Last year’s X Factor winner, Joe McElderry, chats to TV Times magazine about life as a pop star and what makes each judge special…

So Joe, how has your life changed?
“It’s very surreal, but I’m having the time of my life. I’ve got a swanky little flat in London now! Cheryl Cole told me it takes a long time to get used to it, but I’m finding my feet.”

What about having Simon Cowell as a boss?
“Simon’s lovely – he’s a great boss and an incredibly talented man. I was scared of him at first, but not any more. It’s very strange being friends with him now though!”

What about hobnobbing with the other stars?
“It’s such a privilege to meet people I admire. I speak to 2008 X Factor winner Alexandra Burke a lot and Michael Buble told me I could teach him a few things about singing!”

Do you still miss your family and friends?
“Yes but it’s great to go back. We’ll do some karaoke or go to the beach. I’ve got a good knack of going incognito. I can throw a hat on and a pair of glasses and nobody notices me. I don’t have a fake moustache or anything, though!”

Do you enjoy the parties and premieres?
“Yes. I took my friend to the premiere of the Angelina Jolie movie, Salt. She was so excited, but she got out of the wrong side of the car onto the red carpet where all the photographers were. They started shouting at her and she screamed and ran back into the car!”

Have you been watching the show this year?
“Yes. I’ve always been a big fan. My money’s on Matt and Rebecca this year – I want them to be in the final.”

What is your top tip for them?
“The connection between the contestants and the mentors is very important. Louis makes great song choices, Simon has a great creative eye, Cheryl is brilliant at bringing your personality out and Dannii is extremely competitive!”

Watch Joe singing his new single, Ambitions, on the first X Factor live results show below