Today the Lancaster Guardian and The Visitor have joined forces to back a young man with an incredible voice and a dream to become a recording star.
We’re rallying the readers of our newspapers to support Paul Akister, who is the first singer from our district to reach the live finals of hit ITV talent show The X Factor.
This Saturday night (October 11) millions will tune in to watch Paul, 25, sing in front of a TV studio audience in London in what will be the first of hopefully many nail-biting weekends.
Viewers will have the chance to pick up their phones and vote to keep the Lancaster man in the competition as each week, one act will be eliminated until just a handful remain for the grand final in December.
The eventual winner of The X Factor is all but guaranteed a lucrative recording contract and the Christmas number one single.
Soul man Paul, who will be mentored by former Spice Girl Melanie ‘Mel B’ Brown, is currently among the bookies’ favourites to win the series.
Family, friends and colleagues of Paul have backed our campaign and will be cheering him on every step of the way during his X Factor run.
His sister Charlotte said: “All of the family are so proud of Paul. He has worked incredibly hard and deserves this. We just hope that all of Lancashire will now get behind him and vote! #teampaul.”
Lester Simpson from Carnforth, Paul’s agent, first met the singer when he was 16 years old.
Lester said: “I remember thinking at the time, this lad is going to be a superstar.”
“He’s honest and genuine, he’s worked hard and learned his trade, and I want him to go to the very, very top.”
Stuart Michaels, fellow singer and close friend, has spoken to Paul this week as he prepares in London for the first live show.
Stuart said: “He says he’s not nervous whatsoever, he’s just looking forward to Saturday. He’s demonstrating that this area has talent and that a dream can be achieved.”