellen was training in floristry and it was Ellen who nominated her husband for this ‘surprise’.

The surprise she’d put him forward for was appearing in Michael McIntyre’s Big Show. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s where people are nominated to perform but don’t know it’s coming.

“I put him forward because I was tired of him not believing in himself and his talent,” stated Ellen. “Singing at weddings and open mic is great but he needs to be doing so much more! He has such a talent, everybody that has ever seen him knows it, the only person who doesn’t is Marvin! So I took matters into my hands!”

“When the curtain went down it was complete shock! All I could think was what has she done now!?”

Marvin rose to the occasion magnificently, although he did admit to feeling a bit shocked!

“During the prank I just kept thinking, what the hell is going on here, but just went with it. When the curtain went down it was complete shock! All I could think was what has she done now!?”

Ellen admits to having been nervous about the prank aspect but knew Marvin would put on an incredible performance once he was over the shock and she wasn’t wrong! Following a bizarre sequence of events including Countdown’s Rachel Riley demonstrating calculations on the nearest white board as to why she’d arrived late for filming and some suspect smelling aftershave, Marvin’s performance of Lionel Richie’s ‘Stuck on You’ earned him a well-deserved standing ovation.

“Whilst I was singing I just couldn’t believe this is happening! It felt like a dream,” said Marvin.

The whole show can be seen here but if you want to skip to Marvin’s performance which is very much worth a watch, it’s at 14 minutes in.

Image Credit: BBC/HungryMcBear/Gary Moyes
Photographer: Gary Moyes
Image Copyright: Hungry McBear