X-Factor contender Nicholas McDonald has been sent a message of support from a Motherwell star of yesteryear.
In an exclusive interview Neil Reid, who won TV’s Opportunity Knocks in 1971 with “Mother of Mine”, revealed that he and his wife Elaine, who have lived in Blackpool for many years, never miss a show.
Mr Reid, who briefly enjoyed worldwide fame before his voice dropped - ending his singing career - is a professional management consultant, and also deeply committed to the Oasis church movement.
Most recently he has been working to build up a much-needed food bank or disadvantaged local people, in a move he reckons is practical Christianity of the best kind.
He said: “I think Nicholas and fantastic and Elaine and I wish him all the success in the world - his voice is terrific.”
But he added a note of caution: “For young people suddenly caught up in that world it can seem like everything - and for it to end suddenly could seem like the end of the world, as if it were the only thing that mattered.”
He added: “I know that it’s not - that ‘the act’ is not ‘you’, and that it doesn’t represent everything about you, or mean more than anything else.
“Whatever happens in your life you will still be your own person on your own terms.”
But at the same time he says he hopes Nicholas goes on to win the competition, and develop a high profile career from his talent.
Mr Reid still has close family in Motherwell, and paid a home visit as recently as a fortnight ago.
But his career roots these days are in the north of England - and helping to bring basic sustenance to starving local people is his priority.
Nicholas is one of 10 acts left in the ITV show which continues on Saturday.