As Robert Young enters his 43rd year, his commitment to faithfully mimicking his rock’n’roll idol Elvis Presley is visibly taking its toll. Determined to emulate Presley’s last days, Young had scrupulously matched the King’s pharmaceutical intake, pill for pill.
‘The 26 stone was tricky, but then I discovered I could wash down 25 hamburgers a day using milkshake,’ he said. ‘It hasn’t been easy, swallowing 47 tablets a day, what with the weird side effects and everything. I had to move next door to Boots – it’s hard to walk any distance wearing a rhinestone-encrusted outfit three sizes too small.’
There are some minor advantages to being morbidly obese, with alarming sideburns: ‘I don’t get mobbed by hysterical female fans like in the old days,’ he says. ‘Mind you, I do sometimes get mistaken for the late Cyril Smith, which is a whole new problem in itself.’
Young now has the unenviable task of faking his own death. ‘It’s not being a recluse that will be difficult, but I’m not looking forward to sharing a room with Lord Lucan, Amelia Earhart and Andy Kaufman. What will we have to chat about?’