In a bid to save the restaurant, Dimitri and his brother decided to provide their guests with live entertainment. Word of mouth made 'Sirtaki' the IT spot in North London for hen nights and birthday parties. At times, Dimitri says, the restaurant was booked three months in advance.
Besides encouraging customers to stand up on chairs and break plates, Dimitri made the guests the stars of the show. A group of girlfriends would bring the bride to-be to 'Syrtaki', where Dimitri would take over, dressing the bride in a funny outfit and showing her to the Karaoke stage. Dimitri adds that he never abandoned the frightened singers but made sure he embarrassed himself on stage with them.
The Cypriot has an entire list of song and dance pieces he came up with for his guests: performing the song 'Shake Your Tail' dressed as one of the Blues Brothers, leading a Conga dance through the restaurant, inventing the 'Zebra Crossing' where his guests left the restaurant and crossed the street in a horizontal line imitating the Irish performer Michael Flatley's Riverdance and the list goes on....
Dimitri told ABC news that he left the restaurant to open his own electrical business, which would afford him more time with his young family. When asked about his relationship with his son Lagi (an abbreviation of the name 'Michalaki), Dimitri's voice changes. He says, 'I'm not ashamed to tell you I love my son. And I'm not ashamed to tell my son that I love him. He's the person, after all, who has to hear it from me.'
He adds that parents are always telling people outside the family how much they love their children, but they rarely tell the children themselves. Dimitri says his son looks up to him, and this is what 'makes him melt.'
The idea to enter the talent competition came to him while he and his family were sitting around the television. He saw the advertisement and turned to Karen playfully, "Wouldn't it be fun if I did the Michael Flatley dance on television?" They all laughed and then Lagi said he would love to dance it with his father. And that is how the idea for the Stavros Flatley act was born.
"It's all about throwing away your inhibitions and enjoying yourself," the Cypriot says. Dimitri and his family love music, their musical taste ranges from Greek patriotic songs to Greek pop singer Anna Vissi to Dolly Parton.
No matter what happens on the talent show's big finale, the world has now been introduced to a loving father-son pair, who are not ashamed to tell the world they love each other while they wiggle their bellies in the name of fun.
The pair will undoubtedly add variety to the final competition and give the massively popular contestant Susan Boyle a run for her money. Add to this Piers Morgan's lavish praise of her singing rival, twelve-year-old Shaheen Jafargholi, and it becomes evident that a win for Boyle is no longer guaranteed.