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Sunday, 21 May, 2000, 03:14 GMT 04:14 UK
A kind of magic for Stars winner
Gary Mullin
Matthew Kelly congratulates the Freddie Mercury mimic
Rock legend Freddie Mercury was revived by a computer salesman from Glasgow for a winning performance in the television show Stars In Their Eyes.


Freddie Mercury has been my lifelong hero

Gary Mullen
A record 2.2 million viewers voted on the telephone and internet in the contest between 10 former heat winners of the ITV soundalike series.

Queen fan Gary Mullen, 26, spoke the words "Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be Freddie Mercury" before his rendition of It's a Kind of Magic attracted 860,000 votes from show's audience.

Support for the Queen classic doubled the number who voted for Stephen Triffitt, a househusband from Weston-super-Mare who appeared as Frank Sinatra.

Career change

Mr Mullen, who is married with a young son, said he had been a huge Queen fan since he was a small boy.

"I just feel light-headed and shocked," he said after winning the ultimate karaoke crown.

"I feel really bad for everybody else.

"Before the show we all sat down and had a chat and a cup of tea together and said the result didn't matter - we just wanted to entertain everybody."

Mr Mullen, from Barrhead in Glasgow, said he now hoped the success would open the door to a full-time musical career.

"Freddie Mercury has been my lifelong hero. I have been singing his songs for years in my bathroom, but quietly.

"My other singing has been with a local band and in karaokes."

Gary admitted he bore little resemblance to his hero and praised the make-up artists for his transformation.

He said his friends would not have expected him to choose Freddie Mercury.

"When they heard I was going to be on all my pals asked whether I was going to be Phil Collins or Elton John because of my lack of hair."

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