X Factor's Dermot is wild about Glasgow

THEY queued for hours in the howling wind and rain for a shot at fame.

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More than 2000 hopefuls waited patiently for the first round of auditions for the X Factor.

People of all ages, including many school children and recent school leavers, had travelled from all over the UK to get to the Scottish audition, which was held in the SECC.

They even lined up across the river outside the BBC Centre before being taken over for their audition.

Although the doors weren't due to open until 9am, budding pop stars queued from 6am to be the first to face the producers who will decide if they can go through to the next round.

Presenter Dermot O'Leary cheered up the shivering crowd when he arrived, getting his picture taken and chatting with those waiting in line.

A piper and Highland dancers in traditional dress performed, while X Factor staff, dressed in kilts, handed out Irn-Bru and shortbread.

Dermot said: "Glasgow always deliver in terms of the crowd, they are brilliant, they are always up for it. It would be great to get a finalist from Glasgow.

"But, it is funny, we always get a few people who shine early on in the auditions and then for some reason or another don't push through, so fingers crossed."

But he wasn't giving anything away about which celebrities would be on the panel this year. He said: "They are 95% there, so I don't know."

The lucky contestants who made it through to the next round will have to face several gruelling stages before they come in front of the celebrity panel of judges in June.

They were asked to prepare a verse or chorus to sing without accompaniment, and organisers promised anyone who arrived would be give the chance to audition.

Many people had brought guitars, carrying them on their backs or leaning them against the railings.

Nervous singers practised their songs in the queue, playing to the cameras that filmed their every move.

At one end of the queue was a big screen with the X Factor logo, and people in the crowd had Xs painted on their faces and waved giant foam hands that read 'I have the X Factor'.

Everyone was dressed to impressed in bright-coloured clothes, lipstick and make-up.

Schoolgirl Nicola McMaster, 17, of Kirkintilloch, came to the audition with her aunt Margaret McFadden, 50.

She said: "I have never thought I am good enough to sing so this is a huge jump from normal.

"I am terribly shy, I kept it a secret from everyone that I am here."

Organisers handed out blow-up instruments, microphones and beach balls to the excited hopefuls.

At one point music pumped out of nearby speakers and contestants danced and cheered for the cameras.

Hoping to shine in the crowd was Carina Williamson, 26, from Dunblane, who recently got a special hearing aid after she was born without one ear.

She said: "I went for an audition about four years ago and I have never been back, but I came because I am deaf and I have just got my hearing aid.

"I am just going to go and be myself and hopefully they will go 'yes'."

Michelle Williamson, 17, from Irvine, said she was really nervous about performing her version of Titanium by David Guetta for the producers.

She said she had been up since 5am getting ready for the audition.

Michelle said: "I have been told I am good so I want to come and see if I am good. It would mean a lot to get through to the final."

Ashley Rooney, 21, of Mount Vernon, said she had what it takes to win the X Factor. She said: "This is my third time here and I hope it is third time lucky."

Hannah Murray, a 19-year-old jeweller from Stirling, said: "I love singing, music is the best part of my life, I am always singing and always listening to music when I am not at work.

"You are always wanting fame and fortune but just getting my name out there... if I don't get it, I have got a job to go back to."

matty.sutton@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment

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