A Brit who’s become a celebrity in China for his Mr Bean impressions has chosen to remain in Wuhan so he doesn’t spread the coronavirus to anyone else.
Nigel Dixon, 53, has borne a striking resemblance to Rowan Atkinson’s iconic character since the age of 30, and played Mr Bean in a 2017 Chinese comedy.
The Suffolk local travelled to Wuhan to see friends and celebrate Lunar New Year on January 2, just as the deadly virus broke out.
As the epidemic spread and the number of cases began to rise, Mr Dixon decided to stay where he was rather than fly home to Britain or to another part of China.
He told MailOnline he cancelled a trip to Shenzhen to see friends because he thought it would be “selfish of me to go not knowing if I have the virus or not”.
Wuhan was officially placed under lockdown on January 23, and Mr Dixon says there’s been little information or help offered to British citizens in the city. He wasn’t aware the UK government had urged Britons to leave China, and didn’t know about other Brits being airlifted out of China until the first two flights had already left.
To keep spirits up and help educate people about public safety, he created a mini-series called ‘Mr Pea’ in which he appears in character as Mr Bean dealing with coronavirus.
Each day he streams the show on Chinese video-sharing platform Kuaishou, showing how Mr Bean puts on his mask, washes his hands and disinfects his clothing once he gets home.
In one episode he sings ‘You Are My Sunshine’ to best friend Teddy while in quarantine.
Along with tips on how to stay healthy, Mr Dixon offers words of encouragement and support to others in the virus-wracked city who may be feeling afraid.
“We are in Wuhan, we are together,” he says in one video. “Come on Wuhan, come on China!”
His videos have struck a chord with Chinese audiences, and he’s gathered more than 5.5 million followers on Kuaishou.
Mr Dixon told MailOnline no one should be scared of getting the coronavirus “as long as they take preventative measures”.
He intends to return to the UK at the end of March if possible but says he also wants to further his acting career in China.