LEWIS Sylvester has made a career as an Anthony Joshua lookalike and body double – raking in as much as £16,000 for a booking.
The 38-year-old from Birmingham, who is also a banker, was told by a former boss that he looked like the ex-boxing champ and was urged to sign up to a lookalike agency five years ago.
Since then, he has appeared alongside the real AJ – stepping in as his body double on high-profile ads for Lynx, Under Armour and more.
Despite looking like Adonis Joshua, a modern day sporting pin-up, Lewis revealed that he gets more male attention when he’s out.
“I was working at Jaguar Land Rover and my boss there used to say I look like AJ,” Lewis told SunSport.
“He told me one day that I had to come in to work next day and tell him that I’ve signed up to work for an agency.
“So I went online, Googled ‘lookalikes’, and found Lookalikes Agency and they managed to get me work straight away. It just took off from there.”
Lewis has since starred as AJ’s body double in adverts for brands including Lynx, William Hill, Sky, Nigerian phone company Glo and Under Armour.
Standing at 6ft 7in tall, he’s slightly taller than the real deal. And admittedly not as muscular.
But he fills a major role before AJ arrives on set.
“On adverts I would wear the clothes that he was going to wear, and they would set things up around me and see that everything fits and looks good in that environment,” Lewis said.
“They will ask me to do a few tasks and see if it’s comfortable, and that’s really it.
“You just have to stand around for hours while everyone else works with you.”
AJ and Lewis have met several times and the heavyweight star cannot believe how much his ringer looks like him.
“He always seems a bit weirded out by the whole matter whenever we meet,” Lewis said.
“He laughs at the matter and says, ‘From a distance, or a side profile, it’s mad how much you really look like me.”
It’s meant that Lewis has got plenty of work as a lookalike – hired for stag dos and parties.
However, not all bookings are as glam as the body double work.
“I was asked to hop out of a cake for a women’s stag-do. I turned that one down. It was so cheesy,” Lewis laughed.
“But a job that I did do at a venue in Leicester involved me sitting around as part of a work do and let women straddle me and take photos with me. That was excruciating!”
To preserve his sculpted physique, AJ works for hours in the gym daily.
Lucky for Lewis, he doesn’t have to work too hard on his fitness.
“I’m not a regular at the gym any more. In between jobs I will work out for a few weeks before – just to get in a bit of shape.
“I’m pretty skinny anyway, so there’s not much to lose in terms of fat.
“I do press-ups daily and try to keep in fairly good shape. I don’t want to embarrass AJ.”
A marketing man’s dream, Joshua is blessed with good looks as well as talent.
It means he has scores of female admirers and fans. But Lewis joked he isn’t as lucky with the opposite sex.
He said: “I get in more conversations with men when I’m out. They are more impressed with the comparison than women.
“It wouldn’t be what you expect. But guys always come up to me and say, ‘Has anyone ever told you mate you look like…’
“That’s all I get.”
When Lewis isn’t booked as an AJ lookalike, he’s doing his day job.
“I work for banks. I do contract work as a finance advisor,” he said.
“It’s pretty mundane, so when I book a AJ job that makes life more exciting.”
All-in-all, looking like AJ has paid well for Lewis.
He revealed: “There’s been jobs where I’ve earned just over £200, and there’s been others where I’ve earned £16,000.”
And he found an unlikely fan in AJ rival Oleksandr Usyk.
After filming an ad in Saudi Arabia to promote their upcoming fight in Jeddah, the Ukrainian champ asked for a photo with the body double – wowed by his likeness.
“One of his team called me over to take a photo with him,” Lewis explained.
READ MORE ON THE SUN
“He asked if I boxed, but I told him I’m a banker which I think shocked him.
“Usyk was a really nice guy, but I felt like I was betraying AJ. That’s why I didn’t post it on Instagram!”