X Factor finalist gigged with pop idol in Alnwick

Jay James ' then Jay James Picton ' during his support slot at the 2012 Jessie J concert in Alnwick. Picture by Jane Coltman
Jay James ' then Jay James Picton ' during his support slot at the 2012 Jessie J concert in Alnwick. Picture by Jane Coltman
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His face will now be familiar to millions of X Factor fans, but Gazette readers may well have recognised Jay James well before he was chosen for the live finals of the ITV talent show.

The Welsh singer actually performed at the packed-out Pastures concert in Alnwick two years ago, supporting pop megastar Jessie J.

Going under the name of Jay James Picton, he was one of two warm-up acts at the re-arranged August 2012 gig, which attracted a crowd of several thousand.

He gave an interview to the Gazette after he had been on stage, in the shadow of Alnwick Castle, saying that it had been great to perform live and described supporting Jessie J as wicked.

The other support act was singer-songwriter A*M*E.

It has also emerged that Jay, a 31-year-old former Royal Navy fitness instructor, has previously supported X Factor finalist Rebecca Ferguson.

The dad-of-one, from Saundersfoot, also had a recording contract and released the 2012 album Play It By Heart.

Now, he has made it into the live finals of X Factor, which start this Saturday, after being selected in the ‘overs’ category by mentor and music mogul Simon Cowell.

An X Factor spokesman told the Gazette on Tuesday: “Jay has acknowledged his previous musical achievements both on the show and in previous press interviews prior to this.”