By Suzanne Bearne
Technology of Business reporter

Publishedduration17 NovembershareSharenocloseShare pagelinkCopy linkAbout sharingRelated Topics

  • Coronavirus pandemic

image copyrightWww.donalmoloney.comimage captionMr Motivator says he's never been busier

Like many celebrities fitness instructor Derrick Evans, better known as Mr Motivator, saw his work schedule fall apart when the coronavirus lockdown hit the UK.

"In March everything got cancelled," he says. "Sales conferences – where I'm brought in at 1:30pm when everyone's had too much to eat and drink and my job is to make people feel good and important – all got cancelled, as did 14 festivals I was due at." But, ever the optimist, he says he "believed new opportunities would come along."

And so they did, with Evans, 68, admitting "he's never been busier". There have been appearances on BBC One, donation-led exercise classes several times a week on Zoom, while companies such as Google have booked him in for morale-boosting talks and exercise sessions through the video channel.

But there's another way he is carving out his time, and that is through making personalised video messages for his fans via video platform Hidols, which launched in July and has snooker player John Virgo and actress Linda Lusardi on its books. He charges £30 for a 30-second video, although he says it's often for longer.

"I don't charge what others charge," he says. "It's not that critical. I want to make people feel good. That's been the driver."

He won't reveal how many requests or bookings he has received but says it's "quite a few" a month.

Embracing the task, he says he likes to devote time and energy to them.

"I edit them, put music on them, add a little message. I just did a shout-out to a gym opening, someone celebrating their 60th, someone 100 years old. It's lovely. People want cheering and motivating."