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Press releases

BUSKER IDOL CROWNED - UKís best street performer wins a room for a year at Covent Garden Travelodge

19th May 2004

A singer-songwriter, who has been busking for just six months, has today been crowned UKís first ever Busker Idol, winning the chance to live rent-free for a year in the worldís most famous street performing location, Londonís Covent Garden.

25 year old Andrew Pisanu, who also plays guitar, was selected from hundreds of applicants who auditioned at the Covent Garden Travelodge, demonstrating their singing, playing, juggling, miming, and comedic talents to a panel of illustrious judges from the music and performing arts industries.

Judging the competition, Rebecca Knight from the Opera Babes, who were also discovered busking in Covent Garden, said: ďThe talent weíve seen today has been of an exceptionally high standard, but Andrewís voice stood out - it has a soulful, raw quality that you donít often see. He seemed to lose himself in his music and came across as really genuine. Iím sure that he has a successful career ahead of him and I wish him all the luck for the year ahead. Congratulations!Ē

Not only has Andrew been awarded his own room at Travelodge Covent Garden, but to mark the first anniversary of London Underground's licensed busking scheme tomorrow (Weds), he will also receive an honorary Carling Live Underground Music license.

Winner Andrew Pisanu, said: ĒI canít believe it, I have been chosen as the UKís Busker Idol! Itís a dream come true, Iíve always wanted the chance to live in central London so I can work on making it in the music business and I canít believe Iím being given this opportunity! The positive comments and encouragement from all these amazing people has been a real boost and now Iíll have a base in Covent Garden for a whole year to work on making my dreams a reality.Ē

When Travelodge launched the search for the UKís most talented street performer last month, to mark the opening of its first low-cost hotel in the West End, hundreds of budding stars applied for the chance to thrill the crowds and seek their fortune in the heart of Londonís Theatreland.

The panel of five judges included; The Opera Babes, who were also discovered busking in Covent Garden; Jean Branch, Head of Music at Chrysalis; Laurence Miller, Managing Director of Jongleurs; Charlie Holland from the Space Circus and Simon Gregory, sales and marketing director of Travelodge.

Simon Gregory, sales and marketing director of Travelodge, said: ďI would like to congratulate Andrew on winning Travelodge Busker Idol 2004 and we look forward to him entertaining our guests over the next twelve months. Some poncey hotels have residential writers but our Busker Idol is much more fun and it proves that quality West End entertainment doesnít always need big budgets. By opening the first low-cost hotel in Theatreland and giving someone the chance to live in this wonderful location for free, we hope to highlight the extortionate prices of many of Londonís hotels and prove that itís possible to provide good quality accommodation at an affordable price.Ē


For further information please contact:
Cohn & Wolfe press office on 0207 331 5400 or Shakila Ahmed at Travelodge at 0121 521 6638 or 07802 702 499.

Notes to editors:
- Travelodge are the first to introduce a revolutionary pricing structure within the hotel industry. Within the new pricing strategy, rooms are available all year round from £25.00. (£25 rooms are only available online and may not be available at every lodge, every night and not during holidays and special event periods)
- Family rooms can sleep up to four people (two adults and two children, both under 16 years). All rooms are en-suite, with luxury King Size beds, colour TV and free tea and coffee making facilities.
- Travelodge currently has over 240 locations throughout the UK and Ireland. These are conveniently located in most major city centres. Latest opening is at London Covent Garden, Leicester, Leatherhead and Harrogate.
- Travelodge was the first UK lodge brand to launch in the UK in 1985
- Travelodge offers an online booking service at and also via telephone on 08700 850 950

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