Joe McElderry, who won X Factor in 2009 and came out as gay last year was tonight crowned the winner of ITV’s Popstar To Operastar after a performance enjoyed by the judges and telephone voters alike.

McElderry beat former Eurovision winner Cheryl Baker to be named the winner of the reality show saying: “Honestly, I’ve had an absolute blast with Cheryl, I love her to bits.”

McElderry was dropped by Simon Cowell’s record label Syco earlier this year after disappointing sale. He now says he might pursue a new career in opera.

He said: ‘My voice has been refreshed. For a singer and for me that is just so exciting. This is not the end of opera for me. I will definitely sing more opera and who knows, lets see what happens.’

Last July, McElderry came out as gay after pranksters hacked into his Twitter account and outed him.

Despite denying publicly that he was gay, the incident prompted him to come out to his mother.

At the time he wrote on his website:-

“I have always been a very honest person and so it is important for me to continue to be honest.

“It has been the most amazing year so far and I feel so privileged. It’s also been a time of real self realisation and I feel as if I have grown up so much in these few months.

“There has been speculation about my sexuality in the past and I have always been honest at the time I have been asked.

“Over the past few weeks I have really had time to reflect and to realise who I am. I spoke to my friends and family about this in the last few days and it was important to do the same for you all as you have been so supportive.

“I have had nothing but support from you and many of you have been very open in saying that you will continue to support me whatever my sexuality. It is important to me to let you know first, so that you know the stories in the papers are true.
I made the choice to speak openly about this.’

“Everything is going well and I’m really happy to be able to move forward from here.”