A TYNESIDE teenager is hoping to prove he has the X Factor when a new series of the TV talent show kicks off tonight.
South Shields 18-year-old Joe McElderry will be flying the flag for the North East in the ITV show The X Factor.
He stars in the first round of auditions, which were filmed in Manchester and will be broadcast tonight.
Despite admitting he only discovered he could sing four years ago during a karaoke performance, Joe is told by Simon Cowell that he could be a pop star in the making.
Joe’s audition also impresses Geordie pop star and fellow judge Cheryl Cole, who tells Joe she is proud he is representing the North East.
Ahead of his performance of Luther Vandross’ Dance with my Father, Joe says to compère Dermot O’Leary: “Today is really important for me because this audition could change my life.”
Residents near Coleridge Avenue, where Joe’s family lives, have told how they are rooting for the young singer.
Stanley Harrison, 62, said “I have seen him out and about and he seems like a nice young lad.
“I think everyone from around here will be rooting for him to win. It would be great to have an ex-factor winner from South Shields. Good luck to him.”
Gemma Stevenson, 25, said “He is supposed to be quite a good singer. Some of my friends say that they have heard him and he’s got a good chance of winning.
“I believe he has already won awards in local contests for singing. He’s obviously quite talented. People in this area have been talking about this all day and I reckon everyone will be watching X Factor today.”
There have been a number of changes for the filming of the sixth series, including auditions taking place in front of live audiences in arenas across the country.
Talking about the new series, former Girls Aloud star Cheryl said: “I’m actually feeling really excited about this series, everything has changed, everything feels more exciting and more dramatic.
“When I helped Alexandra last year, it was the best feeling ever when she won, she’s sold over a million singles, making an album and is living proof this show can change your life.”
The show will be broadcast on ITV1 tonight from 7pm. The Xtra Factor is shown on ITV2 from 8.30pm.