UK coverage of Nick McCullock

Nick to be a dazzling Diamond Feb 12 2004

By Stephen Hallmark

A computer games manager will on Saturday utter the famous words “Tonight Matthew, I am going to be…”

And then Nick McCullock will step into the spotlight as ’70s singer Neil Diamond.

Viewers will see him turn in a sparkling performance as Diamond on the popular Stars in Their Eyes show, where people get the chance impersonate big-name singers.

Nick, of Exhall, near Coventry, covers Diamond’s Cracklin’ Rosie, and says he thoroughly enjoyed all the trappings of fame on his big night.

Diamond was at the height of his fame in the ’70s and had a string of ballads such as I Am, I Said and Sweet Caroline.

Nick, 34, is the area manager for Gamestation, and took a break from work in its Coventry city centre store to talk about the show.

It was easily Nick’s biggest night, his only other singing performances have been in small pubs doing karaoke.

He said: “My ex-boss, Gavin Harvey, heard me sing and he forced me to do this. He filled in my application form and even drove me to two auditions because he didn’t trust me and thought I’d try and do a runner.

“I’m pleased he did, and that he had confidence in me, because I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing.”

Nick is not Neil Diamond’s biggest fan, but has a voice suited to impersonating the star.

He said: “Being on the show was absolutely amazing, although it was the most nerve-racking night of my life.

“It all went by in a bit of a blur. I’ve got very little memory of it and I’m yet to see my performance.

“They really look after you, but it was hard singing live like that with camera arms waving in front of you.

“Matthew Kelly (who presents the show) was a great bloke, he stayed with us the whole day and made us all cups of tea. I still get the odd text message from him.”

Initially 35,000 applicants battled it out for a place on the show, and Nick made it to the last 50.

To find out how he did, watch Stars in Their Eyes on ITV1 at 6.25pm on Saturday.

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