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11th Jan 2023

Bus inspector spends £10k redundancy package to ‘become Elvis’

Charlie Herbert

Bus inspector spends £10k redundancy package to ‘become Elvis’

He says he’s living his dream

A former bus inspector has spent £10,000 of his redundancy money on outfits and singing lessons to become an Elvis Presley impersonator.

David Black, 52, had been a bus driver for 20 years but started moonlighting as an Elvis on his days off in 2018.

His ticket out of working with the travel company Arriva came in the form of a substantial redundancy package during the Covid pandemic.

So, he decided it’s now or never, and took the plunge to follow the Elvis dream in 2021.

After leaving his job as a bus inspector that year he used the money to invest in his business as an impersonator of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

David bought a year of singing lessons in 2021 and spent thousands on custom-made bedazzled pleather suits, costing £1,700 each.

Though he hasn’t yet made back the £10k from his impersonator work, he’s by no means in the heartbreak hotel and says he’s happier than ever.

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 per cent living my dream. I will carry on doing this for however long I’m on this planet.”

Thankfully, David’s wife Lynn also has a burning love for 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.”

Through his singing lessons, had to learn how to hit the right notes as well as drop his Essex accent in place of the singer’s iconic southern drawl.

Dave was inspired to become an Elvis Presley impersonator after visiting Las Vegas.

He had a good line of shows booked just before March 2020, but the pandemic left him all shook up when entertainment venues closed indefinitely, with Dave saying he “didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.”

He said: “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.”

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.

“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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