A singing dad has become an unlikely celebrity in a small European country, after notching up nearly 15,000 hits on YouTube.
James Healless, 52, who uses the stage name ‘James Bagatel’, wants to launch a singing career and has turned to tonight’s Eurovision Song Contest for inspiration.
The dad-of-five uploaded footage of his rendition of Estonia’s entry, Rockefeller Street, on the video-sharing website last week, and now has almost 15,000 hits.
James, who lives in Stansted Road, Chorley, said: “I think it’s great that my performance is so popular, and people have been commenting that it’s even better than the version performed by the singer for Eurovision.
“I’ve appeared on news websites in Estonia, and have been contacted by someone from a TV show to interview me. I’m really surprised by it all.”
It took James just three days to create the video, and he’s now the focus of a cult following in the capital of the Baltic state, Tallinn.
He’s aiming to promote his own album and chose to cover the song performed by artist Getter Jaani to establish a large audience.
“I’m just catching a wave,” he said.
“A lot of people love Eurovision, and I think 95% of my fans are from Estonia.
“I had about 4,000 hits in the first 24 hours, which is fantastic.
“It’s amazing how many views you can get from targeting the right people.”
At first, he put ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ in the title of his videos, but realised the current trend was for the European singing competition.
He said: “I chose the song Rockefeller Street because it suits my style, not necessarily because I’m supporting Estonia.
“I play the guitar and sing, and I’m focusing on my music full-time at the moment.”
This year’s show is on BBC One tonight at 8pm.