Edinburgh’s Got Talent hopeful says ‘I was really shy so singing wasn’t naturally my thing’

We launch the first in our series profiling this year’s Edinburgh’s Got Talent finalists with Darren Gilbertson

IF LUCK is earned through hard work, Darren Gilbertson is going about things the right way.

The Clermiston man, 29, combines his life as a baker with hosting regular karaoke events, often leaving him with little more than three hours’ sleep a night.

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He is in the running for this year’s Edinburgh’s Got Talent, which will climax with a glamourous live final at the Playhouse at the end of the month.

He hopes success in the contest – which has already attracted more than 15,000 votes – will allow him to progress beyond the karaoke circuit he has worked on for the past decade.

Unlike most crooners, he did not discover his talent at an early age.

He said: “The first time I ever sang in public was after I’d turned 18. I’d always been really shy so singing wasn’t naturally my thing.

“But my mum was always talking about this karaoke night she went to so I decided to practice a song, then go along and sing it in front of my parents as a surprise.”

That number was UB40’s Kingston Town, and the crowd in his local – the Mid Yoken bar in East Craigs – gave him such an overwhelming response he decided to give singing a proper shot.

Shortly after, he auditioned for Good Times Entertainment, a business which puts on karaoke for bars in the Lothians, and convinced management there he was good enough to host regular events.

He can now be seen regularly in the Longstone Inn and Mackenzies Bar in Davidson’s Mains.

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Darren said: “It was quite difficult at first getting used to it all.

“I was absolutely fine with the singing – I could do that all night – but talking to the crowd and so on I found much harder.

“But that comes over time and I’m totally fine with it now.

“The support I’ve been getting for this from the Longstone Inn is unbelievable, making sure all the customers go and buy the Evening News to vote for me.”

But he revealed the timings of both his jobs are not always sympathetic.

He said: “On a Saturday night I’ll get finished at 1am, then I’m into work again at 5am to the bakery.

“But I’m passionate about both and don’t mind doing that. I really want to make the next step from karaoke, and cabaret is something I’d love to get into.”

He discovered he had made it into the top 11 acts of Edinburgh’s Got Talent in an unorthodox way while he was at his day job, at Morrisons in the Gyle Centre.

“They read out over the tannoy system that I’d made it through and everyone came up to congratulate me,” he said.

“For the rest of the day that was me flying.”

For more information on the live final, which takes place on October 28, visit www.talent.scotsman.com

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