A MYSTERY Scots cabbie who took the internet by storm by driving while belting out Barry Manilow songs has come forward – bravely revealing he sings to combat depression.
A YouTube video of the Edinburgh cabbie singing pitch-perfect Manilow to an appreciative customer prompted a hunt for the driver.
Now Brian Mitchell has come forward and bravely revealed that he sings behind the wheel to help combat the depression he has suffered since he was a child.
The married dad of two has a lifelong passion for Manilow songs and says his ultimate ambition is to duet with the star.
Brian, 52, admitted that his depression meant there were days he “found it hard to get out of bed” and do his job as a cabbie.
Five years ago he decided to start singing along at work to try to cheer himself up – with astonishing results.
He said: “I’ve been singing since I was 12. I used to lock myself in my room and practice my favourite songs.
“I became a cabbie but was diagnosed with depression, and some days I find it really hard to even get out of bed.
“About five years ago I decided to bring some of the backing tracks to work and sing along as I drove, as a way of cheering me up.
“The passengers absolutely love it, I’ve had a brilliant reaction. They don’t expect it and then when I start singing they can’t believe it.
“I’ve had people come over for the festival and tell me that I’m far better than most of the Cabaret. I must have sang over 3,000 times and I’ve never had anyone saying I’m crap.”
Brian, who is married to pharmacy assistant Beverley, 50, called his daughter Mandy, 25, after the Manilow song. Sean, 29,
The cabbie, who also has a 29-year-old son, Sean, continued: “I’ve suffered from depression for a long time and singing is a great way to get out of it – it cheers me right up.
“One of my favourite songs is Every Single Day by Barry Manilow, it’s a beautiful song.
“I also get requests from passengers…a lot of them want me to sing Copacabana. Many Americans don’t understand what I’m saying but when I start to sing they love it.
“One of them even said they would give me a standing ovation, but they couldn’t stand up in the taxi.”
The video of Brian, which went viral earlier this month, showed him singing along Every Single Day as he drove a passenger home.
His most impressive feat is holding a seven-second long note near the end of the video, which he belts out with gusto. He continues singing even as the taxi hits potholes, turns corners and navigates the dark streets.
The publicity around the video caught the eye of X Factor producers who want Brian to appear on the show. Researcher Jernice Easthope, from Thames TV, said: “I would love to let him know”.
Despite his amazing voice, Brian insists he has not been on a karaoke machine since 1992.
He added that “no normal passenger likes a grumpy bugger” and will continue to belt out his tunes to those who hail him for a lift.