Compaq used to have a reputation for being big, boring and detached. Not any more.
On Saturday night Compaq call centre employee Gary Mullen won the final of ITV's Stars In Their Eyes show, appearing as Queen frontman the late Freddie Mercury.
Boasting about the high quality of Compaq kit, one of the manufacturer's UK exec's once said: "What do you think the Q stands for."
Well, now we know – it stands for Queen.
Mullen scooped 864,838 votes – more than twice the number given to the second placed contestant, who appeared as Frank Sinatra. The huge number of votes prompted some uncharitable types to allege the result had been fixed.
According to today's Mirror, a spokesman for bookies William Hill said there'd been an irregular number of large bets placed on Mullen winning. Some of the bets were as much as 1000.
And a caller to a national radio programme was heard to put forward the theory that – as Compaq is a computer company – it had somehow used the Internet to access the voting system and lodge more votes for Mullen.
Talk about Radio Ga-Ga, we've never heard such tosh.
Well done Gary, we say. The 26-year old is married with one son and his wife Jackie is expecting a second child. But things could have been all so different – three years ago he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, The Mirror tells us, and had to have one of his testicles removed.
So, is fame and fortune waiting round the corner for Gary Mullen as a professional Freddie Mercury looky-likey? Could be, after all last year's winner has been catapulted into a new career, with a recording contract and everything.
But will Mullen want to turn his back on life at the Compaq Call Centre, where you need a security pass to go to the toilet? *
Nah, surely not? ®
*During a visit to Compaq's call centre in 1998, one Register hack had to be escorted to the toilet because he didn't have a security badge.