Friday 30 September 2016

BGT mimic stumped when it comes to imitating Chris Evans and Piers Morgan

Published 09/05/2016 | 17:21

The Mimic Men on Britain's Got Talent on Saturday (Syco/Thames TV)
The Mimic Men on Britain's Got Talent on Saturday (Syco/Thames TV)
BGT mimic Alfie Joey says Piers Morgan has a voice which is not very impressionable

Britain's Got Talent impressionist Alfie Joey has said Chris Evans and Piers Morgan do not have voices that are "very impressionable".

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On Saturday, an average of 8.7 million viewers watched 48-year-old Joey and Cal Halbert, 22, perform as The Mimic Men.

The duo used the alphabet as they ran through a random collection of impressions including EastEnders' Natalie Cassidy, US president Barack Obama, cartoon characters Shaggy and Scooby-Doo, and Star Wars' Yoda.

The Mimic Men won universal approval from panellists Simon Cowell, David Walliams, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden, as well as hosts Ant and Dec.

Speaking about their triumph, Joey explained the challenges of nailing a good impression.

"The hardest voices are the ones, voices where there's nothing to grab hold of," he told the Press Association on Monday.

"Chris Evans is a good example, the TV presenter and the radio presenter.

"I'd never heard anyone - and I love other impressionists by the way and I watch them as well - I've never seen any of them do a really good Chris Evans.

He's a great example of someone who doesn't have a very impressionable voice. Piers Morgan is another one," Joey stated.

During the hit ITV talent series, Joey revealed that he had trained to become a priest with Dec's brother, Dermott Donnelly.

He expanded on the story on Monday.

"I came from a coal-mining background," he said.

"My dad was a coal miner and all my uncles were on both sides, and so - a bit like the Billy Elliott story, 'little boy wants to be Catholic priest during the miners' strike'. And that's it."

Joey added: "I went away and trained, then I left just before ordination to become, I suppose you could say a monk.

"I joined a religious order, the Salesians of Don Bosco. I was a brother in that for another five years so 15 years in religious life and I gave it up for comedy!"

He went on to explain how he and his partner ended up performing impressions on Britain's Got Talent (BGT), with the alphabet as their tool.

"We wrote a little show for small comedy festivals and then we thought BGT, what do we do for that? What can you do in three minutes that glues lots of voices together?"

Saturday's episode was not the first time Halbert has auditioned for BGT. He appeared on the show as an impressionist in 2011, but said this experience was "better".

"We started, we went on, we thought, let's have a good gig here. It went better than we could imagine," Halbert said.

Asked why comedians tend to struggle on Cowell's show, Joey said "comedy's harder" than singing.

"Singers or gymnasts, usually, you know how it's going to unfurl and you know people will clap at the end," he stated.

"With comedy, it's about laughter during. And if there's no laughter during, you're off - you're gone. That's why it's the lowest rung of the entertainment ladder, stand-up comedy.

"It's more of a test. I think that's why there's not as much comedy - there's lots of singers, lots of acrobats, lots of street performers. But comedy's harder as a test if you're being examined."

The stakes are high as the winner of ITV's variety series will receive a cash prize of £250,000 and a slot at the Royal Variety Performance.

"To win Britain's Got Talent would be a dream," Joey said.

"We've already exceeded anywhere we wanted to go reaching this stage so the rest would be fantasy, not dreams."

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