Steve Riks' colourful cast of characters
Impersonator Stevie Riks from Chester has been making a big impression on the internet. Now he's built up an army of fans with his impressions of rock stars and personalities. Inside Out finds out the secret of his success.
Stevie Riks discovered his talent for entertaining early on, when he'd take off his teachers for the benefit of his fellow pupils.
And apart from a short stint working at the local Vauxhall Plant he's been in show business ever since.
Stars in his eyes - Steve Riks.
Stevie is a talented musician in his own right and has a well established stage show.
Following his triumph on the TV show "New Faces" in 1988, he's performed at some of the country's most prestigious venues.
"I never wanted to be a musician, I always wanted to be an impressionist," says Steve.
"I always looked forward to the impressionists being on the telly - Mike Yarwood, Freddie Starr. Even when I was in groups I was always doing impressions 'cos I found it boring just standing there with a guitar and singing."
Growing fan base
When Stevie's wife posted some of his impersonations on the Internet site You Tube in 2007, he suddenly found he had a new fan base around the world.
Stevie films all his own videos at home on a small camera mounted on a tripod.
His favourite characters are the musicians of the '60s and '70s, and he bemoans the lack of personalities in today's music scene.
"Apart from Oasis there's nobody really who I think has got any character anymore," says Steve.
With more than a million hits from fans around the world, Stevie's now been asked to perform in America and Europe.
He's also received complimentary e mails from those musicians he has taken off.
Stardust - Stevie as David Essex.
Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne and Robin Gibb have all given their approval to his impersonations.
"The internet's made a fantastic difference to my career. People have been getting in touch from every corner of the earth," explains Steve.
"I think it's fantastic. I only wish You Tube had been around 20 years ago, but it's never too late."
last updated: 11/08/2008 at 12:11