Aloha ladies and gentlemen, Elvis Presley has entered the building
Su Carroll talks to Gordon Hendricks about bringing Elvis to the stage.
Picture the scene. Gordon Hendricks is four years old and he's on the streets outside his home in Stoke on Trent, plank of wood in hand, pretending he's Elvis Presley.
Gordon is 42 now and the love of Elvis has not only helped him through some tough times in his life, it's also led to a career which has taken him around the world.
Tonight, Matthew, Gordon Hendricks is going to be Elvis – winner of the 2005 Stars in Their Eyes title, the 2011 European Elvis Champion, one of the top three Elvis impersonators in the world.
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"I feel a real connection with him," says Gordon, who credits Elvis with helping him cope with a difficult childhood.
"I was brought up by my grandparents because my mum had me really young and couldn't really cope. They were quite elderly and brought me up in quite an old-fashioned kind of way.
"I was quite a loner as a child but Elvis's music, for me, was a lifeline. I used to listen to the lyrics and there was always an Elvis record to comfort me. And he's always been part of my life."
In karaoke sessions, Gordon discovered a talent for singing Elvis songs and was encouraged to get a tribute act together. There was an overwhelming reaction to his first public performance in 2003. Two years later he won Stars in Their Eyes.
With accolades from all quarters for his authentic performances, Gordon has based his career on Elvis's.
"It sounds a bit crazy, but I first started with early Elvis, then went through the leather outfits in the comeback stage and now I'm in the jumpsuit era!"
Gordon is not just in the jumpsuit era, he has recreated a very specific point in time – the Aloha From Hawaii show which was originally broadcast live to the world on January 14, 1973. It marked one of the high points of The King's career.
"In 1973 it was unheard of for someone to do a concert worldwide," says Gordon. "It was seen by a billion people via satellite. His career wasn't on the decline, but he was missing out on the world music scene. People look at it as the best time in his career.
"I used to watch Aloha From Hawaii and wonder what it was like to sit in the audience. It must have been amazing to watch Elvis walk on stage.
"It has never been recreated before. But we have to do it properly. We have the costumes, the wigs, the instruments, the backdrops. Everything.
"This is about coming to see Elvis the man."
Gordon pays incredible attention to detail with the act. For Aloha From Hawaii he is backed by 20 musicians and singers in a show packed with great songs – Suspicious Minds, Something, Burning Love, My Way and What Now My Love. He says it has the "most awesome" sound.
"I'm not just an Elvis impersonator. People don't appreciate that until they come and see me on stage. I try to change into the man himself.
"I want people to experience what it was like to see Elvis and I feel that I have achieved that now.
"This is something very special."
Elvis Presley's Aloha from Hawaii – A 40th Anniversary Celebration is at the Hall for Cornwall, Truro, on Thursday, September 5.