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A bloke who was made redundant from his job as a bus inspector used a £10,000 chunk of his payoff to finance his lifelong dream of becoming a top Elvis impersonator.
David Black, 52, was offered voluntary redundancy from bus company Arriva and, after having become disenchanted with the job during the Covid pandemic he jumped at the chance.
After leaving his job as a bus inspector in 2021 he used the money to invest in his business as an impersonator of the King of Rock 'n' Roll.
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Though he hasn't yet made back the £10k from his work as an Elvis tribute act, he says he's happier than ever and is never going to quit.
David said: "I've wanted to be a performer since the age of 10. I wanted the Dave Black show in the theatres. I never lost that passion for the stage.
"During Covid-19 I suffered with my mental health. Now I'm 100% living my dream. I will carry on doing this for however long I'm on this planet."
Thankfully, David's wife Lynn is a fan of Presley and watched his movies as a child.
On taking the plunge, he said: "I really had to believe in myself. I couldn't sing so needed singing lessons.
"When you lay out a lot of money like that you've got to make sure you're going to get it back."
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David splashed out on a year of singing lessons in 2021 and spent thousands on custom-made bedazzled pleather suits, costing £1,700 each.
He had to learn how to hit the right notes as well as drop his Essex accent in place of the singer's southern drawl.
David was first inspired to become an Elvis Presley impersonator after visiting Las Vegas in the US, and started moonlighting as a tribute act on his days off in 2018.
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He had a good line of shows booked just before March 2020, when the pandemic hit and all entertainment venues closed indefinitely.
He said: "I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, I thought they were pulling my leg with this biblical plague that had come from nowhere.
"It really messed me up mentally. It affected me badly, but I never gave up.
"I grabbed my mic and sang at home and entertained people online.
"I decided to take redundancy then, I'd worked on the buses for 20 years and I had to believe in myself."
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David's favourite song to sing is 'The Wonder of You' which is apt as he thinks the most unique thing about his act is himself: "It's me.
"When I was a kid I used to go onstage and won talent contests for impersonations.
"You never lose that stage presence."
He now works as a Tesco delivery driver to support his Elvis work but with shows coming in most weeks, he's living his dream.
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- Elvis Presley
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