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pursing his dreams

This man travels the world performing as a professional whistler

David Morris can whistle the Flight of the Bumble Bee in 60 seconds flat and has lent his talents to a series of TV ads.

store David Morris, the Grand Master World Whistling Champion, pictured at the Guinness Storehouse. Paul Sharp Paul Sharp

OF ALL THE jobs in all the world, ‘professional whistler’ isn’t an option likely to have been proposed by your careers guidance teacher.

But according to Lancashire native David Morris, who’s been carving out a pro-whistling niche for himself for the last twelve years, there’s a select group of performers making a pretty decent living at it.

Dividing his time between live performances with musicians, CDs and ‘after-dinner’ gigs, in recent years David has also landed a number of lucrative spots in TV commercials.

You may have heard him in the ad below for Mini cars, for instance. Or one for TSB, in the UK.

agsyncmusic / YouTube

Says David, in a phone interview: “I used to be a cornet player in a brass band.”

I actually became Great Britain cornet champion in the 1970s and when I was a teenager becoming a better cornet player I started to try and whistle the intricate fast paced tunes that cornet players play. I discovered a flair for it and that’s how it started.

After winning the whistling world championship in 2003, David decided to give up his full-time job in sales and turn his hobby into his main line of work.

In the UK as far as I’m aware I’m the only professional whistler… There’s more in the United States.

And (we had to ask – it’s not every day you get a whistler on the phone) how does it pay?

“It’s kept me going so far very nicely, thank you.”

The move into TV advertising has been “quite lucrative” says David – particularly the Mini ad, which was seen around the world. “A nice little earner,” as he terms it.

Next on the list is a commercial for San Pellegrino sparkling water, which should see the light of day in the coming weeks.

Whistling Oyster

Yesterday, he was in Dublin to give a whistling masterclass at the Guinness Storehouse: David’s been lending his talents to the brewing giant for a new installation – a larger than life ‘Whistling Oyster’.

A 3D animatronic model based on the famous Guinness & Oyster ads from the 1930s, it’s been a favourite with visitors since the new advertising exhibit opened earlier this year, according to the folks at the Storehouse.

While there’s no sign of the work drying up – David admits he may have had more company in the professional whistling fraternity had be been plying his trade a century or so ago.

Whistlers, he notes, were a sought-after act in English variety Music Hall entertainment.

“It’s a shame really – because my act or my instrument would have been extremely popular in the music hall days.

“I tend to appear in things like proms concerts – Last Night of the Proms and Proms in the Park and things like that.”

And the after dinner acts have been going down well too…

The chairman of the Rotary Club of Sattleworth (fancy!) wrote on David’s website:

“I particular enjoyed Czardas by the Hungarian composer Vittorio Monti, a very difficult piece of music”.

So yes… Looks like he has the market pretty much sewn up.

worldtopwhistler / YouTube

Read: This woman is marrying her ‘Train Boy’ – and they had a special journey this morning >

Read: Willie O’Dea made some startling revelations on TV3 last night >

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