POP star Joe McElderry has swapped the stage for the saddle as he takes part in a gruelling road trip.

The singer, who won X Factor in 2009, has set off on a 248-mile cycle from Glasgow to Newcastle to raise cash for Teenage Cancer Trust.

And Joe has roped in 16 friends and family to join him as he makes the journey, which began at Glasgow's Yorkhill Children's Hospital.

Joe said: "It's really important for me in my kind of job to give something back. I've been working with Teenage Cancer Trust for four years now and the young people with cancer I've met are really inspiring. I want to raise as much money as I can to help this important cause."

A longstanding Teenage Cancer Trust Ambassador for the North East, Joe will take four days to complete the trip.

He will be joined along the route by his mum, Eileen Joyce, and cousins Ben and Rachel Joyce.

Joe will visit young patients at two Teenage Cancer Trust units on the first day of the ride, starting at the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at York­hill and ending at the charity's unit at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

The fourth day of the ride will finish on Sunday at the South Shields Sand Dancer Beach Bar.

Young cancer patients from Teenage Cancer Trust's unit at the Royal Victoria ­Infirmary in Newcastle will meet Joe for a wrap-up meal and celebration.

Anyone wishing to support Joe can find his Scotland The Brave JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/GENTCT/

It is not the first time the singer has raised cash for the charity.

Last year Joe and his teamed raised £15,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust with a Coast to Coast cycle challenge.

Teenage Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to improving the quality of life and chances of survival for young people with cancer.

Without the charity, young people with cancer aged 13 to 24 are treated alongside ­babies on a children's ward or elderly patients on an adult ward.

Teenage Cancer Trust is still raising money in the west of Scotland to replace its Yorkhill unit with new facilities at the new Children's Hospital at the Southern General Hospital campus.

See www.teenagecancer trust.org for more information.