THEY say never meet your heroes because you’ll always be disappointed. 

But that’s not the case for Elvis Presley’s number one fan on this side of the pond. 

Todd Slaughter, who lives in Poole, met the King of Rock and Roll three times before the singer’s untimely death in 1977 aged just 42. 

Speaking with the Echo, Todd told what it was like to come face to face with, at the time, arguably the biggest name in showbiz

Bournemouth Echo: Todd with ElvisTodd with Elvis

“I had met every man and his dog – from The Beatles, The Stones, Tina Turner and Jimi Hendrix (who I didn’t know who he was despite spending a day with him),” Todd said. 

“But when Elvis came through the door, it wasn’t as if he came in the room – there wasn’t a big fanfare. 

“If you meet somebody like Freddie Starr, he was as mad as a box of frogs. He was gregarious.  

“Elvis wasn’t. He was there for 20 seconds seconds before anybody realised he walked in.  

“It was strange. You expect these flashing lights, whistles and bells announcing his arrival.”

Elvis was one of the biggest singers and actors of his time. He sold more than 500 million records worldwide and holds the most number-one singles by any act on the UK Singles Chart – even today. 

Todd was one of the last people to meet Elvis before he died at his mansion in Memphis, having met him around seven weeks before his death. Todd said his death was “almost expected.” 

He added: “One of the film crew said to me ‘you should get close and have a look because we think he’s got about six months to live.’  

“He didn’t actually look that bad when I went to the show and watched him sing.  

“He looked awful in the film from the last show, but I think the film company looked at the dramatic side of it.  

“Every good-looking image of Elvis wasn't used but all the ones where he looks near to death they did use.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Todd with Elvis' manager Colonel ParkerTodd with Elvis' manager Colonel Parker

Todd’s title of Britain’s biggest Elvis fan isn’t the creation of the tabloids. He was the president of the UK’s official Elvis Presley Fan Club for decades. 

He’s also written books about him – the latest, published in April and titled Colonel Parker: Hero or Heel, is untold stories from Elvis’ manager Tom Parker. 

Todd has also given his thumbs up for the film Elvis, starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks. 

He said: “Although it untrue in parts, its incredibly good.  

"It’s bigger than Bohemian Rhapsody.  

“But they sadly put urban myths in there as facts. 

“The rant he did on stage about colonel parker being an illegal immigrant never happened.”