Daily Mail Celebrity Look Alikes – Bridget Christie: ‘I saw the picture and I remember thinking: that man looks like me.’ Photo: Jay Brooks/The Guardian
Bridget Christie, Frank Skinner, Ben Miller, Rylan Clark-Neal and Jade Thirlwall sing famous people gone wrong.
Daily Mail Celebrity Look Alikes
As a child I was very interested in antiquities: old clothes, old furniture, ruins, monumental buildings. On weekends, mom and dad would take us kids in a van to Bedford (there were nine of us) to visit houses and castles. I don’t remember where it was, but on one of those trips I saw a picture of Charles II and I remember thinking: that guy looks like me. Did it have the special features I wanted? Yes – be the king!
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Then, in 2007, I wore it for my Edinburgh show The Court of King Charles II. The idea was that I traveled forward in time to the present day to see how life had changed. My opening sentence was something like, “Welcome to the court of King Charles II! Come with me now, back through the years. Imagine, if you can, a completely different time from today… a time when a good education was a privilege for the rich, when terrible acts of terrorism were committed in the name of religion, when we polluted our cities – the sea and we drank ourselves into oblivion. 17th century. The weather, as I said, is very different from yours! “
After the show, the Daily Mail noticed a picture of me dressed as Charles II for the real Charles II. They ran a story about a house for sale that he once visited and used me in costume to design it. I hope there will be a lot more of that happening after this article comes out. My dream is to do Who Do You Think You Are? and find out we are related. I’ve also been told I look like Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Russell Brand and a young Alex Salmond.
I was delighted to be dressed as Charlie again; the costume I made for myself was rubbish. When I got to the shoot and saw the weapon, I nearly wet myself with excitement – although I held the position while the (excellent) photographer took the right shot, I turned my back and had to see a chiropractor the following week.
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As a teenager, I was very self-conscious about my appearance. I hated my front teeth, they were crooked, but then in Brixton when I was 23 I got a cup and took them out, so now they are straight. Obviously, I think my best years were from 15 to 21, then 33 to 36. I do a lot of exercise, mostly because of my early osteoarthritis, but there’s an upside – the positive effects of all the endorphins and chemicals they release in your brain; I think it has had a positive impact on how I see myself.
I’m aging a little better than Charles II, but maybe that’s because his job (king) was more important than mine (clown). When I was 18, I looked like him at 18; now that I’m 48, I look like him at 32. He should have been doing jump squats.
I grew up on Laurel and Hardy. I know from my own experience that comedy has had a very strong sell-by date, but that doesn’t seem to apply to them; they made movies that I remember laughing at when I was five years old and that I would still love to watch today. Surprisingly, I was only 11 or 12 when my mother told me I looked like Stan Laurel. I know he’s the biggest loser, but I was glad to hear that. I think when someone says you look like a celebrity, you deny it vehemently and then go around hoping other people will say the same.
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Another person I often mistake is Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. There is one particular photo of her in a formal blue dress that I have to admit looks a lot like me. I think she grew into me, more than I grew into her. She was very attractive as a young woman and – in the kindest way – fell in love with me.
I don’t get many compliments on my looks. I used to worry about my appearance, but not anymore. Some people have a period when they look good and then it goes away. Remember the one a year and a half ago when Prince William looked really hot? That’s the hardest thing – give and then take away. I think I’ve always been a 62-year-old man-in-waiting. Even as a child, I looked good in a cardigan. These days I’ve embraced the “Bolivian peasant girl on the cover of National Geographic” look—it really stays put. There is a Laurel and Hardy movie called Atoll K where Laurel looks awful, older and very sick. When David Baddiel and I were doing photography, we used to say, “We’re looking at Atoll K a little bit,” so it became synonymous with aging.
I’ve always had a body type that meant I couldn’t take my shirt off at the beach, but I think that affects the comedy. You have to be anyone, which is hard if you look like Johnny Depp. Henry Normal told me I have a comedy face because I look like I’ve been kicked out. I’m never sure if really good people can be really funny.
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Ben Miller: ‘He keeps getting me wrong, especially when Strictly is on.’ Photo: Jay Brooks / The Guardian
If the look was fast, I’d be neutral. I’ve always had a face that people think belongs to someone else. When I was growing up in Nantwich I had a doppelganger I never met, and I often bumped into people who were sure it was me.
Once upon a time I was told I looked like Daniel Day-Lewis. Surprisingly, it used to be very strange to me, because I really wanted to make my mark on the world. Daniel Day-Lewis quickly turned into Griff Rhys Jones and now I enjoy looking like other people. My greatest weapon as an actor is my mediocrity.
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Rob Brydon and I do a lot of wrong to each other, and he texts me for updates on what happened (“Middle-class man, red hair, love Death In Paradise”). When that happens to me, sometimes I just take credit for his work. I could never see what it looked like until we both showed up at QI and they dressed identically and sat next to each other. Then I had to admit.
I have Anton du Beke on all the time, especially when Strictly is on. Once I was stopped in front of a cafe by a woman who said: “Anton, I’m glad to see you, wasn’t it a wonderful wedding?” I told her I hadn’t been to any weddings, but Anton was the real deal, so I think she thought I – or he – was moving on. Then she got angry and decided that Anton had become a little too big for his shoes. When I left she was still convinced that he had been extremely rude.
In my twenties, I thought a lot about my appearance. I was afraid I would start losing my hair – it was the worst thing I could think of. The weird thing is that when I started losing it, I didn’t care. The neurosis had to be due to something else. As an actor, you constantly get comments on your appearance and it actually makes you more self-conscious. You become trapped against any sense that your body belongs to you.
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I worry a lot less about how I look these days. As you grow older, there is still a chance to discover your dream look. Once you stop changing so much, you’ll realize that’s not going to happen. When you’re 16, you might look like George Clooney – who knows? But when you’re 53, you know you look like Anton du Beke.
Rylan Clark-Neal: ‘I only know Chelsea’s fixture list from my Twitter.’ Photo: Jay Brooks / The Guardian
I got about a thousand tweets every time Arsenal played, saying, “Rylan go ahead.” I had no idea what everyone was talking about. Then, a few years ago, I was watching football and a friend pointed to Olivier Giroud and said, “I thought that was you. Then the penny dropped. Now, I only know Chelsea’s fixture list from my Twitter feed. I feel bad for Olivier if he gets “Rylan!” he called him while he was playing. He might be thinking: Who is Rylan? And when he finds out, he thinks: am I like that?
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I’m very flattered by this comparison: he’s a good guy – but I don’t think I look like him. I wish I had. Maybe when my face is painted, it looks a bit like that. I’ve also been told I look like a young version of [veteran TV host] Ant Middleton, and
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