Determined to impress his parents, Vasileios Barlos tossed aside his dreams of becoming a vet and began studying to be an electrical engineer.
But realising it just wasn’t for him, the 33-year-old decided to combine his passion for hair and dogs – and took up dog grooming.
Now, just six years after picking up clippers for the first time, his impressive talent has resulted in a host of celebrity clients for the Greek native including the Beckhams, Gary Barlow and Frank and Christine Lampard.
Wow: A-list dog groomer Vasileios Barlos – who has a long list of celebrity clients including the Beckhams and Lampards – puts his skills to the test on (THUR) Pooch Perfect on Thursday (pictured with David Beckham)
His skills have also seen him land a place on tonight’s (THUR) Pooch Perfect quarter-final on BBC One.
Vasileios, who works in the ‘posh, wealthy’ areas of London, including Chelsea and Notting Hill, said his ‘high standards’ had secured him his impressive A-list client list.
He also said his celebrity customers always return and ‘ask for me every single time’.
He told Daily Mail: ‘So, David Beckham came and said he liked the groom, then Gary Barlow came, he was going somewhere else and he wasn’t happy at all with his Pomeranian that he had, so he has been coming the last few years, every four weeks, to groom his Pomeranian because he likes how I groom it.
Dedicated: The 33-year-old ditched his electrical engineering studies to become a dog groomer six-years-ago which has earned him a place on tonight’s quarter-final on BBC One
Wow: Vasileios who works in the ‘posh, wealthy’ areas of London, including Chelsea, said his ‘high standards’ had secured him his impressive client list including Love Island’s Anna Vakili (pictured in 2020)
‘They tried somewhere else, they didn’t like the groom, so then they came to me and they stayed because they loved how I groom their dogs.’
Detailing his list of clients at Purplebone salon, Vasileios said: ‘I have David Beckham, Gary Barlow, Lily Allen and lots from Love Island [like] Laura Anderson.
‘Paul Anderson from Peaky Blinders, Orlando Bloom. Frank Lampard, Christine Lampard – there are so many.
‘All of them tried other salons, they didn’t like the grooms. Like us, we try hairdressers, if we don’t like [then] we try the next and the next.
‘So it’s the same, they have their dogs like their babies so they want the best for them. It’s very important because it’s welfare, it’s not just the look.
Preened to perfection: Detailing his list of clients at Purplebone salon, he said: ‘Paul Anderson from Peaky Blinders, Orlando Bloom. Frank Lampard and Christine Lampard (pictured)- there are so many’
Impressed: He also confirmed that Gary Barlow (pictured in 2020) has being coming to him for the last few years for his dear Pomeranian because ‘he likes how I groom it’
‘So they tried with me and they stayed and they request me every single time. It makes me very very happy.’
Vasileios joked that his regular customers are ‘pickier’ than his famous ones.
He said: ‘None of the celebrities of the dogs that I groom are picky. I have other clients that are picky and they’re not celebrities!
‘I tell them sometimes, sorry, I do David Beckham’s dog and he’s happy and you’re not happy.’
Vasileios, who moved to the UK six-years-ago, said he always wanted to work with animals.
Hard at work: Vasileios joked that his regular customers are ‘pickier’ than his famous ones (pictured with Love Island’s Laura Anderson)
Ambitions: The dog groomer, who moved to the UK six-years-ago, said he always wanted to work with animals
He said: ‘I was always passionate and crazy for animals, I always had animals because we had a farm in Greece.
‘I always wanted to be a vet, but when I was finishing school my degree at the end wasn’t enough to go be a vet so I went for an electrical engineer [course] at university. So I didn’t do my dream, I did my parents’ dream.’
Tonight’s Pooch Perfect episode, presented by Sheridan Smith, sees Vasileios take part in the final quarter-final, alongside three other contestants.
They must turn some fluffy Bichon Frisés into beautifully shaped white clouds, before being tested on their all-round dog knowledge in ‘Dogology’ where they try to identify a cross breed’s two parents.
The last challenge sees the groomers trim their dogs’ coats to create an homage to a place close their hearts.
Pooch Perfect is on BBC One tonight at 8pm
Competition: Tonight’s Pooch Perfect episode, presented by Sheridan Smith, sees Vasileios compete against three other contestants as they turn some fluffy Bichon Frisés into beautifully shaped white clouds