Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Briton soars to fame on Chinese TV

Cardiff-born Iain Ingles shot to fame after appearing on China's Got Talent and delighting millions with his novelty act
Cardiff-born Iain Ingles shot to fame after appearing on China's Got Talent and delighting millions with his novelty act

A British university lecturer has become a must-see TV celebrity across China with an array of renditions of red revolutionary songs.

Cardiff-born Iain Ingles shot to fame after appearing on China's Got Talent and delighting millions with his novelty act.

Dressed in a Red Army uniform and singing songs extolling the virtues of Chairman Mao and socialism, he reached the show's semi-final. Now he is riding a lucrative wave of celebrity appearances and pocketing £5,000 a time for singing on local and national TV in China.

Susan Boyle shot to fame when her unsuspected singing abilities were discovered on Britain's Got Talent. The Scottish star's talents were quickly the toast of the country and she went on to find massive international fame.

When Mr Ingles opens his mouth, however, his efforts are often met with laughter.

"I'm a tall, white foreigner from Wales singing songs about Communism in Chinese," he told the WalesOnline website.

"It was a bit of fun to start off with but the more performances I did, the more I was hooked. For some reason the Chinese people seem to find it quite hilarious."

Despite the reaction, the 30-year-old has captured the hearts of Chinese TV audiences and is in demand across the country.

Mr Ingles, a Russian and German language graduate, lives on the tropical Chinese island of Hanya with his wife, Yu Yanling. His unusual choice of singing material stems from a CD of red songs bought while on holiday in China and which he later learned.

He went on to reach the last 16 on China's Got Talent and boosted the show's already high ratings in the process.

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