NEVER heard of Darren Farley? You will soon. The guy’s only been famous a week, and he’s already proved he can do more impressions than Les Dennis.
Farley has become a YouTube phenomenon thanks to his ability to perform disturbingly accurate impressions of Liverpool stars past and present – Rafa Benitez, Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher (complete with nose-clearing action), Michael Owen and Peter Crouch.
A video of Farley – seemingly in his mate’s shop – taking off the verbal quirks of Benitez and Co was posted on YouTube a week last Friday. Since then, it has attracted more than 250,000 hits, and had local and national media desperately trying to track him down.
Sky Sports succeeded a few days ago, and filmed their own version of Farley’s impressions outside Anfield. He has also made his way on to Radio Five Live. A career in after-dinner speaking and TV presenting is his his for the taking, should he want it. At the very least, he could be on Soccer AM every week for the next 10 years.
I’m serious. You may wonder how someone could possibly build a career on five impressions. But Les Dennis managed it with three: Mavis from Coronation Street, Frank Spencer and Rigsby from Rising Damp – all characters created by actors putting on exaggerated verbal tics, rather than real people. So Farley is already ahead of the game. All he needs now is a catchphrase, in the style of “If it’s up there, I’ll give you the money myself.”
Then again, if he has a read of Dennis’ autobiography, ‘Must The Show Go On?’ – a book of almost unremitting pain and self-excoriation – Farley might decide that he’s safer in his mate’s shop.
Actually, there is a ghostly link between Farley’s act and Dennis’. Farley’s impression of Peter Crouch brings home just how much the Portsmouth striker sounds like Frank Spencer.
This means I can no longer watch Crouch play without feeling that he should be wearing a beret, skateboarding into a river and declaring: “Ooh, Harry. The cat’s done a whoopsie in the penalty area.”
Thanks, Darren. You truly are a comic genius.