Musical Ruth - Poulton’s keyboard playing a nun on a converted mobility scooter
PUBLISHED: 09:11 02 November 2015 | UPDATED: 09:17 02 November 2015
He got a resounding thumbs down from the Britain’s Got Talent judges but Musical Ruth is still on song in his home town. Words by Paul Mackenzie
It was a quiet Thursday morning in a traditional market town until Matthew Hunt got into character to pose for pictures. Playing tunes and producing assorted sound effects from his converted mobility scooter as he went, he drew smiles and puzzled looks from the shoppers out early in Poulton town centre.
‘It’s brilliant, he’s made my morning,’ said one, but not all were so convinced. ‘It seems a bit daft to me,’ was another comment. And he was right. It is daft, but that’s part of the charm of the act which had the judges reaching for their buzzers before he’d started when he appeared on Britain’s Got Talent earlier this year.
David Walliams liked it though, he climbed on board for a ride around the stage, and the majority on the streets of Matthew’s home town were in favour too, reaching for camera phones to take some snaps of their own.
Matthew, a seasoned entertainer with years of pantomime appearances under his belt, has been performing as Musical Ruth at festivals, concerts and in town centres for ten years – but he’d never appeared in Poulton before.
‘I’ve done Showzam in Blackpool a few times but nothing closer to home,’ he said. ‘I used to be in a double act called the Amusing Nuns – we’d do body-popping to Latin music – but the other guy left and got a proper job.
‘When I worked at Chessington World of Adventures they had a piano made for someone to drive around and play but he didn’t like it so I had a go and enjoyed myself. So when the other nun left I thought I’d dust off the idea. It took a year or two to get going but it’s good fun and I manage to earn a living.’
Father-of-two Matthew, who met his wife Elizabeth when he was playing Wishy Washy in pantomime, has taken Musical Ruth to events across Europe and is preparing for his busiest time of the year. ‘I’ve got bookings in Basildon, Cardiff, Skipton… all over really. The travelling is the worst part, once I’m there it’s just good fun.’
Which is more than he can say about his appearance on Britain’s Got Talent. He’s uncharacteristically quiet when asked about that, searching for a diplomatic response. ‘It wasn’t the best thing for me to go on, but I didn’t apply, they asked me. I got a nice video for my website out of it, but not a lot else.’