Joe McElderry has revealed that the only way he can avoid becoming tabloid fodder is to not read about himself.

The X Factor winner, who’s aiming to score a Christmas No 1 with his debut single The Climb, said: “(I) don’t read it (gossip in the papers) – basically, I just kind of switch off from it because I think once I start reading it, I’ll freak myself out a bit and think, ‘Oh, there’s people writing about us’.

“So I’m not really paying any attention to it.”

The 18-year-old from South Shields, pictured here with his nan Hilda, admitted that he’s used to intruding questions into his personal life.

“They’ve been going on since the start of the show really. The questions started from week one so I’m not really bothered,” he said.

Joe, who is planning to move in with fellow finalist Rachel Adedeji, said that he is glad that he made some firm friendships on the show.

“Some of the contestants I will probably be friends with for a long, long time. Rachel, Olly, Stacey – they’re probably the three that I really, really got on with because they’ve got quite similar personalities to me,” he added.

But spending all his time in London does mean that he’s missing some things about his home town.

“You know what I’m missing so much? The beach, South Shields beach. There’s no beaches in London and I miss the beach.”