A chat with Joe McElderry ‘I’m blessed to come from the North East’

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We sat down for an exclusive interview with the South Shields singing sensation, to discuss his upcoming shows, his performance at Arbeia Bar’s Pride Day and the support from the North East.

With the exciting announcement that our very own North East singing star, Joe McElderry would be hosting a one-night-only ‘Festive Party’ this November, we sat down to chat to Joe about his upcoming touring schedule, what it was like to be included in Arbeia Bar’s Pride Day with Stonewall, and how he feels to be regarded as one of our ‘hometown heroes’.

First discussing Joe’s Festive Party which will be held at Newcastle’s O2 City Hall in November, Joe explained: “Imagine your Christmas party night out. Christmas songs will be in there, but it will be a real party atmosphere.”

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Joe told us that the Festive Party will involve sing-a-longs, party games and audience participation, which is sure to be a hit with the North East audience.

“Most of all, it’s all about getting people into the Christmas spirit and ready for the festive period,” Joe explained.

After the one-night-only event, Joe will be gearing up for the Newcastle Theatre Royal Christmas Pantomime, where he will be taking on the role of Jiminy Cricket in their production of Pinnochio. “I’m really looking forward to it! Everything is really fresh and different. It’s definitely going to be a show to remember.

“It’s wonderful to return to the Theatre Royal once again. It’s arguably one of the best pantomimes in the country. To be a part of it is really special.”

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Joe recounted fond memories of going to see the pantomime at the Theatre Royal as a youngster, and how it feels extra special to perform on a stage he once dreamed of.

“Being able to play at any of the iconic venues across the North East, all of those places are places I used to go and watch people that I admired. Now I get to play those venues. When it’s a venue that you visited when growing up, there’s a different kind of attachment, it’s extra special.

“I think to myself - wow, I used to sit in the audience and wish that I could perform on the stage.”

Joe has also released extra dates for his Celebrate The Music tour which originally took place earlier this year, two of which will be held at The Customs House in South Shields on Thursday, September 28 and Friday, October 27.

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Joe explained: “This tour shows a real mix of brand-new songs that people have never heard me sing before, as well as classics. It’s a real celebration of music, a real high-energy show.

“Parts of the show are stripped back and intimate, but there’s other parts where everyone can get up and sing and dance, and just have a great time! It’s a really fun show, I’m so glad to be able to carry it on.”

The songs performed by Joe at Celebrate The Music will include covers of huge hits, as well as his own original material across his albums.

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As Joe was recently part of the incredible line-up who performed at Arbeia Bar’s Pride Day, which was created by bar owner and Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall alongside LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall, we asked Joe how it felt to perform on such an important day for the LGBTQ+ community in South Shields.

“It was lovely. Me and Jade have been great friends for years having grown up together in South Shields, she asked if I would perform and lend my support, and it was wonderful to do so. Visibility in South Shields for the LGBTQ+ community is really important.

“I felt really proud to be a part of something like that in my hometown. I didn’t have anything like that growing up, and to see that, as a 32-year-old, having experienced what I have with coming out, it was really special.”

We finally asked Joe how it felt to be regarded as one of our ‘hometown heroes’, alongside Cheryl, Jade and Perrie from Little Mix, Sam Fender and other North East born people who have gone on to make our city proud.

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Joe McElderry shot to fame after winning The X Factor in 2010.Joe McElderry shot to fame after winning The X Factor in 2010.
Joe McElderry shot to fame after winning The X Factor in 2010. | Getty Images

“Am I regarded as a hometown hero?” he laughed. “It’s lovely if I am!”

“What I will say is there is something about the North East where they really get behind their own, I’ve been blessed with incredible support and a wonderful fan base far and wide, but in the North East, there is a real sense of community spirit.

“I am really blessed to come from a wonderful place like the North East, and if people do regard me as that, I’m more than happy to take that title on!”

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