IT'S been a busy festive period for Brooklyn Creed.

The performer, who calls in at Weymouth Pavilion next Friday in Hello Again - The Story of Neil Diamond, carried out a whopping 39 gigs in December.

"Besides doing the Neil Diamond show I go out and perform as a solo musician," he tells me.

"I've been playing a lot of care homes lately, I'd do two or three of those a day. I did one yesterday (New Year's Day) and it was really lovely."

Brooklyn, 58, is used to the hard graft. Involved in music all his adult life, playing in bands and supporting acts like Freddie Starr and The Real Thing and performing at functions, it's only in the last two years has Brooklyn experienced solo success.

And it is the kind of lucky break that only seems to happen in the movies or in a novel.

Harlow-born Brooklyn was discovered in a church by theatre show producers Darren Bazzoni and Juanita Diaz.

He was belting out an a cappella version of Neil Diamond's Play Me.

Brooklyn remembers: "There are lots of little villages around Old Harlow and I was singing in a church there. Word had spread about this guy who sounds like Neil Diamond and the show partners had heard about me and it went from there."

Producer Darren remembers the moment he heard Brooklyn's voice coming from the church.

“I nearly dropped to my knees,” he recalls, I thought that it WAS actually Neil Diamond.”

Brooklyn says being in the theatre production Hello Again has been quite a change for him.

"This is my second year of doing the Neil Diamond act. It hasn't been long really but last year was when things were really starting to take off. This year will be a big year for it, I'm going to be doing about 100 gigs in the UK and in Germany, Spain and Belgium."

Of course there are other Neil Diamond tribute acts out there and Brooklyn admits he 'keeps an eye on other shows'.

"But even though it's a tribute to Neil Diamond I'm not pretending to be him, putting the wig on or anything or doing the accent. I hope our show is more like seeing a Neil Diamond live concert with the energy he puts into it."

Brooklyn says Hello Again - The Story of Neil Diamond covers 50 years of Neil Diamond's music and features narration between songs.

"There's a part of the song where we perform songs Neil Diamond wrote for other artists such as Daydream Believer for The Monkees and I duet with Juanita Diaz on You Don't Bring Me Flowers. We also bring it up to date to some of Neil Diamond's latest material.

"Hopefully there's a bit of everything for everyone."

Brooklyn says his favourite song to perform is Morningside, a lesser known Neil Diamond song.

He said: "I do Play Me acoustically and I have looked out on occasion and seen people crying. You get every kind of reaction in the show. Neil's songs seem to mean so much to so many people. As well as the ballads there are a lot of songs that get people up and dancing and we get that a lot with songs like Forever in Blue Jeans, Cracklin' Rosie and Sweet Caroline. Everyone gets up on their feet!"

*Hello Again - The Story of Neil Diamond, Weymouth Pavilion, Friday, January 11, 7.30pm. Call the box office for tickets.