A tuna-ful performer has told buoys and gills that they should follow their dreams – as she fulfilled hers to become a real-life MERMAID.
Michelle Roberts, 31, who can hold her breath for a staggering two-and-a-half minutes, fell in love with the beautiful underwater creatures when she was just a little girl.
Now she has fin-ally scaled the watery ladder to achieve her childhood ambition.
Michelle, who goes by the brilliant mermaid name Merchelle, got her first tail from Santa when she was nine-years-old.
Her mum later told her the fishy tail had actually been lovingly stitched together by her and her nana.
Michelle said: “And that was it for me. It was my hobby that turned into my career.”
Michelle now takes to the stage as a fin-tastic professional mermaid with her own ocean-themed performance company Siren Serenade.
A siren is quite often used as another word for mermaid. In Greek mythology, the sirens were dangerous yet beautiful creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island
Amazingly, mermaid Michelle can hold her breath for over two minutes despite her silicone tail weighing three-and-a-half stone.
Ambitious Michelle, from Blackpool, Lancs., left school and worked briefly as a stage performer on cruise ships and pantomime tours but never forgot her childhood dreams of swimming with tropical fish.
A chance encounter with professional mermaid Samantha Siren two years ago inspired her to purchase her own specially-made tail and take her first tentacle-tive strokes into the world of mermaiding.
She said: “I went to a special mermaid school in Cornwall where they taught us diving techniques.
“I go to pool parties and meet-and-greets and charity events. Sometimes we just sit and take photos, and we sing as well.
“The kids think it’s amazing. Most children have never seen a real mermaid before and the looks on their faces are like: Oh my gosh.
“I can only imagine what I would have been like if I had met a real mermaid when I was little.”
As well as acting and singing, Merchelle must stay physically strong at all times to be able to carry her heavy tail.
She said: “It weighs even more in the water. You need to be strong to lift it.
“We always tell children not to tie their legs together and jump in a pool because you need to be a strong swimmer.”
Now Michelle is looking forward to flipping her fins on national television, as she stars in a short Channel 4 documentary showcasing ‘extreme’ jobs and hobbies.
She said: “If it goes really well they’ll be doing a full-length documentary.
“People say to you as a kid that you should get a real job. It’s so crazy and they say you can never do it – but why not? I think people shouldn’t write off their dreams just because it’s a bit crazy or different.
“If it makes you happy then go out there and do it.”