He really is a B.A. (Baracus)! Meet the Mr T lookalike who works as a university lecturer
I pity the school! Meet the Mr T lookalike who won’t quit his jibba jabba – lecturing students in digital media and design.
John Lashley, 34, is a visual effects consultant who lectures in digital media but in his downtime he earns a little extra from his striking resemblance to the popular A Team character.
John has even appeared as the popular character on Britain’s Got Talent and in the televised Snickers adverts but he’s never eaten a bar because he’s allergic to nuts and chocolate!
John, who lives in Northampton, has lectured at Staffordshire University for six years but hits the gym five times a week for over an hour and a half a time to keep himself in shape for the Mr T persona.
John, originally from New York, said: “I got into Mr. T work by going to an 80’s birthday party dressed as him and it’s spiralled out of control from there.
“Most of my students don’t have a clue I’m a Mr T lookalike until I show them the footage of me on BGT in 2010.
“It’s usually a graduation surprise I play for their last class. It’s always popular and it always gets a few laughs I don’t think they can believe their lecturer could do something so cool!
“It’s surreal the amount of amazing opportunities this character has allowed a geek like me to experience.
“I’ve met Snoopdog and Rihanna and I was even guest of honour at Geri Halliwell’s wedding to Christian Horner singing happy birthday to Daniel Ricciardo.”
John is also a qualified bodyguard with a close-protection SIA certificate allowing him to work as a bodyguard in the UK.
Hair Direct, a hair-product company based in the United States, sponsor John and make him hair units to mould the perfect Mohawk for his persona.
He had to send them a cast of his skull and they created custom-made human hair unit for him so he is able to live a normal life with a fully shaved head but become Mr T at a moment’s notice.
Despite the persona, John is keen to stress it’s the day-job that he loves doing.
He said: “My day-job is what I love doing – I have a Masters in digital media and design.
“I try to keep both professional lives completely separate.
“I’ve come out of Mr T gigs and met people in the venue who I’ve just taken photos with and they didn’t because I’m suited and booted.
“I love that looking like Mr. T has become a supplementary income – doing this has made me realise that most people do judge on looks and it’s taught me not to judge a book by its cover.”
He has a partner who would prefer to remain unnamed. She has a 5-year-old son while John has a 8-year-old son called Leo.