STUDENT Carley Armstrong has the X Factor after completing a work experience stint on the ITV1 show.
The single mum, 23, from Hendon, has been working on the show all summer, impressing media professionals behind the scenes with her technical skills.
Carley played an essential part in the day-to-day production of the X Factor as a “logger”, deciding on the best camera angles to use to eventually broadcast.
She also rubbed shoulders with the judges, including Gary Barlow and Nicole Sherzinger.
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“I was star struck meeting Gary Barlow and had to remind myself of where I was a lot of the time,” she said.
“It felt so surreal that a single mum from Hendon could rub shoulders with these people, but I didn’t really feel so out of place as I have a long list of celebrities I’ve met from many shows.”
The 23-year-old’s hard work on the show paid off, as she has been put forward by her X Factor colleagues to work on the next series of Britain’s Got Talent in the New Year.
Carley said: “The people I looked up to more than the celebrities were the crew, especially the producers.
“I watched their every move and made notes on everything so one day, hopefully the skills I picked up during the series by the people I was in contact with, will come in handy.”
Carley worked on the show after finishing her second year at Sunderland University where she is studying media production, but turned down an offer to stay on for the live finals, deciding to return home to her role as a mum to two-year-old Alfie, and she is now back at university.
“The skills I’m learning at the university have definitely helped me while working on the X Factor.
“I knew how to approach the role and how to stand out above the rest and make a lasting impression.
“The contacts I made and the way I used them has ultimately resulted in the life-changing experiences I have had on the X Factor.”
Carley has previously worked on TV shows at Channel 4 and the BBC, but it’s not just media contacts that she’s making, she is now good friends with current finalist Christopher Maloney from Liverpool, who won the hearts of the nation following his first audition, competition.
Carley struggled in her teenage years after getting mixed up with the wrong group of people, but now she’s determined to put that behind her and become successful in the media industry.
She said she is grateful that the university has given her a chance to turn her life around.