A chance encounter at a festival has lead to a man from Brighton becoming a celebrity lookalike.

Andy Penfold has the honour of being a dead ringer for X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent creator, Simon Cowell.

The 50-year-old discovered his uncanny resemblance to Mr Cowell after purchasing a £5 pair of sunglasses at the Isle of Wight Festival two years ago.

“After I put them on, oh my god, everyone thought I was Simon Cowell.

“I’d always had a few Simon Cowell comments but never anything like that.”

After the festival, Mr Penfold decided to purchase a pair of high trousers and a Simon Cowell block haircut to see how far he could take his doppelganger status.

Since being signed by Susan Scott lookalikes, one of the largest lookalike agencies in the country, Mr Penfold has taken part in a number of events in the South, including talent shows and charity fundraisers. However, Mr Penfold was keen to remind people that while he looks like Simon Cowell, he believes his personality is very different from that of ‘Mr Nasty’.

He said: “It’s a bit difficult sometimes because some people don’t like Simon Cowell and not many people want to have their photo taken with him.

“I try and put my own personality forward like at my last event when I rode a bucking bronco. Simon Cowell wouldn’t do that!”

Mr Penfold has also had the pleasure of meeting his lookalike face to face at a dog show in Brighton six years ago.

At the event, Mr Cowell looked to be at least two inches taller than Mr Penfold, but many of Mr Penfold’s friends jokingly suspect that the celebrity was wearing Cuban heels.

Although he has kept his day job of running a cleaning company, Mr Penfold is not against the idea of donning the high-waist trousers full-time.

He said: “This is just a bit of fun at the minute but it will be great if it goes further. It would be nice not to have to get up a five am every morning.”

Mr Cowell is a former resident of the Brighton area, and his mother, Julie, currently resides in Rottingdean.

For more information on Mr Penfold, visit www.lookslikesimon.co.uk