Mike Osman

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Mike Osman is an English radio presenter, impressionist and entertainer.

He was born in Millbrook, Southampton, England in August 1959, the fourth of seven brothers. After leaving Millbrook Community Secondary School at 16, he was briefly an apprentice metal-worker before joining the Royal Navy as a marine engineer and mechanic.

He entered a local talent competition in 1974 at the Saints public house, Millbrook and didn't make the top 3, television celebrity Hylda Baker was the judge and the top prize was £100, a lot of money back in 1974. Osman was only 15 years old at the time, cheeky smile and you could see that the potential was there. The contest was won by a female singer, singing 'Wouldn't It Be Lovely' and second place went to mime artist Pete Allen, winning £40, third place went to piano player Christine Ings who pocketed £20. This was the start of Osman's career.

He left the Navy in 1982, shortly before the Falkland Islands conflict, and became a salesman briefly before joining the family roof tiling business. In his spare time he started working in holiday camps and clubs as a semi-professional entertainer, turning full-time in 1984.

In 1985, he joined ITV's Copy Cats as an impressionist, working alongside Gary Wilmot and Bobby Davro. Over the next few years he had roles in Gloria Hunniford's Sunday Sunday show, The Generation Game, Noel's House Party and Big Break, and also as a guest on Sky Sports. He also did summer tours with Jim Davidson and Russ Abbot.

In the early 1990s he moved into the after-dinner speaker market. At a boxing function at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, London in 1996 he was spotted by Capital Radio programme controller Richard Park, who invited Osman to do a Saturday football, music and comedy show on Capital Gold, called Home and Away with Mike and the Dugout Crew with his brothers David and Tony and friend Dave, for a fee of £50 a show. Within a few weeks, they were offered the 10am to 1pm weekday show, and Osman and his colleagues, now renamed as “Mike and the Naughty Boys” were reputed to be earning £125,000 a year. After 2 years at Capital Gold they replaced Tony Blackburn on the prime breakfast show.

After 6 years, Osman quit the show in 2002 as the early morning starts were taking their toll on his health. Since then he has had a variety of short-term roles in television.

In 2005 he was one of the founding directors of troubled channel Sound TV which was only on air for about 10 months.

In 2006-07 he was employed by Southampton Football Club to warm up the crowd before their matches at St Mary's Stadium. From then until summer 2009 he presented a Sunday morning show on BBC Radio Solent.

He is married to Jill and they have a daughter Katie, aged 20, who is also a committed Saints football fan.[1]

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