I’m not much of a Saturday night television viewer. It’s usually date night, and if it’s not, you can pretty much guarantee that the husband and I will be entertaining or being entertained.
I have watched a few episodes of X-Factor on catch-up, though.
I knew this kid. He was at school with the younger dort. He was a funny little thing, quick-witted, outgoing, full of energy. He and the dort went all the way through primary school together, and then to different secondary schools.
He popped up again when they found themselves at the same youth theatre company and in the same sixth form.
|Josh and the dort at the school prom
I always liked Josh. He was the kid who was unembarrassed to call me Nik. He had the stones to use my bathroom when Lily’s wasn’t free, and he was the kid who brought his drunk mate round to my house when he needed looking after. He was the boy who turned up, unexpectedly for lunch on Easter Sunday, happy to accept the extra Easter egg that I kept in the cupboard just-in-case. He’s the kid who’ll always stop and speak if he sees me in the street, and who still visits regularly for no particular reason.
It’s not just talent that will get you somewhere, although Josh has plenty of that. He and the dort regularly acted and sang and danced together in musicals produced by the local youth theatre. Of course talent is a requirement, but hard work and a big personality help, too, and a bucketful of charm and confidence, and more than your average shot of intelligence.
I always had a feeling that Josh would do OK. I thought he might go into musical theatre, but I wasn’t surprised when, back in the spring, the dort said she was getting on a train to London to meet Josh and his new band in their cramped little flat. I wasn’t surprised to hear that he was making ends meet, tending bar and stretching his tips to keep the band going.
The little bugger was tight-lipped when it came to auditioning for the X-Factor, though. The process must already have begun the last time he visited and I had stern words with him about his future, and urged him to take some classes and find some direction for his talents. It turns out that he already had.
|Kingsland Road with Josh second left
It turns out that with his buddies Connor, Thompson, Matt and Jay, Josh formed Kingsland Road and broke the back of the X-Factor challenge, making it through the early rounds to boot camp and then to Gary Barlow’s house in New York.
Last weekend Kingsland Road featured in the first of the X-Factor live shows, and they acquitted themselves really rather well. Whatever happens now, and I hope it all works out well for them, Josh, the little dude I remember from when he really was a little dude, has got his foot in the door. It doesn’t surprise me that he’s well on his way to becoming a pop star, because he always had the X-Factor. They say that birds of a feather flock together, and I can’t help thinking that he and the dort were always made of the same sort of stuff.
Maybe, one day, I’ll see him on the stage in one of my favourite musical roles. Who knows, perhaps after his pop career, he’ll go on to have that career in musical theatre after all.
Good luck to Kingsland Road. I might be biased, but it looks to me as if they’ve got a decent shot at winning this thing!
Here's the band singing I'm Your Man for 80s Night on the X-Factor