X Factor rolls into Peterborough with singers aiming to impress

X Factor auditions at the Key Theatre. Solo singer Ben Callanan (25) with singer Jenner McKenzie-Goldswain (22) EMN-150104-114126009
X Factor auditions at the Key Theatre. Solo singer Ben Callanan (25) with singer Jenner McKenzie-Goldswain (22) EMN-150104-114126009
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It might have been April Fools’ Day yesterday, but there was no joking about for many X Factor hopefuls who began the long road to potential stardom.

The ITV singing show came to Peterborough for the first time on Wednesday (April 1) to find the best vocal talents in the city.

Although outspoken judge Simon Cowell was not around to give his verdict on the performances of Peterborough’s singers, members of the show’s casting team came to the Key Theatre in Embankment Road to listen to auditions.

Despite the X Factor mobile audition pod not expected to arrive at the theatre until 9am, a few hopefuls arrived early to prepare themselves.

Annalise Barfield (16) who lives in Eastgate and attends St John Fisher Catholic High School, arrived at 8.30am.

She was planning to sing ‘Yours’ by Ella Henderson.

Annalise said: “It’s nerve-racking but I am hopeful. I’ve watched the auditions before on YouTube.

“I’ve sung in YouTube and Facebook videos and in school productions.”

Ben Callanan (25) from Eye plays acoustic guitar.

He said: “I’ll play a couple of my own songs. I guess I’m confident as I’ve been playing music for 10 years.

X Factor auditions at the Key Theatre. Solo singers Michelle Griffin and Suzanne Sleight with daughter Eloise Sleight (8). EMN-150104-113905009

X Factor auditions at the Key Theatre. Solo singers Michelle Griffin and Suzanne Sleight with daughter Eloise Sleight (8). EMN-150104-113905009

“I do a lot of busking around Peterborough and gigs.”

Sophie Luckett (18) who attends the grammar school in Bourne where she lives said: “I’m excited and nervous. I’m nervous singing in front of people but I love performing.”

Matt Thompson (16) who lives in Sugar Way is a fan of 60s music such as The Beatles and Frank Sinatra.

He said: “I’m hooked, I just sing everywhere. I’m not really nervous. I thought I may as well just give it a go.

I’m hooked, I just sing everywhere.

Matt Thompson

“I’ve been contemplating auditions since I was 14.

“My favourite judge is Simon Cowell as he is brutally honest.”

Thames TV also sent X Factor talent scouts to a special one-off TWF Open Mic Night at the Solstice Bar, in Northminster, on Tuesday evening to search for artists for the hit show.

The visit is part of the X Factor’s biggest audition tour taking in 50 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland.

X Factor factfile

Peterborough singers are no strangers when it comes to appearing on the X Factor.

X Factor auditions at the Key Theatre.  Singers with guitarist Ben Callanan with the X Factor van EMN-150104-114022009

X Factor auditions at the Key Theatre. Singers with guitarist Ben Callanan with the X Factor van EMN-150104-114022009

Former Jack Hunt School pupil Aston Merrygold was a runner up with boy band JLS in 2008. The band went on to register a number of huge chart hits before splitting up in 2013.

Fellow Jack Hunt pupil Craig Saggers performed in duo Diva Fever who got through to the live shows, but were eliminated in the first week.

Nicole Lawrence was eliminated in the boot camp stage of the show.