A COUPLE from Darlington are back enjoying their favourite programmes after a group of engineers did a whip around to buy them a new TV to replace their old set.

Barry and Doreen Hardy, who are in their eighties and are self-isolating, were delighted by the gesture, which means soap-loving Mrs Hardy can continue watching her favourite shows.

The couple had been unable to go and buy a new television after their old one broke and could not be fixed.

Mr Hardy, 80, said he was stunned when Virgin Media, who they had called to investigate an issue with their TV service, offered to replace the set when it became apparent there was a fault with the set itself.

Engineer Ian Evans soon discovered it was beyond repair and would need to be replaced.

Because the couple were unable to leave their house – and had no family close by to help – a group of staff at Virgin clubbed together to buy them a new TV.

Mr Hardy, said: “It was very stressful that we couldn’t get the TV to work.

“When the team said they were prepared to buy us a new TV, I was absolutely stunned. I really didn’t expect it."

He added: "It means my wife can watch the soaps again.

"It has put us back on track.”

Virgin Media manager Andrew Crossley, who rallied other managers from across the North-East to help the couple by donating their own money to buy the television set, said: "I really wanted to do something to help Mr and Mrs Hardy – especially as they don’t have any close family, and because they couldn’t buy a new TV themselves."

The 32” TV has since been installed at Mr and Mrs Hardy's home.

Mr Crossley added: "It was great to see the team from across the North East club together to buy them a new telly so the couple can keep up-to-date with the news and watch their favourite shows.

“It was our pleasure to help them and restore some normality during these testing times.”