I once looked like Leonardo DiCaprio but Covid wrecked my dreams of stardom after I piled on the pounds

A Leonardo DiCaprio lookalike revealed that the Covid pandemic wrecked his dreams of stardom after he piled on the pounds.

Roman Burtsev, 33, became something of a celebrity after the media picked up on his resemblance to the Hollywood superstar.

However, the IT worker said that the coronavirus pandemic thwarted his plans for international fame.

Burtsev, who said he currently lives in a two-room council flat with his parents and cats, had signed contracts with advertisers but they pulled out after he proved unable to lose weight.

"The problems began with the introduction of restrictions in April 2020 and now people have forgotten about me," the 33-year-old said.

Before the pandemic, fans of DiCaprio would ask for pictures with Burtsev but now the lookalike said that social distancing rules have put an end to that.

Burtsev also said that having to wear a mask has impeded strangers' ability to spot the likeness between DiCaprio and his Russian doppelganger.

But now Burtsev says that he is on the right path again, adding: "I tried many methods for weight loss before finding my own and am now in the process of losing weight."

Burtsev, who said that he was not currently in a relationship, said that he plans to reach his target weight so he will be "on top" by "New Year 2022".

He added that his plans for the future are simple and can be summed up as "family, children, home."

Previously, Burtsev had achieved a degree of fame by appearing in various adverts, including one for Five Lakes vodka.

But the pandemic cut short his plans.

After having to change industry and start working in cryptocurrencies, the DiCaprio lookalike now dreams of being able to afford a house in Crimea.

In 2016, Burtsev hit the headlines after he was caught up in the arrest of a suspected drug addict.

"I was on my way to a car parts shop when I saw a man who looked like a junkie beating himself against trees and cars," he said.

The lookalike added: "He walked into a health clinic and I thought I couldn't just walk away, so I decided to help the clinic staff to calm him down.

The bizarre incident happened in the town of Podolsk in north-western Russia's Moscow Oblast region.

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