Sunderland student's X Factor summer

Carley Armstrong with Christopher Maloney
Carley Armstrong with Christopher Maloney Photo:

A single mother from Sunderland has proved a hit with the X-Factor team after spending the summer working with the show.

Carley Armstrong, from Hendon, Sunderland, was offered the job after volunteering at the Newcastle auditions earlier this year.

And it was at these auditions where X Factor contestant James Arthur - from Saltburn - first caught the attention of the judges.

James Arthur
James Arthur Credit: Press Association

X-Factor producers asked Carley to work at auditions around the country - where she became friends with wildcard contestant Christopher Maloney.

And as well as Christopher, Carley also had the chance to meet Geri Halliwell, JLS, Tulisa, Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger and Take That singer Gary Barlow.

Gary Barlow
Gary Barlow Credit: ITV

"I was star struck meeting Gary Barlow and had to remind myself of where I was a lot of the time.

"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 have met from many shows."

– Carley Armstrong

Carley became close to contestants including Curtis Golden.

Carley Armstrong with Curtis Golden
Carley Armstrong with Curtis Golden

The 23-year-old media student turned down an offer to work on the X-Factor live finals to finish her degree at Sunderland University - and to look after her family.

Tulisa, Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger and Dermot O'Leary
Tulisa, Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger and Dermot O'Leary Credit: Press Association

After impressing on X-Factor, Carley has been put forward to work on the next series of Britain’s Got Talent.

"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 Armstrong