This Kenilworth boy is often mistaken for a major star. Can you guess who?

Being mistaken for American rapper Eminem is what Kenilworth teenager Charlie Kennell gets paid for.

The 18-year-old look-a-like, of The Close, is often asked to play the hugely successful musician in videos and television programmes. He looks so similar to the controversial star, he has grown used to the stares as he walks down the street.

His latest project will see him appear on Sky television on Sunday, in a documentary called The Real Slim Shady.

Charlie, a former pupil of St Nicholas Primary and Kenilworth School, says he only became an Eminem fan after friends and family spotted the likeness between them.

He said: "It started when Eminem brought out his first album.

"My hair wasn't even blonde then and people still noticed. I wasn't a fan, but I had a closer look at myself and thought, yes, I can see the similarity, but I'm not dyeing my hair. Then I got really into his music and eventually went blonde. Now I feel I can really relate to him - he's cheeky and arrogant but he has serious points to make. People think what he means is obvious, but it's not."

As well as the admiration he gets - particularly from Eminem's female fans - Charlie says he is often criticised too.

"I get grief about it from some people - teachers and other lads who are just jealous. For every few fans Eminem has, there are others who don't like him. But I don't mind the attention. I quite like it. It's on such a small level, compared to what Eminem himself would get.

"Some days, I can hear everyone talking about me as I walk along. It can be irritating if I'm with my family, and I don't like it if they say I'm Eminem's little brother or a mini Eminem instead. He is a lot older than me."

His mum is particularly proud of her almost-famous son.

He said: "She never stops going on about it.

"Every time I get a new shoot or I'm on television her phone bill must go right up."

Charlie completed a course at Warwickshire College when he left school. He now operates a mobile disco, and has recently been employed to manage entertainment at Mirage - a club in Coventry which is reopening on September 13.

He has tried rapping, but concentrates on looking like Eminem rather than reproducing his music.

Sunday's documentary will be about 8 Mile, a film in which Eminem played the lead.

Charlie said: "My agent rang me up last Wednesday at really late notice and asked me what I was doing.

"I was free, so I went along to play Eminem in copies of his music videos. They couldn't get permission to use the originals in the documentary.

"One scene that sticks in my mind is being surrounded by beautiful women, with a cigar on the go."

l The Real Slim Shady will be shown at 9pm on Sky 1.


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