Four years ago I was standing in the kitchen doing the dishes. Some of the younger members of my family were watching the X-Factor on TV as the winner that year, Joe McElderry, belted out his winning song. I happened to mutter something like ‘that’s a rubbish show, that is’, to which the resounding response was ‘you couldn’t do it’. Well, there was a challenge. So, without telling a soul, I decided to enter for the following year’s auditions, not expecting much to come from my application. Imagine my surprise when, a few month later, I received a letter telling me that I’d been invited to audition for the 7th series of X-Factor, to take place at Birmingham’s NEC on 23rd April 2010. Once all had been revealed the embarrassment ‘factor’ within my family went off the proverbial scale. Nevertheless, the challenge was still on as I drove north, complete with my tuxedo, black bow tie and well polished shoes. In truth my expectations were exceedingly low, so much so that I’d already made plans for the following day’s garden barbeque. I was to perform my version of Fly Me to the Moon to some unknown judge on the stage of the NEC. I was given the number 60652 and headed for the stage, surrounded by what seemed like thousands of very young hopefuls, most of who failed immediately. I on the other hand, finished my song with a flourish, was congratulated by the judge who told that I was through to the next round and to return the following day for a further audition. I was Gob smacked. My X-Factor journey ended however twenty four hours later, but at least I’d had a go. Just between us, it was actually great fun. That year Matt Cardle won the X-Factor, Rebecca Ferguson came second, and in third place, wait for it, One Direction. Last week I interviewed Sam Bailey as she prepared for the semi final of the 10th series.