A mild-mannered primary school teacher has become the first woman voted Britain’s best air guitarist – despite not being able to play the real instrument.
Charlotte Clarke, 29, who works in a reception class, has entered the UK Air Guitar Championships every year since 2007 without success.
But this year she donned her fishnets and a mesh top and beat 50 other competitors to the title.
Charlotte, who performed under the stage name ‘A Boy named Sue’ wowed the judges in the first round with a near-perfect performance of ‘Walk’ by American metallers Pantera.
She then shone in the final round plucking along to a mystery song – ‘Wahoo’ by Chad and the Meatbodies.
Charlotte returned home to Haggerston, north London with an oversized plectrum plaque and a free top-of-the range air guitar.
She said: “It was brilliant fun.
“It felt amazing to win – everything just went really well for me that night.
“I picked a song I love, which has a fantastic solo, so I could put on a cocky rock-star swagger and strut my stuff on stage.
“I’d never heard the final song before but I just strutted my stuff, tried to act as cocky as possible and threw out all my best shapes and moves and it paid off. I was thrilled.”
The victory means that Charlotte will take part in the world air guitar championship in Finland at the end of the month.
She added: “I have no expectations to win the worlds, but I’ll give it the best shot I can.
“I might even re-string my air guitar and give it a polish.
“I can only play the most basic notes on a real guitar. I’m just much better at pretending.”
Charlotte tries not to practise before events, because she’s too embarrassed.
She said: “Everybody sings into a hairbrush, just like everybody who likes rock music plays air guitar.
“You can’t help yourself.
“But if someone was to walk in on you singing in your bedroom, or catch you strumming along to your headphones while you’re on the bus, it gets a bit embarrassing.
“There’s nothing to be ashamed of, but then again it’s not something you often get to boast about.”
The championships took place last month at Boston Music Room, in Tuffnell Park, north London.
Air Guitar UK, who run the country’s only officially recognised championships, is a non-profit organisation and cash from ticket sales goes to Teenage Cancer Trust.
Jen Walker, music coordinator for the charity, said: “This is always such a fun event in our music fundraising calendar, plus, it has raised lots of money over the years for young people diagnosed with cancer.”