Martyn Dias has spent much of his professional career trying to be someone else. The 46-year-old is a professional Elvis Presley impersonator.
Known as Elvis Shmelvis, Mr Dias scooped £500 in a European Elvis-impersonating competition, held at the Rendezvous Casino in Brighton last month.
He has since been called for a cameo appearance on BBC One’s Holby City, appearing as Elvis in a Las Vegas wedding dream sequence. “I seem to be the one they always call for when they need an Elvis,” the father-of-two tells People. Other television stints include the Kilroy Show, Blue Peter, The One Show and GMTV, plus a variety of game shows.
According to Mr Dias, he and his wife Sue — now his manager -— make a better living than in their former jobs as managers for an IT company. But he admits that living the life of a semi-celebrity does have its challenges, particularly since the Elvis hairstyle and sideburns, which are a permanent feature of his appearance, mark him out whether he is in character or not. “And when I do appear as Elvis Shmelvis, there is always a queue of people wanting my autograph, or to have their photo taken with me,” he says.
Although he plans to continue as Elvis for as long as he can, he is about to launch a new act, The Ricky Lopez (his middle names) Ratpack Show, in which he will impersonate Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr and Dean Martin.
Mr Dias lives 4,400 miles outside Memphis, Tennessee — in St Albans, to be specific.
He is a member of Welwyn Garden City Synagogue.