I started the agency because, well because I look like Heston Blumenthal. At first there was just me and my little Escort van and I delivered for catalogues mainly. I had a nice little job going, regular work, some regular customers who would chat and ask after the kids, and a manageable round. And it all started when I shaved my head.
Someone down the pub first mentioned I looked like Heston, and we all had a bit of a laugh about it. I don't even wear my glasses all the time so it was a bit of a joke really. Then customers started to comment, especially the ones I didn't know well or saw only once. Quite often it gave people a bit of a surprise and I like to think sometimes made their day. Heston fans in particular would ask me if I knew I looked like him and sometimes even if I was him.
The idea for the agency first came when I had the opportunity to deliver some extra locations on the round of a colleague who was on holiday. A couple were restaurants and one place was very excited at the thought of Heston Blumenthal delivering to him. He even pointed me out to a couple of diners, although I was trying to nip in and out to get on my way.
And so the idea was born. I decided I might as well take advantage of it and set up my agency. I got thicker rimmed glasses and kept my hair completely shaven. I upgraded the van and had a duck painted on the side, then got some overalls with the initials H B embroidered on. Then I set about advertising, as a serious delivery service and as a novelty service for businesses, parties and events.
The phone didn't stop and after a few weeks I had to take on staff to help. As long as they looked like someone famous, could drive and didn't mind lifting stuff, I employed them. I’ve got six vans now and a range of drivers. I have a Tommy Walsh and a Craig Phillips who deliver garden and building stuff. With me I have Jamie Oliver and we do most of the catering and retail deliveries. A Dara O’ Briain does general and he’s popular for the heavy deliveries. We’ve tied branching out into film stars and although there was quite a bit of demand, a number of customers were left disappointed by George Clooney and Tom Cruise couldn't reach the top shelf in the warehouse.
Next year I’m hoping to expand further and I think deliveries to swanky places like Heston’s own restaurant by top rival celebrity chefs could be big business. I’m even looking out for a Charles and Camilla double act, who could really clean up in the West End.