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Joe McCaul heads back to the big time in X Factor bootcamp

HE hit the big time with his sister Donna when they won You're A Star and went on to represent Ireland at the Eurovision.

Now Athlone man Joe McCaul (24) is gearing up to do it all over again.

The performer is rumoured to have won a place in the bootcamp stage of this year's X Factor.

When contacted by the Herald, Joe was tight-lipped when quizzed about the series.

However, he did confirm he was heading "back to the UK" for work-related reasons.

If the speculation is true, the move could provide Joe with a huge boost to his singing career, because an appearance on the show would expose him to more than 10m viewers.

"I can't say too much at the moment. Something is in the pipeline and it's something good, something exciting. I can't confirm anything. I was told not to say too much," he said.

However, he admitted: "I went over for auditions to X Factor. Things are looking good. I'm happy with the way things are going.


"I'll be heading back to the UK soon. I'll keep striving for more success, be that on television or on my own."

Joe represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 in Ukraine, along with his sister Donna.

They were not pre-qualified for the final, as a result of Ireland's result from the 2004 contest, which meant they took part in the semi-final in May 2005, but didn't progress past that stage.

Joe said that, while he still has red hair and freckles, his performance style has changed since he was a contestant on the now defunct RTE series You're A Star.

"I haven't changed dramatically. I still have the red hair and the freckles, but I'm not just into pop music now."

"I love rhythm and blues, soul and pop. I love soul music and anything that's going to make me into a recording artist.

"If people want to write something for me, I'd love that, and there are people who've been with me years who are not just with me to get their names in papers, there are people who stuck by me.

"I've been doing shows. It's hard work, I'm doing my own kind of music and trying to get my name out there."

Joe and Donna now perform independently, and Joe works as a support worker for the HSE by day.


"I just keep striving, doing what I do best, until success eventually happens. People say if you believe in your dream it'll come true and my dream is to have a music career. Donna is working very hard; she's gigging all the time."

"I work for the HSE with a young guy who has intellectual disabilities and I find it very rewarding. It's not the obvious choice of a career for me, but I love working with the young guy, he's only 18."