South Shields singing star Joe McElderry is getting ready to don a famous coat for his biggest role yet.
The 24-year-old X Factor and Popstar to Operastar champ is taking on the title role in a UK tour of musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Joe, from Westoe, is heading into rehearsals soon, but will only have eight days to learn the part before the show opens on January 26.
He said: “I’m anxious, but in a good way. It’s a really famous role and everyone seems to be really excited about it, which is amazing, but kind of puts the pressure on a bit more.
“I’ve seen the show once before, but I think everyone has a connection with it because people always do it at school, or for a lot of people, it’s their first-ever time going to the theatre.”
Joe has just finished a starring run in the panto Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in Hull, where he played the Spirit of the Mirror.
Before that, he took on the eponymous role in rock opera The Who’s Tommy at Blackpool Opera House.
He said: “Going on tour with the show is really exciting because it’s something I’ve never done before.
“I loved doing Tommy, but it was such a different role to this. It was really dark and serious, whereas this is a bit of a nicer role in the sense that it’s more fun and upbeat.
“I’ve been learning my lines for Joseph while doing panto and I’ve almost got them down.
“The colours were quite difficult to learn, but it’s one of those things that once you know it you’ll never forget it.”
Joe comes to the Sunderland Empire with the show from May 31 to June 4.
He added: “I’m really looking forward to the shows at Sunderland. Loads of people have been texting me saying they’ve got tickets and there seems to be a really big buzz about it.
“A lot of people are saying the role is perfect for me, which is really nice. I am doing more theatre really, but I see it as something I’ll always do as well as singing.
I’m anxious, but in a good way. It’s a really famous role and everyone seems to be really excited about it, which is amazing but kind of puts the pressure on a bit more.Joe McElderry
“It’s been six years since I did X Factor and, as much as I like to keep my concerts fresh, it’s always nice to take on a new challenge and expand my experience in the industry.
“I got this opportunity and it fit into my schedule so straight away I knew I wanted to go for it.”
Tickets to see the show at the Sunderland Empire cost from £17.40.
To book, go to www.atgtickets.com/sunderland or call the box office on 0844 871 3022.