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Big Brother Is Watching Uke: Romford ukulele player appears live on Channel 5 reality show

PUBLISHED: 16:54 17 July 2012 | UPDATED: 17:10 17 July 2012

John Mattock of D'Ukes, who appeared on national TV this week

John Mattock of D'Ukes, who appeared on national TV this week

Archant

A Romford ukulele player is hoping he struck a chord with millions of Big Brother viewers on Monday when his band appeared live on the show.

John Mattock, of Harrow Crescent, was asked to perform a version of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” with his ukulele outfit D’Ukes while the housemates devised a hoedown dance.

Despite the huge audience, the plucky 62-year-old wasn’t strung out.

“You don’t think about it because you’re quite isolated,” he told the Recorder. “To get into it you have go through various security stages.

“It came completely out of the blue.”

Mr Mattock said he had got involved with D’Ukes as a hobby – but the band had got bigger than its members ever expected.

“We just thought we’d go to a few summer fetes and possibly a festival, and maybe do a show in a residential home – but it’s sort of spiralled,” said the retired council worker.

“We played in a Hackney pub in November and two people saw us there – one asked us to do a wedding in Bethnal Green and another asked us to go to the Czech Republic so we did a number of gigs around Prague.

“I’m quite surprised people want a ukulele band, but it’s something different.”

With shows lined up at Havering and Brentwood theatres, Mr Mattock isn’t expecting any more million-strong audiences just yet – but says he’ll keep playing as long as people want him to.

“Half the band are retired from working,” he added. “It’s all a hobby to us.

“There’s not a lot of money in it because there’s eight of us in the band, but that was never the intention – it was just a really enjoyable thing to do.”

You can watch D’Ukes on episode 44 of Big Brother (Monday July 16th) at www.channel5.com/shows/big-brother.

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