X Factor winner Sam Bailey said she has still not met show supremo Simon Cowell weeks after she triumphed in the final of the ITV talent show.
Speaking on the red carpet at the National Television Awards, she said: "I haven't met him, I've spoken to him on the phone and he's told me not to hold back, to go out there, say what I mean and live the dream."
The singer, who opened the show with a duet with her idol Michael Bolton and performed solo, said she was moved to tears recording her album which features a contribution from Bolton.
She said: "It was blood, sweat and tears, literally. Me crying in the vocal booth, I didn't want anyone to see me crying, so there's lots of emotion in there."
Speaking backstage, Bolton said: "I'm happy I got to sing with Sam (on X Factor) I've been a big fan of hers and I was rooting for her to win. We've been doing some recording together."