X-FACTOR fan Julie Midwinter’s dream came true when she won a chance to watch the 2009 winner of the ITV series, Joe McElderry.

The 49-year-old from Cheney Manor persuaded 13 of her relatives to enter the Adver’s competition earlier this year to sit in on the Geordie heart throb’s sound check before his Thursday night show at the Wyvern Theatre. She also won two front row tickets to the gig, which she attended with her colleague from Ladymead Care Home, Ann Fowler.

Julie said: “I’ve seen Joe five times and it is so nice to be able to see him in my home town. “He’s got a wonderful smile and such a lovely voice.

“It was just so exciting to be able to sit in on his sound check and see and hear how different it was to the actual show. “It’s much better because it was one-to-one and I got to actually meet him.”

Joe’s visit to the town was part of the 22-year-old’s 60-date tour of the country called Set Your Soul Alive.

He said he enjoyed being able to meet some of his fans and letting them watch him prepare for the show.

He said: “It’s lovely just to be able to give people the opportunity to see what it’s like behind the scenes. It’s a lot more informal and it looks different and sounds different, and I think it’s nice for people to be able to come and see that.” While in Swindon the star also took time to browse the shops in the town centre.