Damon Scott

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Damon Scott
Rex damon scott 671336co.jpg
Damon on Britain's Got Talent in June 2007
Background information
Birth name Damon Charles Scott
Also known as The Monkey Man
Born (1979-10-18) October 18, 1979 (age 34)
Salisbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Occupations Singer-comedian, puppeteer,
Years active 1996–present
Website www.damonscott.co.uk

Damon Scott (born 1979 in Salisbury) is a British male entertainer made famous for his appearance in the first series of the hit[1] ITV variety talent show Britain's Got Talent.[2] Although Damon has an extensive range of acts, he is best known for his performances with monkey puppets, earning him the nickname The Monkey Man which became the title of a BBC documentary[3] based on Damon’s achievements.[4]

En-Masse[edit]

En-Masse logo.

Before becoming better known for his monkey routines Damon was part of a 40-strong group of singers from Southampton and Salisbury who come together to put on concerts twice a year under the name “En-Masse”.[5] The pop and soul collective, which Damon was associated with covers a wide variety of music ranging from disco to motown and rock to soul. As a member of En-Masse Damon underwent one-to-one vocal training with The Southern School of Popular Singing, as well as rehearsing his "fat harmony" sound every week. As well as performing at the 900-capacity Salisbury City Hall twice a year, en-masse toured many locations and released 3 albums and one single.

British Resorts Association Search for a Star[edit]

In 1999, Damon entered the nationwide British Resorts Association Search for a Star Contest which was sponsored by the Southern Daily Echo newspaper, the competition which is now in its 33rd year [6] is open to any kind of act from singers to dancers and musicians. When Damon appeared in the semi-final at the Bournemouth Pavilion he took not just the judges by storm, but the audience as well! Receiving best specialty award, the Stan Sowden Memorial Trophy, cash awards totaling £500, the out-right judges vote and the audience vote.[7][8] The national final saw Damon take first prize, and collect a trophy, a cheque for £2,750, a voucher for a £400 costume, and entries in two stage prestigious publications, again winning the audience vote and best speciality act award.[9]

Following Damon’s success he was “spotted” when the head cameraman from the BBC attended the Southern Daily Echo Star Trail semi-final and he suggested to fellow programme makers that Damon would be a perfect subject for the BBC2 real life series which profiles the lives and careers of people aged 18–25.

When they started filming Damon they decided to make a special one-hour programme for BBC1 just about him and his puppets. In addition, they made a 20-minute pilot sit-com involving Damon playing a character called George, and his monkey puppet Bubbles. This was filmed over five days.

For the documentary Damon was filmed around his home town of Salisbury with Bubbles doing everyday “human” things like withdrawing money from a cash dispenser and buying clothes in Top Man. He was also filmed doing local shows and at home – the family-owned Park House Motel at Cholderton.[10]

Gene Pitney & Damon[edit]

An article on Pitney's tour, featuring Scott.

Damon later had a chance to celebrate after landing a major UK tour with music legend Gene Pitney. Damon was spotted by music promoter Derek Nicol after he won Southern Daily Echo Star Trail and went on to represent Bournemouth at the British Resorts Association national final in Leamington Spa. Mr Nicol was one of the judges who awarded Damon not only first place but also the award for best speciality act. On the basis of an eight-minute performance, Mr Nicol has asked Damon to do the entire first half of each show on the 22-date tour. The tour started off at South end’s Cliffs Pavilion on April 25, 2000 and ended at the Bristol Hippodrome on May 21, 2000. Damon played his home town of Salisbury on May 20. A total audience of around 60,000 people saw him and many of the venues sold out. This was the third major British tour for the American singer in less than two years and came as a result of the phenomenal demand for the tickets on the two previous outings.[11][12]

Britain's Got Talent[edit]

In the early summer of 2007, ITV broadcast the first series of Britain's Got Talent which was to become a smash hit variety talent show.

Damon's audition[edit]

Damon entered the auditions with his unique act with a monkey puppet named Bubbles, lipsynching to Michael Jackson songs. Damon and his monkey puppet, which mimes Jackson's "Earth Song", was the first to be given the thumbs up from the judges after receiving a standing ovation from the 2000-strong live audience and rave reviews from the judges, Watching Damon's bizarre antics from the wings of the Millennium Stadium, hosts Ant & Dec creased up. "A singing monkey." giggled Ant, "....write this down, Dec. This is the future for me and you."[13] Simon went on to say "Your timing is perfect and that's the difference between being talented and entertaining. That was super entertaining"[14] then went on to joke that "It says a lot about the world today that I'm enjoying a monkey puppet more than Michael Jackson!".[15]

Later on, commenting about the semi-final line-up in a column in The Sun titled "Simon's Super Six", Simon Cowell went on to say "Damon's first audition was so likable. But is he a one-trick monkey? This is the challenge. If he can do as well as he did in the auditions, he can make the final."[16]

Semi-final[edit]

On 14 June 2007, the first of three semifinals was broadcast live. Damon was among eight acts to perform for a place in the final. His act brought a different monkey puppet, named Stephen which he performed the song "No Matter What" by Boyzone. Towards the end of the act, Damon sang with the puppet, getting the thumbs up from two of the three judges.[17]

After the semi-final[edit]

After the semi-final in her Daily Mirror column Amanda Holden went on to say "In the auditions Monkey Boy was my top choice one of my personal favorites. I championed him from the start.[18] He's got the talent and he'll give everyone a run for their money. He wasn't just another vent act, he injected new life into this art form. I've got no hint of what he'll do in the final but he'll pull out all the stops."[19]

Bobby Crush, A Pianist Bobby and six-time winner on Opportunity Knocks in 1972, has been impressed by monkey ventriloquist Damon Scott. commenting "He has quite an original act," Bobby said. "I have a soft spot for ventriloquists because I wrote Orville's Song for Keith Harris and Orville the duck." then added: "Lets hope Britain's Got Talent is a sign of a comeback for variety."[20]

Final[edit]

The final was broadcast live on 17 June 2007. Damon returned with Bubbles to the delight of the judges, however opera singer Paul Potts was crowned the winner.

After the show[edit]

Damon was invited to the 'Grand Order Of The Water Rats' Annual ball 2007 as a guest in the Great Room of the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, and was delighted to not only be nominated for the 'Serge Ganjou Award' but to win it and collect the £4000 prize which he intends to use on improving & upgrading his act."[21] Damon has recently become a patron and trustee of UK Charity Gambian Enterprise.

Personal life[edit]

Damon was born in Salisbury in 1979 where he currently still resides with his parents Sue and Ron, and his brothers, Warren and Justin. His family are all in the catering/hospitality business.

In October 2013, it was revealed that he was in a relationship with Craig Revel Horwood, known for his role on Strictly Come Dancing.[22]

References[edit]

External links[edit]