An ambitious impressionist, whose voices began as a way to break the ice with his stepson, now hopes to become a YouTube sensation.
Neil Roper, who works at Heanor pudding making firm Matthew Walker, discovered he was able to do impressions of cartoon characters and celebrities at ten years old. But it was only when he met his stepson, nine-year-old Brandon, that his talent became invaluable.
The 34-year-old married, Heather, 32, in 2009 but her son, Brandon, who was four at the time, did not warm to Neil and he needed to find a way to reassure him.
Neil said: “When I met my stepson he wasn’t sure of me so I did the impressions and he loved them.
“He made me do them when I read him bedtime stories, and his favourites are Shrek and Donkey, and also Scooby Doo.”
Neil has worked at the Heanor Gate industrial Estate Christmas pudding maker for 15 years, but hopes his impressions could open new doors for him.
The impressionist first filmed his act so he could share them with friends via Facebook, but he has already had more than 2,600 views of his videos on YouTube.
He said: “A lot of people have said the voices are ‘brilliant’ and a couple of people have mentioned going on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ but it’s a bit of a confidence issue.
“I come across as confident in the videos but I am actually quite a shy person and I hope these videos will help to build my confidence up.”
“I am just trying to get my impressions out there and to give everyone watching them joy and entertainment.”
Neil, of Brookhill Leys Road, Eastwood, revealed that he is currently working on perfecting some new voices including Gru from the film ‘Despicable Me’ and X-Factor voice Peter Dickson and will be releasing his next video soon.