Kate praises ‘amazingly captured’ image of lockdown Spider-Man

The Duchess of Cambridge
The Duchess of Cambridge
PA Wire

The Duchess of Cambridge has praised an “amazingly captured” image of a martial arts teacher dressed as Spider-Man during lockdown.

Jason Baird, who runs Jason Baird’s Black Belt Academy in Stockport and his friend Andrew Baldock, became known as the “Stockport Spider-Men”, as they entertained children and family alike by dressing up as the character on their walks.

The image shows Mr Baird in mid-air in a front garden as children look on from inside the house, and is among 100 photographs chosen for Kate’s Hold Still exhibition and book, which encouraged the public to document life during the pandemic.

Speaking on the phone to Mr Baird, Kate said: “Thank you for sending in your photograph because there are some really emotive and really sad images and stories that we had.

“But this brought, you know, particularly to the judging panel, it was such a wonderful positive image of community spirit.

“It was amazingly captured.

“And I hadn’t appreciated at the time that you are a martial arts teacher so that gives it a lot of context as well.”

Mr Baird, a father-of-two, said when he and a friend heard people were only allowed out for an hour a day they wanted to “try and cheer the kids up”.

He told Kate: “It was more a case of trying to bring a few smiles and stuff.”

Mr Baird said children in the area were dressing up as Spider-Man and had signs in their windows saying “Spider-Man stop outside my house”.

Kate said this was “very cool”, and joked that she might have to get the Duke of Cambridge the Spider-Man costume.

“I’ll see if it takes on the trend here at Kensington Palace ” she said.

“Unfortunately I’m not so sure if he’s going to get the air clearance that you’ve got.”

Kate said Mr Baird has showed “huge dedication” to his community.

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