A PENSIONER is hoping her message of affection will ‘go the distance’ and reach her singing idol, Michael Bolton.

Gladys Smith, from Colchester, has always loved the pop rock singer and has wanted to meet him for years.

Staff at Milton Lodge Care Home in Colchester, where 82-year-old Gladys lives with her husband, Dick, 85, wanted to make her dream come true.

As part of their Sparkles initiative, where staff grant the wishes of their residents, she was given a life-size cardboard cut-out of the Grammy award-winning superstar.

Staff hold regular fundraisers to generate enough cash to take residents out on the trip of a lifetime or treat them to something they are keen to get their hands on - including Michael Bolton.

Staff recorded Gladys’ reaction on video when they gave the love-struck pensioner the cut out and they hope it will be shared widely enough to reach the singer himself.

Gladys said it was her ultimate goal to receive a personal message from him or have a short Skype chat.

Trudi Snee, manager of the home, said: “Gladys has always loved Michael.

“Her daughter Maxine used to take her to all the concerts and she always used to try to get to the front, right up close to him.”

Gladys said she has been to about five of his concerts but can’t put her finger on what makes him so special. She said simply: “He is just lovely.”

Trudi said: “Gladys talks about Michael about 20 times a day.

“As part of our Sparkles initiative we wanted to make her dream come true.

“I was just sitting on my computer at home and I found a cardboard cut-out of him online.

“I thought if I can’t get her the real one I will get her the next best thing.”

Gladys said she felt shocked when the cardboard figure of her idol was presented to her and said she never thought she would see him up close.

Trudi added: “She is rotective over him and won’t let anyone else be around him.

“It would be lovely if he could have a quick chat with her or send her a personal message.”

Gladys, who proudly wears her Michael Bolton t-shirt, said she cannot pick her favourite song, as she loves them all.

Internationally known singer Michael originally performed in the hard rock and heavy metal genres from the 1970s to the mid 1980s, both on his early solo albums and those recorded as the frontman of the band Blackjack.

His best known songs include Said I Loved You, But I Lied and the Hercules classic Go the Distance.

Gladys said: “At one of his concerts I had to sit upstairs. Still it was a great picture and I had a lovely view of him.”

The video shows a group of residents swooning over the cardboard figure as he is brought into the room by members of staff.

In the video, Gladys can be heard saying “Oh, he’s gorgeous, you have got to say he’s lovely.

“I might get him in my bed one night, look at his lovely face.”

Dick, meanwhile, is not such a fan.

He prefers Welsh diva Shirley Bassey and watching football.