I’m Your Biggest Fan: Simon Cowell impersonator will have you doing a double take


Andy’s Simon Cowell is uncanny (Picture: Getty)

The superfan is a brilliant specimen.

For eons we’ve worshipped at the altars of sports stars, pop stars, actors, fictional characters, collectibles, art, cars, and just about anything else we can relate to, share with others or simply connect with in some way.

Also known as a ‘fanatic’ (but, let’s face it, ‘fan’ is much more sexy), these superfans have travelled the globe to support their chosen love – and we’ve tracked down some of the most die-hard and dedicated.

Each week we’ll bring you the story of one keen punter who has dedicated their life and time (and money, so.much.money) to supporting someone or something – simply because it brings them immeasurable joy. And that’s what life’s about, right?

Welcome to Metro.co.uk’s super fun weekly series, I’m Your Biggest Fan.

Andy Monk may hail from the West Midlands and isn’t too deep into the gilded Los Angeles lifestyle of Simon Cowell, but he’s made quite the name for himself as one of the first impersonators of the Syco mogul.

Andy has met Declan Donnelly in his role as Simon Cowell (Picture: Supplied)

In fact, he believes he may be the first Simon Cowell impersonator full stop, and he’s certainly raked up the years toiling away as the X Factor judge – 16 and counting. Last year he was even voted the top UK lookalike at the National Tribute Music Awards.

With one of the easiest wardrobes for an impersonator (much more manageable than, say, Madonna’s impersonator), Andy admits his years acting as the guy has given him an even deeper respect for what he does.

So, Andy, how did you get into impersonating Simon Cowell?

I’ve been doing it for over 16 years now. I am the first, really. There were a couple of other guys initially, but what happened was people kept saying to me, ‘that guy on Pop Idol, you really look like him!’

After a bit more persuasion, I thought there has got to be something in this. So I looked at pictures of Simon and felt, goodness that’s quite a likeness. Particularly from a certain angle. I got some pictures done, sent them to an agency that didn’t have a Simon on the books, so they got me some bookings.

Andy is often called to events to act as Simon (Picture: Supplied)

He was initially known as Mr Nasty but he’s softened over the years and become an icon of British entertainment and in America, really. I’ve always been self-employed in entertainment so it fitted really well, DJing has been the main thing; this on the side.

Have you met Simon over the years?

I’ve met Simon quite a few times. I doubled for him on Comic Relief when he marries himself in 2013. Then also, there is a film called One Chance with Julie Walters and I stood in for him on that scenes in the audition scenes, auditioning Paul Potts, one of the Britain’s Got Talent winners.

I was also one of the Chippendoubles from BGT in 2010. We had seven lookalikes go on the show. We got to the semi-final, it was great.

He’s really nice – he just said ‘if you can make a living out of it, go for it’. His Mr Nasty image was perhaps a little contrived but that’s what he was remembered for and he had some great people behind him advising him. He’s always done well and he’s a businessman.

I’ve always respected what he’s done and he’s got a good head for it. When he started out in business himself, he looked for gimmicks. Then gradually, he became more mainstream, he had his own record company.

He’s even aced the famous chest hair (Picture: Supplied)

You really do share quite the likeness! Do people think you’re the real Simon in public?

Yes! He was known for having high trousers, so people would yell, ‘hey Simon, pull your trousers up, they’re not high enough!’

Just this afternoon leaving the house the kids coming back from school said ‘hey Simon how’s it going?’ I get it a lot but it’s great fun and you just smile and wave.

How much research goes into Simon?

Do you now what? It’s listening to the show and trying to do the voice, so it’s trying to study these clips from YouTube, trying to keep up with what he’s doing and what his family is doing.

Anything like that, having information about the acts. It’s difficult to keep up because there are two shows he’s on. I’m either DJing or being Simon elsewhere on Saturday nights.

And what goes into getting into character?

It’s not too different on the wardrobe front – white t-shirt, jeans. It’s probably the easiest wardrobe you could imagine! No specialist stuff, really. He’s had a lot of tweaking [aesthetically] but on the whole the look has stayed pretty recognisable. It’s just the haircuts I have to keep up with.

This is actually Simon (Picture: FilmMagic)

You do a lot of events. What are some of the weirder events you’ve impersonated him at?

The amount and variety of different things I get asked to do! The most unusual was for a PR company who put together a tour around the country called The Stink Factor. That was judging the smells of people’s cars for an air freshener company.

Basically I do a lot of stuff in the studio for little clips for people who want to say Happy Birthday. I’ve got a green screen set up in an industrial unit, so that’s my studio and anyone can get a greeting from Simon. A lot of what I do is remote.

I do a lot of judging, I do the Ness Factor every year in Scotland. That’s a very well done event for raising money for the highland hospitals.

It’s a great way to make a living, it’s been absolutely wonderful. I’m sure there’s going to be a book very soon, I’ve got to work on that, with loads of photos throughout the years.

Everyone’s reaction is always positive. I’ve loved every minute of it.

Is there a day you’ll hang up the aviator sunglasses?

Well, I’ll just play it by ear. I’m happy doing it for as long as people want to book me. Long may Simon continue!

There is no rule or rhyme sometimes you get a run and you get a booking that takes you around the country for a few days. Then there’s a lull. Maybe once a week it averages out, approximately.

What has been the most surreal moment as Simon?

Las Vegas. That was on Fremont street, the main area. I was at a lookalike convention and went to meet with the American [impersonators] and some other Brits as well. It was surreal being next to Mr Spock and Neil Diamond and Cher and I made such lovely friendships. We had a cracking time and stayed in touch with many of the people I met. I think that was early 2012.

A lot take it more seriously than others. There are a couple other Simons but I guess I’ve done it the longest overall.

I’m Your Biggest Fan is a weekly series that deep dives into the world of fandoms, via the people who worship the hardest. Check back in next Thursday to check out the latest aficionado.



Want to get involved in I’m Your Biggest Fan?

If you’ve got a rather brilliant obsession – from Game of Thrones to My Little Pony – and want to share the reasons why, get in touch!

Covered in tattoos of your favourite soapie star? Perhaps you sold the house to satisfy your obsession with Christmas.

Whatever it is, we would love to know your story.

Email us celebtips@metro.co.uk, call 020 3615 2145 or visit our Submit Stuff page with a bit about what you’ve done, with some pictures to back it up. You’ll have to be prepared to be interviewed and deep dive into the fandom – but that’s the fun part, right?

MORE: I’m Your Biggest Fan: Meet the Game of Thrones fans that even George RR Martin calls for help

MORE: I’m Your Biggest Fan: Michelle Pfeiffer fan spent £25,000 on merch and watches Fabulous Baker Boys once a week





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