A portrait of Derek

¨I wish I could meet Winston Churchill! If I did, I would tell him how much I admire him.¨ This is what Derek was telling me as he was dressing up as Winston Churchill, in the ball room of a Hotel in Chester, about 4 hours away north of London.

I came here because I wanted to add this portrait to my series “My Other Self”. Derek and I had been talking for a few months, and he kindly agreed to be part of the project.

At 9.45am I walk to the parking lot, it was a cold rainy morning. Enough to cover my iphone screen with drops of water, in the few seconds that I had it out to text Derek a meeting point.

We make eye contact, Derek is wearing his Winston Churchill jacket, but all the accessories are hidden in a plastic bag that he is carrying with him. He has a big smile in his face and a trucker hat is protecting him from the drizzle.

Derek is an entertainer, and this is what he has done all his life. He’s got a calm soothing voice, that pulls you into any story that he tells. “I am an actor, a singer and a musician. You know that I have appeared in many shows in the telly?”

My light and backdrop were ready before he arrived. Right in front of my eyes, Derek Herbert turned into Winston Churchill. His face wrinkled in a familiar way, his mouth changed shape as his forehead frowned in the most Churchillian gesture.

“One day I performed as Winston Churchill in the very same spot where he stood during the war in the map/plotting room at the height of the Battle of Britain, in the Battle of Britain Bunker,Uxbridge. This has to be one of the most memorable moments in my life, impersonating Winston Churchill”

As Derek carried on talking to me and drinking his large black americano, I couldn’t stop thinking what a surreal moment it was, seeing Churchill sipping coffee from a Starbucks cup.

“I admire Winston Churchill and his legacy. He believed that he was destined to lead Great Britain during the dark days of WW2. I would’ve loved to meet him. I would thank him because of the opportunity he has given me, to meet many interesting people at some wonderful venues, it has been a real privilege”

This was the longest session I’ve had for this series of portraits, but it was well worth the time and the trip! Thanks Derek for your time. If you want to see what this project (My Other Self) is about you can read more about it in this link https://medium.com/felixriosphotography/my-other-self-9988a48903f1

This is Derek’s website! You can share some love with him there http://www.churchill-lookalike.co.uk/