| 12.5°C Dublin

That's the wonder of our Elvis...

A DUBLIN man has been left "all shook up" after he won third place in an unusual world cup.

Elvis impersonator Tom Gilson (40) was beaten only by Malta and Scotland in the King of Kings trophy tournament in Porthcawl, Wales.

Tom, a book-binder from Lucan, Co Dublin, only took up his Elvis hobby in recent years and was delighted with his award-winning performance.

"I've only been impersonating Elvis for the last couple of years or so. Some of the competitors had been doing it for 20 odd years. I'm quite a bit behind but I was delighted to go against them and I was told that I came across as polished and professional," he told the Herald.

The singer said he had started his act by accident.



Costume

"A friend of mine asked me to sing a few songs for his 40th a couple of years ago.

"I thought he was winding me up but he was serious, so I rented the right costume and it went down really well. I started to get more gigs."

His act soon gathered attention and he got the chance to represent Down Syndrome Ireland at an Elvis Presley lookalike and soundalike competition in Bundoran, Co Donegal.

He won the competition the second time he entered, and soon his Elvis career became a family affair with wife Gillian managing his performing schedule. The couple have three children -- Megan (11), Rhys (8) and three-year-old Ben.

Gillian said it was the competition in Bundoran that gave him a pop at being the world's best Elvis impersonator.

"It's not a Mickey Mouse kind of thing. He had to win a competition here in Ireland before he was able to represent the country and 12 other countries competed.

"Even a candidate from the United States came over so the standard was quite high."

Tom said that he might compete again and even consider leaving his day job if he gets the chance.

"If I get busy enough, if I can manage to get more gigs, it'd be nice to concentrate on my dream," he said.

In the meantime, he's planning on returning to Bundoran for this year's competition.

hnews@herald.ie


Privacy