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X Factor Luke Friend always showed signs of loving funky hair

By Herald Express  |  Posted: November 20, 2013

  • colourful: Luke Friend, above and below, with dyed hair

  • hair-raiser: Luke Friend, right, with an Afro, as a baby, above, and at his mum Sue Potts' wedding to stepdad Steve, left

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THE family of Teignmouth X Factor star Luke Friend have opened their family photo album exclusively to Herald Express readers — so fans can see what he was like as a young child.

From an early age, Luke was keen to carve out his own style with funky hair styles.

Luke, 17, was born at Leeds General Infirmary on April 30, 1996.

He first showed signs of loving music as a toddler.

"Certainly by the age of two he loved music and dancing and by age three, he was doing skits after dinner for our guests," said his mum Sue Potts.

"The first CD he bought was Bad by Michael Jackson and he used to do a sublime rendition of Michael's I Want You Back, before his voice broke."

Luke played his first role in a play when he attended Shipley Junior School where he was cast as the role of the Pharoah/Elvis in the musical Joseph and the Amazing Techicolor Dreamcoat.

Since moving to Devon aged 13, he's gone on to star in numerous productions at Coombeshead Academy in Newton Abbot, including being involved in a school project which took him to the West End to perform at the Victoria Palace Theatre in a production of Billy Elliot.

The school won a competition to appear in the one-off performance, where Luke played Billy's gay mate Michael in the show.

"He absolutely loved this and especially meeting Cameron Mackintosh who asked him to audition the next time the Michael part was up for grabs," said Sue.

"Unfortunately, Luke had grown too much when this came around."

Luke has a brother Tom, who is 26, and a sister Alesha, 29, whose wedding he played at this year in May in the Lake District.

"He had a lot of people in tears with his rendition of Lover of the Light by Mumford and Sons and On A Day Like This by Elbow when Alesha and James were walking up and down the aisle," said Sue. "Both Tom and Alesha are very proud of Luke's achievements and love seeing him playing at gigs."

Luke isn't the only musical one in the family. His cousin Holly, known as Halle, is in a new girlband Love Beats Riot and he also has other cousins who have won lots of singing competitions.

His family are rooting for him and are making the trip to London as much as they can to see him perform each week on the X Factor.

"We are proud of everything he does as he always gives his best," said Sue.

"We are most proud though of the way Luke handles himself.

"He is always grounded and just the same boy with the beautiful soul, as caring and humble as he has always been.

"We would just like to say a huge thank you to all of his supporters especially all of our friends and family who have helped spread the word over the last few weeks, putting up posters and banners and, of course, looking after Luke's dog Gizmo while we are in London," said Sue.

"Luke would also like to say a big thank you to all of his friends and fans for keeping the faith and voting for him."

Luke is through to the last six in X Factor after saving himself in the last Sunday's sing-off.

His celebrity backers now include Adele.

The Grammy award winner took to Twitter to praise Luke.

"I want him to win," she tweeted.

Read more from Torquay Herald Express

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