Proud mum Siobhan speaks of strong links with
by STACEY HEANEY
Aston Merrygold's family toast
the success of his group JLS in ITV's X-Factor.
Pictured from left: brother Conor (15), grandma
Kathleen, dad Orjan, grandad Jim, mum Siobhan
and sister Courtney (14). Picture: Georgi Mabee.
SIOBHAN Merrygold, the mother of X Factor
contestant Aston, who is originally from Dunmurry, has spoken of
her family's close connection to the Lisburn area.
Siobhan, who grew up in Peterborough, said
JLS member Aston, who is currently being mentored by Louis Walsh
on the hit TV show, has "huge links" with the area.
Siobhan, the youngest of four children,
commented, "I'm really surprised and pleased by the growing
support for JLS over there. Aston has always felt a closeness to
the area, growing up around all of us.
"I still regard myself as being from Ireland,
although I grew up in Peterborough, and all of our contacts and
family are either there or from there, so we have strong
Siobhan said her parents, Jim and Kathleen, are so proud of
Aston's achievements and are backing their grandson to go all
"My parents are incredibly proud.
They were a huge part in helping with Aston when he was
growing upand there is a special bond of closeness between them.
They are the oldest groupies in town."
"It still hasn't really sunk in that Aston is up there every
week," she continued. "Proud doesn't describe how I feel about
Thanking local people for their support,
Siobhan said: "I would say to enjoy the show and thank anybody
who is voting for JLS."
JLS, Aston, JB Gill, Marvin Humes and Ortise
Williams, are now down to the final six on the show and are one
of the favourites to reach the final on December 13.
The four piece took the show by storm last
Saturday when they took on the challenge of a Beatles Medley
during 'Best of British' Week, and they are hoping to continue
to wow the public when they perform a Take That hit during Take
That Week on Saturday night.
Speaking from rehearsals on Tuesday, Aston
said the group were having a "fantastic" week, despite not
having yet chosen a song for the show.
"It's been fantastic. We had an early master
class with Take That, which was amazing," said Aston.
"I texted my cousin afterwards and she was so
happy, she is a massive Take That fan and she was telling
everyone at work about it."
The boys were given some good advice by Take
That members Gary Barlow and Mark Owen, who helped them to
choose a song after their original choice was chosen by one of
the other contestants. Aston explained: "We were going to do
World, which is our favourite Take That song
for all four of us. We had a really good routine worked out and
a great arrangement but Dannii has taken the song for one of her
singers. She's got first pick and she has chosen that song.
"We've got four tracks to choose from and
we're trying to find the right song, but we got great input from
Gary and Mark - who better than Gary Barlow to help us find the
right song for us? He has written most of these songs,' he said.
JLS were pleased with their unique Beatles
Medley on last week's show, despite some negative comments from
'Mr Nasty' himself, Simon Cowell. Aston stated: "We're four of
the luckiest boys in the country right now. I think the Beatles
Medley was something unexpected and I think it got us a little
bit more respect. I think we did it justice and we were more
than happy, even though Simon asked if it was our idea or
Louis's; at the end of the day we are a team. But their points
we not about the performance so it's all good, it's
constructive. I don't know if they mean the comments, but you
know when you feel right when the performance went right and
that's the best we've felt so far."
Aston was also able to spend some quality
time with his family at home last week. "It is quite
overwhelming that we got to go home and we are still in the
competition, we are very very lucky. It was especially great to
see my nan and grandad, they love going on cruises or they are
back in Ireland with family, but they are always sticking by me
and supporting me, even when I was young and I was always
singing and dancing, as much as I was into football and sport,
they always said this is where I belong."
There was also an impressive piece of fan
mail for the band this week when they received a letter from
Prime Minister Gordon Brown for their role in the number one
single 'Hero, which has raised over �1 million for the Help For
"We have set ourselves goals that we wanted
to achieve in our career and we wanted to prove ourselves to be
role models to the younger generation, so for the PM to call us
role models and thank us for the single is surreal."
"I'd just like to say thank you so much to
everyone who is voting for us. Keep watching and keep vot- ing,
and we'll do our best."
Aston Merrygold's family toast the success of his group JLS
in ITV's X-Factor. Pictured from left: brother Conor (15),
grandma Kathleen, dad Orjan, grandad Jim, mum Siobhan and sister
Courtney (14). Picture: Georgi Mabee.