Making a good impression! We catch up with Darren Altman
Following his impressive audition on Saturday night's show (April 9), we caught up with impressionist Darren Altman to get all the BGT goss.
So, was he nervous facing our Judges? What did Ant and Dec make of his impression of them? And, what sets him apart from the rest? Here's what we found out below...
Amanda Holden helped ease his nerves!
Darren found his BGT audition "surreal", explaining that he's still pretty new to the stage and performing. He said: "I was so nervous beforehand it was just untrue but Amanda put me at ease, she was really nice and we had a chat and that sort of settled me. I’m not an entertainer, so I’m not use to audience feedback so it was very surreal. They laughed and then I saw Simon Cowell cracking up when I did my Peter Dickson, so that sort of settled me a little bit more. The more they laughed, the more energy I got back and the more confident I became. When I did Gordon Ramsay, I’m jumping up in the air. I left the ground, that was pure adrenaline. It was so bizarre."
Watch this space for a Simon and David impression
When asked if we can expect any impressions of our Judges in the near future, Darren revealed: "The obvious one to do is Simon Cowell and I have tried to get him down. His voice is very flat and he doesn’t give much away. He’s quite hard to do, his mannerisms are more doable that his actual voice. Sometimes he sounds like he’s got a blocked nose, which is very interesting - he’s quite tricky. David Walliams has got a funny way of saying his ’S's' at times, it’s not a lisp but it’s the way his teeth hit his mouth. I’ve just noticed that, especially when he was doing Little Britain. It’s something that I would only attempt if it was going to be very accurate. I don’t think you can wing it, especially not with the amount of people watching because you'd just get found out."
He was pleased Ant and Dec found his impression of them funny
Impersonating BGT hosts Ant and Dec is not an easy feat, with Darren admitting: "When I did Declan Donnelly, I kind of deconstructed the way he speaks. I said he had a very pointed staccato, was breathy and I did the whole thing on the verge of laughing out loud and sharing a joke with the crew - I don’t think anyone spotted that detail before, so that went down very well. It was funny, I sort of preempted the fact that he might stick his head out actually. I was thinking if this goes down well, chances are he’s going to pop his head round the corner (of the stage curtain) and he did."
He's been doing impressions for as long as he can remember
Recalling when he first discovered his love of impressions, Darren said: "I remember as a young boy doing impressions of John Wayne and Roger Moore. I used to go to school and do impressions of my teachers and they used to get me up in front of class to impersonate them. I think being a musician and a drummer, I’ve just always had a good ear and been able to find out where certain voices sit in your throat, your mouth and your chest. It's always come very naturally and I’ve always taken the p*** out of my friends and done impressions of them. It’s funny."
He thinks he's got something new to offer compared to other impressionists
When asked what sets him apart from the other impressionists we've seen on BGT, Darren stated: "Without wishing to sound big-headed in any way as the others have been fantastic, what I wanted to do, certainly for the first round, was to deconstruct impressions and voices and show how to do them. I pulled them apart and have a narrative and show how for example, that Jeremy Clarkson has the same speech pattern as Gok Wan - that rise and fall - and to dissect the way Dec speaks, not just to do an impression of Dec. I wanted to get that clear narrative running through the act, which I don’t think has been done in the past. Thankfully, the Judges saw that and liked it.
His three words to describe his BGT journey so far are...
Speaking of his time on the show so far, Darren summed it up by saying that it's been "nerve-wracking, surreal and ballsy". We couldn't have put it better ourselves!
Britain's Got Talent returns to ITV this Saturday (April 16) at 8pm! We can't wait to see who'll be stepping out to face the Judges...