Video: Norfolk singer Leon hoping for X Factor success

PUBLISHED: 09:30 25 September 2014

Leon James of Lingwood (centre) has reached the bootcamp stage of X Factor as a member of boy band Fifth Street

Leon James of Lingwood (centre) has reached the bootcamp stage of X Factor as a member of boy band Fifth Street


A young singer who is raising thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK in memory of his dad is now hoping to go the distance on the X Factor.

Leon James at home in Lingwood. Picture: James BassLeon James at home in Lingwood. Picture: James Bass

Leon Mallett, who performs under the stage name Leon James, has made it through to the ‘bootcamp’ stage of the ITV talent show. He is performing as a member of boy band Fifth Street, a group that already boasts 15,500 followers on Twitter.

The band were featured on the show on Saturday night, singing in front of record company supremo Simon Cowell and fellow judges Louis Walsh, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Mel B.

Nineteen-year-old Leon, who lives in Lingwood, near Acle, could not reveal too much about their progress on the show but said: “Performing in front of the judges was so surreal. Seeing them sitting just a few metres in front of me was scary, especially after seeing them on TV every year!”

Earlier this year, Leon released the single One in a Million Girl as a tribute to his dad, Andy James, who died in March, aged 55, following a long battle with cancer. Andy was a well-known performer in the Great Yarmouth area and his son had come across the unreleased single in the family attic following his father’s death.

Leon James (Leon Mallet) cover artwork for One in a Million GirlLeon James (Leon Mallet) cover artwork for One in a Million Girl

The charity single stormed up the charts, reaching number one in iTunes’ reggae list and teetering on the edge of the official Top 100. And while the cover of Leon’s single paid tribute to the artwork his dad used, the video was shot locally in Yarmouth, Sheringham and Lingwood.

This Friday Leon is returning to Acle Academy for another fundraising gig in aid of Cancer Research UK.

He will play with an old friend of his dad’s, Nigel ‘Boy’ Syer.

“I always wanted to do a gig at my old school at Acle,” said Leon.

“I am really looking forward to working with Nigel Boy and it’s going to be great with guest group Rain Valley People.”

The show, Music, Comedy and a Bag of Chips, starts at 7.30pm and tickets, on the door, are available £9.80 for adults and £4.90 for under 14s and includes a bag of chips.

Are you raising money for a good cause? Email

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