Interview | Joe McElderry talks 'Joseph', body confidence and why you won't be seeing him on Grindr

As he gears up to wear the second greatest mutlicoloured coat in history (Dolly’s is top, of course) Geordie heartthrob,  Joe chats to Attitude about musicals, single life, and brushing off body criticism... You’re starring in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, is this a show you know well? Yeah! It’s one of those shows isn’t it? It’s an iconic show in musical theatre, but I think as well, people have so many lovely memories about the show from being a kid and it’s a lot of people’s first introduction to musical theatre. I’ve had more people coming up to me saying, “Oh my god, I can’t wait for Joseph and it’s the perfect role for you,” so it has been really nice to see the support surrounding it. In fact on Twitter, I see you interact with fans an awful lot, lots of selfies and retweets – is that important when you’re doing this kind of national tour? It’s part of the job I’m doing and they’re the reason I get to do what I do. You can’t do anything if people don’t turn up at the shows or people don’t buy your albums. I always give them as much time as possible. And have you learned all the colours for the big number yet? I have! I did it on The Wright Stuff the other morning. They told me I got it wrong but I didn’t. I got it right! That’s the bulk of the work, right? Exactly. Joe McElderry 1 - Photography by Mark Yeoman22 There was a poll recently in which you were voted people’s favourite ever X Factor winner - and by a country mile too. How does that feel? It was lovely! Obviously there have been a lot of people to come out of the show that have been successful as well and done amazing things here in the UK and around the world. It’s nice that people value what I’ve done and appreciate the performances I’ve been in. It’s really comforting and I was quite proud that I won that. What did you think of this year’s show? I didn’t really watch it that much because I was working. I think now it’s not so much about the singing and the show, it’s becoming too much about the judges. I love the show and I’m a huge fan. I’ll always support the show because it’s where I got my big break. But I think they need to make a few changes and take it back to what it was a few years ago and that way people will enjoy it more. I wanted to ask you about that infamous incident last August where you appeared on Lorraine, and certain tabloids made a big issue out of your more ‘fuller frame’, and that you didn’t look like the 18 year old we’d seen on X Factor. You hit back at the time, but how did that make you feel? I never have a problem with any of the tabloids ever having anything negative to say about me - I realise it comes with the territory. But what I don’t like is how they tried to portray a teenage boy growing into a man, as someone getting overweight. I don’t need anyone to tell me if I’m fat or overweight. I can make that decision myself, when I look in the mirror and think how I feel about myself. Yes, my body has changed, yes I’ve broadened out and I’ve grown a little bit. I am bigger than I was when I was 18 - find me a boy that isn’t! And I want to highlight that I’m a fit, young, healthy 24-year-old boy. I go to the gym, I exercise, I eat healthily and I’ve got a half-decent body and I’m not frightened to show that. You guys did that lovely story afterwards when I posted the selfie.

Just took my full figured little ass to the gym and thought I take a little pic ✌️ #dailymail #fail

A photo posted by Joe Mcelderry (@joemcelderry91) on

That was the shirtless selfie that sort of said ‘here’s what I really look like’, and since then you’ve not been shy about showing off on Instagram... I started exercising last year and never really had any confidence in my body previous to that. Since exercising I’ve toned up a bit more, and I come across more confident in photos. I try and leave a little bit to the imagination; I try not to give too much away! Are you single at the moment? I am single yes. Do you date? Do you use dating apps? I don’t go on any apps. I’m not one for the apps. The fact is with the job that I do, it can make that a little bit more difficult. I’m open to dating people - if it happens, it happens and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’m busy with work. It’s part of life really. If I like someone then I like them. I don’t think dating or being in a relationship means you happier or unhappier. I’m single, enjoying the work I do and yeah I enjoy having nice friends around me. joe 2 You've already romped to victoryon The X Factor, Popstar to Operastar and The Jump. What talent show would you like to tackle next? Strictly. That would be fun. Maybe I’m A Celebrity, but I don’t know how I’d cope with that. I like something where you can learn a new skill. If you can come away from a reality show with something like that from it, it’s an extra added bonus. Did you make any new year’s resolutions? People always make such a big point of resolutions. I posted on my Instagram to say it doesn’t have to be a new year to change one thing in your life; you can always make small changes. I think that way you don’t have one huge go with such a pressure. Joe is starring in the UK tour of 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' from January 26. For more information and tickets visit josephthemusical.com More stories: 'Dieux du Stade' photographer releases jaw-dropping new photo book Watch | YouTube star Calum McSwiggan apologises for bareback porn past