FOUR years ago Chris Connor drove JCBs on building sites. Now he tours the world performing as Elvis Presley.
He plays the London Palladium next month, but before that is heading to these parts - he brings his show Elvis: The Ultimate Performance to the Lowther Pavilion on Thursday March 28.
Connor, 34, didn’t even dream of taking up a singing career until shortly after his 30th birthday, when he decided to properly give it a go.
“I look a bit like Elvis and because I’d listened to his songs since I was a kid - my uncle was in a rock ‘n’roll band in the 60s and 70s and used to play his songs all the time - I learned to sing like him,” said the Oldham lad.
“I played Elvis in the Legends show for years on Central Pier but lately it has really taken off and I’ve been all over Europe, and to America and Australia.
“Believe it or not I do still miss my building job from time to time, I miss having a laugh with the lads. But I absolutely love what I do now and not many can say that.”
Given how many bookings he gets each year - including singing to Elvis Presley fans at Graceland and at a huge Elvis convention in Canada - it’s not surprising Connor is enjoying himself.
The show he is bringing to the Lowther focuses on a recreation of two iconic Elvis performances - the 1968 comeback special and the first ever satellite broadcast of a pop concert, Presley’s 1973 Aloha from Hawaii.
“This is my biggest tour yet and it’s starting in Lytham so I’m really looking forward to that first date,” added Connor.
“It’s tough though because Elvis had a lot of energy and I have to recreate that night after night. I’m knackered at the end of each show.
“Some people think it’s a bit weird to do this for a living but I disagree - it’s great.”
Connor says he owns at least half a dozen of the famous white jumpsuits Elvis used to wear on stage.
“I don’t put one on to nip to the post office during the day though - now that would be weird,” he added.
Tickets are £18 and available from www.lowtherpavilion.co.uk or by calling the box office on 01253 749221.
To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets, answer the following question: What was the title of Presley’s 1973 concert, the first ever to be broadcast via satellite?
Send your answer, along with your name, address and a daytime telephone number, to email@example.com
Deadline for entries is 5pm on Wednesday March 20, usual Gazette rules apply.