South Shields X Factor champ Joe McElderry is taking to the stage this weekend as the star of The Who’s rock opera Tommy.
The 24-year-old, who won the ITV talent show in 2009, is starring in the eponymous role at the Opera House at the Winter Gardens, in Blackpool, from Saturday.
This Christmas will see Joe star in his third pantomime, and he’s just announced he’ll be taking on the title role in a UK tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat next year.
Here are five other former X Factor stars who swapped topping the charts for treading the boards:
• 2010’s X Factor victor Matt Cardle is currently starring on London’s West End in Memphis. He took over the role of Huey Calhourn in July and is starring alongside Beverly Knight at the Shaftesbury Theatre.
• Amelia Lily, who finished third in the eighth series of the X Factor in 2011, has also moved on to the West End. She is currently starring as Whatsername in Green Day’s American Idiot at the Arts Theatre.
• Alexandra Burke, 2008 champion, took on the role of Rachel Marron – portrayed by Whitney Houston in the film – in a UK tour of The Bodyguard in February. The tour is scheduled to run until January, next year.
• Rachel Adedeji, a contestant the same year as Joe, in 2009, is currently on a UK tour of Jesus Christ Superstar. She’s starring in the rock opera as Mary Magdalene. It’s coming to Newcastle’s Theatre Royal next week.
• 2011 runner-up Marcus Collins joined the cast of Hairspray as Seaweed Stubbs for the UK tour in 2013. The singer was supposed to be joining the cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as the Narrator from February but dropped out. He was replaced in the show by Amelia Lily, who learned the part in just five days.