I made £75k a year as the world’s top Beckham lookalike – I partied with Rod Stewart, but there was a dark side

ANDY Harmer, 45, runs a lookalikes agency and lives in Eastbourne. 

“Feeling despondent after watching David Beckham get sent off in the 1998 World Cup, I heard my phone ring and when I answered it, a man’s voice said: ‘How do you feel disgracing your country? You’d better watch out.’

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“Stunned, I told him he’d got the wrong number and I hung up.

David and Victoria Beckaham lookalikes Andy Harmer and Camilla Shadbolt
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David and Victoria Beckaham lookalikes Andy Harmer and Camilla Shadbolt

Andy's pals began telling him that he and his then-girlfriend were the image of Posh and Becks
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Andy’s pals began telling him that he and his then-girlfriend were the image of Posh and Becks

Andy said: 'Within a few months I had to leave my job as we were getting so many bookings, doing newspaper and magazine shoots'
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Andy said: ‘Within a few months I had to leave my job as we were getting so many bookings, doing newspaper and magazine shoots’


Just 19, I’d been working as a David Beckham lookalike for around a year and couldn’t believe what had just happened. How had they got my phone number? Did they think I was the real Beckham?

I put it down to drunk men at the pub messing around and thought no more of it. But a few days later, I discovered my car had been completely burnt out.

Being young and not wanting to cause a fuss, I didn’t report the incident and eventually the abuse stopped.

It was crazy – but as I was learning, there was never a dull moment impersonating one of the most famous footballers on the planet.

Aged 18, I was working at a mate’s garage valeting cars, when people began telling me and my then-girlfriend, Camilla Shadbolt, that we were the image of Posh and Becks.

We signed up to a lookalikes agency, not thinking much would come of it.

But within a few months I had to leave my job as we were getting so many bookings, doing newspaper and magazine shoots, VIP club appearances and openings.

Realising I could make a lucrative career out of it, I began to pore over photos to copy David’s ever-changing clothes and hairstyles.

I also watched hours of video footage so I could adopt his mannerisms, like the slight eyebrow raise and the way he smiles.

And of course, I perfected my football tricks, which people loved.

Within a year, Camilla and had I split up, but we remained firm friends and carried on being Posh and Becks, spending the next 20 years travelling the world.

I’ve since worked on a lot of high-profile jobs, doubling for Beckham on adverts for Pepsi, Adidas, Vodafone and PlayStation, alongside some of the world’s top footballers including Zinedine Zidane and Roberto Carlos.
David Beckham fires stern warning to Man Utd flops ahead of FA Cup final against Man City
In 2001, I even got to meet David himself while working on a Pepsi ad, where he shook my hand and said a quick hello.

I appeared in the movie Bend It Like Beckham, where I met Keira Knightley before she became an A-lister, and I helped create Channel 4’s show Lookalikes, which was based on my lookalikes agency, which I also starred in.

In 2003, a newspaper sent me to Madrid to spark rumours that the Beckhams might be moving there. I caused mass hysteria and was in newspapers all over the world!

On another job at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff for the 2006 FA Cup final, Rod Stewart invited me into his private box.

He was so friendly – I had to pinch myself that he wanted to meet me because I was a Becks lookalike!

Knowing that my time as David Beckham had a shelf life, I’ve diversified over the years. In 2003, I became a hit in Japan with my band The Copycats. We released one album, and are still in touch today.

In 2010, I appeared on Britain’s Got Talent with the celebrity variety act I’d created, The Chippendoubles, featuring me as Beckham and others as David Brent, Mr T, Gordon Ramsay, Simon Cowell, Daniel Craig and Will Smith.

Simon said, in a way, it was his favourite act and we got through to the semi-finals.

It hasn’t all been glitz and glamour, though.

As well as the abuse after the 1998 World Cup, many women were only attracted to me because they loved Beckham, and obviously, I wasn’t really him.

Becks poses topless in this iconic shot
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Becks poses topless in this iconic shot

Andy said: 'Rod Stewart invited me into his private box. He was so friendly – I had to pinch myself that he wanted to meet me because I was a Becks lookalike!'
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Andy said: ‘Rod Stewart invited me into his private box. He was so friendly – I had to pinch myself that he wanted to meet me because I was a Becks lookalike!’Credit: Shutterstock

Andy and Camilla came out of retirement to be Posh and Becks again for TK Maxx’s 30th birthday shoot
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Andy and Camilla came out of retirement to be Posh and Becks again for TK Maxx’s 30th birthday shoot
In May 2013, when he retired from football, I went from travelling the world to being booked for kids’ parties, teaching them footie tricks.

But, I wasn’t bitter, because over the years, I’d had a ball and made up to £75k a year from it.

Now I run my own successful agency, Lookalikes, supplying celebrity impersonators and tribute acts.

In May, Camilla and I came out of retirement to be Posh and Becks again for TK Maxx’s 30th birthday shoot.

I also have a beautiful daughter, Scarlett-Rose, 10, who some say looks like Beckham’s daughter Harper.

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