Family friends confirmed Croydon legend Bernard was alive after rumours of his death spread yesterday.
Bernard the self-proclaimed Reggae King is known for singing and dancing and has entertained passers-by and lifted spirits in Croydon for more than 20 years.
A note saying Bernard had passed away and looking as if it was written by his family was found on his tribute wall on Croydon high street leading to fans paying their respects on social media yesterday.
One family friend said: “He is very much alive and it is fake news.”
She said she had been on the phone with him today and had known him all of her life.
She responded to misinformed posts about Bernard passing away and reassured his fans that he was alive and a strong man.
In one response she wrote: ‘Honestly it’s ridiculous! He’s excited he’s gone viral minus the fact that it’s because people think he’s dead!’
Musician Oliver Sudden also posted on Instagram to say he had called Bernard and could confirm the Croydon legend was fine.
He wrote: ‘Just called Bernard, he’s alive and laughing at you all missing him!
‘He’ll be back on the strip ASAP.’
Sudden also said Bernard was sheltering for the winter which is why he hadn’t been seen lately.
Fans were pleased to hear the news was fake.
One instagram user wrote: ‘That’s the BEST news all year’
Among those who fell for the fake news yesterday were radio station CroydonFM and community hub Matthews Yard.
Both posted updated corrections, with Matthews Yard saying fans should give Bernard his flowers nonetheless and both agreeing the community should celebrate him.
Bernard also posted updates on his personal instagram @bernardthelegend.
He wrote: ‘There are rumours circulating that I’m dead. I am NOT. I’ve been keeping quiet this past year. Please share that I’m well!’
He will also update fans via voice note on his Instagram page this evening.
This is not the first time false rumours of Bernard’s death have spread.
In 2018, he had to assure fans he was fine by video after some began to worry he had died.
Hopefully we will be seeing Bernard back on the streets of Croydon soon, and if you’re missing his moves you can watch him on Youtube in videos like the one below.
Featured image credit: Croydonization