College runs X Factor audition course
A college is launching the first ever X Factor audition course to help wannabe stars become the next James Arthur.
Technical tuition in singing, performing and projecting confidence will be offered in the 17-week programme, with 40 places available costing £95 each.
Starting next week, it is partly Government funded and partly paid for by student fees, and ends just in time for the next round of auditions for the ITV1 hit show.
Course organiser Mike Jinks, of Bishop Auckland College, Co Durham, said: "I wanted to run a course which prepared people for X Factor auditions and similar competitions across the country.
"Many applicants have talent but need to work on key things such as their singing technique and confidence.
"People auditioning also need to know X Factor winners don't ust walk in there blind. It is not about just wandering in, singing a song and you're famous.
"Most applicants have been doing the rounds for years working really hard, it's very rare that you get a Susan Boyle character.
"The course is about giving people real, transferable skills. The biggest thing they will get out of it is confidence, whether this is for a future singing audition or a job interview."
He got the idea last summer after 2009 and 2012 winners Joe McElderry and James Arthur played at the Bishop Auckland Music Festival.
Actress and performer Susan Harris, who has worked alongside Lenny Kravitz and had TV roles including Davina Pike on Emmerdale during her 25 year career, is leading the course.
The course has no formal entry requirements other than 'enthusiasm and motivation'. On completion, students will qualify with an NCFE Level 1 Certificate in Music.
Mr Jinks added: "There are plenty of colleges running this qualification but as far as I am aware none of them have designed the course around the X Factor."