Joe McElderry’s advice for Lancaster X Factor hopeful

Joe McElderry.
Joe McElderry.
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It’s hard to believe that it’s five years since Joe McElderry won The X Factor.

“Every so often I’ll get a flashback to that night, like when I was standing behind the curtain with Simon (Cowell), Cheryl (Cole) and Olly (Murs), waiting for the result.

Paul Akister.

Paul Akister.

“Everybody was petrified. It’s amazing, thinking about it now. Why were we all terrified?”

After beating Olly Murs in the 2009 final with 61% of the vote, the humble Tyneside lad with the angelic voice has gone on to greater success than many critics give him credit for.

Tagged as a ‘flop star’ after an anti-X Factor campaign drove Rage Against the Machine to the 2009 Christmas number one ahead of Joe’s winner’s song ‘The Climb’, the 22-year-old rebounded to become the first X Factor contestant to release four albums, selling two million records worldwide.

His charming and clean-cut image has earned him an army of fans. This year gentleman Joe is on a 50-date ‘Set Your Soul Alive’ UK tour, which stops at Lancaster Grand Theatre on May 31. And McElderry has some advice for Lancaster’s own X Factor hopeful Paul Akister, who is trying again in this year’s contest after being knocked out at Judges’ Houses last year.

“My advice to anyone is to work hard and never give up. Two years before I won, I got to Boot Camp but pulled out, I didn’t have confidence.

“But I did a lot of local shows then tried again. If you have the drive, then power on through, and don’t let anybody tell you any different.”

The show starts at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £19/£18 and are available from 01524 64695.