HOPING to step out of his ex-school mate Aston Merrygold’s shadow is Peterborough’s latest singing star about to try his luck on the X Factor.
Popular song-bird, Craig Saggers hopes to be the latest pupil from the Jack Hunt School star-making machine, to get a taste of success after he was put through to boot camp on the hit ITV1 talent show.
Craig (21), of Thorpe Road, Peterborough was the year below JLS singing sensation Aston Merrygold at school but now has seized his chance of playing “catch-up” after wowing the judges at his Manchester audition.
Now the English Literature student is hoping he will have a fairytale ending of his own after impressing Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger, the guest judge in for the Malaria-stricken Cheryl Cole, as part of a duo - Diva Fever.
Craig said: “I had auditioned a few years ago as a soloist, but like a lot of people, the groups are seen as traditionally weak so I decided to audition with my mate from Leicester University, Joe Al-Smadi as a duo.
“But I think everyone has had the same idea as the competition is massive.
“It was incredibly nerve-wracking going out onto the stage as there are more than 3,000 in the audience and the lights are really bright.
“I just kept saying ‘oh my God, oh my God’.”
And the two lads nearly came a cropper at the first hurdle when their low-key rendition of Beatles classic Let It Be got a muted response from Simon.
Craig, who has performed at the Fireworks Fiesta at Ferry Meadows and the Christmas light city centre switch on, added: “He held his hand up to stop us and said because we were dressed so flamboyantly he expected something a bit more exciting.
“He asked us to do another song and we did Proud Mary which we really got the audience rocking and Nicole was dancing around, which was really incredible.
“We thought we had blown it but then they said we were through, we were just so thrilled.”
Craig, who also went to Sacred Heart Primary School in Bretton, said his parents Martin and Ruby and brother Dale have been really supportive and he has been buoyed up by support from his home town which he hopes will continue if he progresses further in the competition.
The X Factor production team like to keep details of the shows secrets carefully under wraps so Craig does not know when he will be appearing on the television.
He added: “They are very last-minute.com so we won’t know when we are on until the last minute when they are going to show our audition.
“It might be tomorrow but it might be next Saturday as they like to keep people guessing, either way I can’t wait.”