By Liana Jacob
MEET THE CLEANER who looks so much like SIMON COWELL that he’s STUNNED celebrities including the BGT JUDGE HIMSELF and has even been asked by clients to CLEAN WINDOWS DRESSED LIKE HIM.
Uncanny pictures show window cleaner, Andy Penfold (54) from East Sussex, UK, donning slick black Ray-Ban sunglasses just like Simon Cowell.
In one picture, Andy can be seen standing next to the Britain’s Got Talent judges, including Simon himself, and another picture shows him with his thumbs up next to Peter Andre.
In the summer of 2014, Andy had backstage tickets at the Isle of Wight festival to watch the band Republica perform, as he is friends with the lead singer.
He forgot his glasses and ended up buying a new pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses for the event. When he put them on, he was suddenly ambushed by people there who noticed the resemblance between him and Simon Cowell.
He was then encouraged to send in a picture to a lookalike agency, who signed him, and he has since been attending numerous charity events dressed as Simon Cowell.
On the same year, he was offered a job to feature in a music video with the band Rouge Kiss who were contestants on the X Factor. He was then invited to the set of Britain’s Got More Talent (BGMT) where he met Simon, Amanda Holden, David Walliams and Alesha Dixon, who were all shocked by their resemblance.
He has had many strangers approach him for pictures and even in his paid cleaning job, he’s had clients ask him to clean their windows dressed as Simon Cowell.
“A friend of ours, Saffron, is the lead singer of Republica, and they were playing the Isle of Wight festival, she very kindly invited us as backstage guests,” said Andy.
“On the day of the concert I forgot my glasses, so I purchased a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses. All of a sudden, people were around me telling me I looked like Simon Cowell; I guess being in the VIP area helped.
“I worked with various brands through the agency such as Thornton’s Chocolate, Intu Shopping Centre, Kerry Foods, Yara UK.
“I worked for Talk Talk and the X Factor Final; I was there for the whole weekend with their corporate clients at Wembley Stadium, then went in for the final.
“To pick out a couple of funny moments; one was early on, myself and four of the guys from the Rugby Club travelled to Wolverhampton, to do a version of the Full Monty for 250 ladies on a hen night. It raised just over £2,500 for Cancer Research.
“When I was in Hollywood, we found Simon’s house and I stood outside for a picture. A tour bus drove past and you could hear the narrator say, ‘Geeze, Simon’s outside’.
“At that point people at the back of the bus went mad with flashing cameras which was so funny. It makes you wonder how far around the world pictures travel.”
Andy admits that it has been a rollercoaster and he has been able to help raise money for charity due to his resemblance to Simon.
At first, he never tried to emulate Simon’s style, but when he discovered how similar they looked, he made more of an effort to keep up with his outfits.
“When I am out on, let’s say, official bookings, I slightly adjust my hair etc. basically, the canvas is there, I am just enhancing it,” he said.
“Fortunately, the way Simon dresses are quite easy to follow, I do have jeans slightly altered for looks, and once I had a suit made in Thailand based on his which I wore on BGMT.
“I think he’s an absolute gent, he does a lot for so many people that goes unnoticed, he’s genuine person. I think his reaction says it all on the show, amazing, he was an absolute gent too. I met him twice since.
“I guess as I’m older, the comparison doesn’t bother me, you still get the odd ‘why would you want to look like him,’ but you just let it go over you.
“A lady actually stopped her car in the middle of the road, shouting out ‘Simon’ and she came towards me wanting a photo. Bless her she was shaking like a leaf.
“She only realised at the last minute I wasn’t him, but wanted a photo anyway, and said your damn good.
“I have had the odd comment about cleaning windows dressed as Simon, but that’s a no from me; one job pays the bills and one is having fun raising money for charities, and maybe, building up a pension fund.
“Simon was a nice guy when I met him, and as long as I’m putting a smile on people’s faces, that’s what matters.”
For more information visit: www.instagram.com/simonc.lookalike