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Last Updated: Friday, 20 June, 2003, 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK
Beckham lookalikes mean business
By Andy Rose
BBC News Online

David Beckham (left) and Paul Mansley as David Beckham
Spotting the difference was a problem for Japanese fans
The 25m transfer of David Beckham from Manchester United to Real Madrid is not only good news for old "Golden balls" himself.

His legion of lookalikes are rubbing their hands with glee as bookings pour in for their promotional services.

Leeds student Paul Mansley created mass hysteria in Japan when 10,000 screaming fans swamped him as he beat the real Becks to his own Tokyo press conference on Thursday.

Agency manager Danielle Constantine admits the earning potential for those with the right look has never been higher.

It's nuts we're so busy at the moment
Danielle Constantine, agency manager

She said: "I've got just under 1,000 lookalikes on my books but 95% of the work is going to my David and Victoria Beckhams.

"At the moment we have four of each with some on their way back from Madrid, Paul in Japan and two more 'Beckhams' going out there at the weekend.

"It's nuts, we're so busy at the moment."

Ms Constantine, 30, "discovered" Mr Mansley - her latest Becks - minding his own business in a swanky club in Leeds in February.

In the limelight

The 21-year-old, from Scunthorpe, is in his first year at university studying an arts and communications degree.

Ms Constantine has been running her blossoming business empire from her Bradford home for the past two years and insists the career for her lookalikes, while not guaranteed, can certainly be financially rewarding.

She said: "They can go on earning for as long as Becks is in the limelight which at the moment appears a long way off.

"Paul will probably earn about 30,000 in his first year but another of my Beckhams is earning double that at the moment.

"David and Victoria are always the first people anyone ever asks for."

'Claustrophobic'

Speaking to the BBC from Japan Mr Mansley said he was shocked by the reception he received.

He said: "I've got a body guard outside my hotel room.

"Its claustrophobic. Even if I tell them [the fans] I am not David Beckham until I am blue in the face they don't believe me because they don't really grasp the concept of lookalikes over here."

Paul Mansley was accompanied in Japan by a BBC Three camera crew filming an edition of Celebdaq.


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