An entertainer from Morecambe hopes to rebound from tough times by impressing Simon Cowell.
Stephen Woodhouse is all set to audition for Cowell’s ITV talent show The X Factor in Glasgow this weekend hoping to make his sick mum proud and pay tribute to his late father.
Stephen , known to friends as ‘Bollie’, has been living in Tenerife for the past 13 years where he has carved out a career as a pub and club entertainer, mixing with celebrities including boxer Ricky Hatton, former world darts champion Eric Bristow and singer Dane Bowers.
The entertainment trade is in ‘Bollie’s blood as his parents Steve Snr and Yvonne ran the Masons Arms pub on Queen Street (now the Coast) for years.
But after Steve Snr passed away in July 2014, a devastated ‘Bollie’ returned to the UK, and has attended the Priory hospital in Manchester for seven weeks of grief counselling.
His mum Yvonne has also been taken ill and Steve says this has been one of the hardest periods of his life.
But he hopes his dad will be looking down on him, helping him to impress The X Factor judges at this Friday’s audition at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow.
“I had a bit of a blip and ended up coming home to get help but I also came home to help my mum,” he said.
“My mum and dad were massive figures in the town and had one of the busiest pubs here for 30 odd years. I had a great childhood in Morecambe.
“I wasn’t really close to my dad, and when he died I didn’t know how to take it. I want to make him proud.”
‘Bollie’ worked for Lancaster and Morecambe Newspapers advertising team after he left school.
He also DJd at Morecambe nightclubs The Empire and The Carleton.
But it wasn’t until he left for Tenerife in 2002 that he began to sing.
“I’d never sung before in my life,” he said.
“But I think I’m pretty good!”
Stephen got his X Factor chance when he bumped into the cast of The Only Way Is Essex when they were filming at the Dubliner bar in Tenerife with ‘Bollie’s band The Slippery Slopes.
He gave an audition tape of himself singing Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Funk’ to executives from Simon Cowell’s company Syco and was invited to audition.
Last year, Lancaster singer Paul Akister went all the way to The X Factor live finals, finishing in ninth place, and Stephen wants to follow inPaul’s footsteps.
“It’s top secret what Im singing, but I hope everyone will get behind me like they did with Paul because I’m doing it for Morecambe,” said ‘Bollie’.
“It’s exciting times.”