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Times are hard and friends are few, meet Tik Tok sensation the Queen of Scotty Road

3 years ago

Times are hard and friends are few, meet Tik Tok sensation the Queen of Scotty Road

Times are hard and friends are few, ta-ra to you …

It’s the catchphrase that’s been seen more than 6 million times on Tik Tok in just over a week and it’s made Philip Regan, the Queen of Scotty Road, into a viral sensation.

The 48-year-old has said it his whole life, but suddenly everyone knows it. His videos have had 20 million views over all social platforms.

“It is unbelievable and the offers that have come in this past week, I could honestly only dream of them,” he says. “But I am a good-hearted person, if I can do anything for anyone then I will, and I believe in karma so I’m going to take whatever opportunities I get. Never look a gift horse in the face, that’s what I say.”

Telling people exactly what he thinks has been the secret of Philip’s phenomenal success. 

Although he never really expected it to make him famous anywhere outside of the pubs in Liverpool.

“I can be serious when I want to be but I’ve always been loud and stood out, even from a child. I was born and bred on Scotty Road, one of three kids, and my mother, who’ll be 73 in September, is a quiet woman.

“I’m the loudest in the family but what you see with me is what you get,” he says. “I’ve been known as the Queen of Scotland Road since I was at school, it’s not a character I’ve made up. I must have drunk in every pub around town and when I walk in they always say, ‘here he is, the Queen of Scotty Road’.

“I’m a very straight kind of person in a lot of ways, I’d rather say something to people’s faces and I don’t beat around the bush, but I’ve got no airs and graces and I never have had.”

Philip’s day job is as a cook (not a chef, he points out) and he works extra hours as a cleaner to make up his wages.

“Because times are hard and friends are few,” he laughs.

Philip only started his Tik Tok account eight weeks ago after a friend suggested it.

“He said to me, ‘everyone will love you, the way you carry on’ so I thought I’d try it and just do what I do when I go out normally – I’d tell all my stories.

“I’ve always been someone who tells stories, I’m quite well known for some that I can’t put on there, but now I get people asking me if they’re real.

“Of course they’re not real – they’re all made up. I haven’t lifted a leg of lamb from Iceland and a prostitute’s never come up to me. With the shoplifting one that’s had 6 million views, does anyone really think I’d buy that cheap vodka?!”

The stories aren’t true, but the reaction they’ve caused definitely is. Philip’s inbox has been full over the last week with people messaging him to make videos and do personal appearances. He’s even been down to London to film a show for the BBC.

“When I was at the BBC, there were six celebrity panellists on this show and all but one of them recognised me, I couldn’t get over it. They all took videos with me, I was so shocked. They said to me ‘we thought you were fantastic’ and I said to them ‘believe me, I’ll be working with every one of you soon’.”

Even on the Tube, he was getting stopped for selfies with strangers. “And when I got off at Lime Street it was just photos, photos, photos. I said ‘aye, give us a chance to park me a**e’!”

Actually, he says he’s happy to have as many photos taken as people ask for.

“Everyone who comes up, I never once say no,” Philip says, “because they’re the ones who are giving me this chance. I’m a very humble person, I’m only a cleaner and a cook, and I’m just so grateful for all of it.

“I’ve got all these followers now – children, teenagers, young adults, the older generation – and I’ve got the straight scene and the gay scene. It’s all ages and sexuality, and that’s what’s most important.”

The Queen of Scotty Road isn’t planning to be changed by celebrity any time soon, but he does intend to enjoy his new-found fame.

“This person that people are seeing now is just me, and if they’d seen me 20-odd years ago I’d have been the same. But what’s happened to me is amazing so I’m just going to see what comes of it.

“I’ve always said ‘times are hard and friends are few, ta-ra to you’ – now I get people shouting it at me in the street and out of their cars.”

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