'X Factor' winner Joe McElderry would like to do a duet with his mentor on the talent show Cheryl Cole, he said today.
The 18-year-old was speaking as he returned to his hometown in the north east of England for the first time since winning the ITV show.
“It would be good to do a duet with Cheryl. If she’s up for it, let’s do it,” he told reporters.
“Yes, she’s been texting all week, asking how it’s going and saying if you’re stuck on anything, she’s just been really supportive.
“She’s just been asking how I am and we’ve been talking about the final.”
The teenager, who until four months ago lived in a upstairs Tyneside flat in South Shields and studied performing arts at Newcastle College, also said it would be a dream to perform with US singer Beyonce.
Joe had returned to his roots for a CD single signing session at the HMV store in South Shields.
Thousands of people had queued – some overnight – for the chance to be one of a lucky 500 given the opportunity to meet the pop star.
Speaking ahead of meeting his fans, Joe spoke of how the last few days have been a complete whirlwind.
“It feels very, very surreal and I am still having to pinch myself after what’s gone on this last couple of days and I am on cloud nine,” he said.
“It’s been pretty mental. There were loads of people at the airport and loads of people at the back of the shop, so it’s pretty crazy.”
The teenager shrugged off the public battle between his single, 'The Climb', and Rage Against The Machine’s re-release of their 1992 hit 'Killing In The Name' for the Christmas No 1.
“Well I just think it is the same as any other number one battle for Christmas No 1 with two artists going against each other,” he said.
“It’s nothing new. It’s been a bit more well documented than others. I can only promote the single and I can’t do anything else.
“I am working hard and I just hope people buy the single and I wish them good luck as well.
“I am just happy to get a single out but to get No 1 would be incredible.”
Current figures show the song has sold 175,000 copies, compared with 110,000 for Joe’s single.
Since Joe won the show he has been front page news for many newspapers but he confessed today that he handles the media attention by just ignoring it.
“Don’t read them basically,” he said.
“Just kind of switch off from it because once I start reading it I think I’ll just freak out a bit at it, so I think ’all these people writing about us’, so I am just not paying any attention to it.”
So far the weirdest thing has been appearing on GMTV – a show the teenager has watched for years.
“I think just being on GMTV performing my single and then getting interviewed by people who I’ve watched interview massive celebrities all the time,” he said.
“Here I am sitting on the sofa. It’s really, really weird.
“I wouldn’t say I am a pop star yet as I have a lot of work to do. It feels weird to have a single out because I can’t believe that’s my single.
Joe refused to rule out a career in Hollywood but said he was keeping the Geordie accent.
“I don’t actually know where this has come from,” he said.
“But if it is true, I wouldn’t mind a Hollywood career. I am not ditching the accent.
“They would have to take it or leave it.”
And as for the future, the 18-year-old is prepared to just go with the flow.
“Who knows, I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I am just going to have to work hard, kept going and see what happens,” he said.
The teenager also praised the people of South Shields for their support as he took part in the show.
“I just cannot thank the people enough who supported us,” he said.
“And I am really happy to come back to my hometown first to do a signing.
“South Shields is always going to be home.
“What I am missing the most is South Shields beach. There’s no beach in London and I am missing the beach.
“It’s just nice to go for a walk along the beach.”
In South Shields town centre thousands were queuing outside HMV in the hope of catching a glimpse of the 'X Factor' winner.
One of the lucky 500 to be allowed into the music store to get a signed Joe McElderry single was 18-year-old Chelsea Allan, from South Shields.
She said: “It was absolutely amazing. I said to him ’Joe I love you’ and he just said ’thank you’.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet him.”
Her friend Kimberley Scott, 16, from South Shields, added: “I just cannot believe I spoke to him. I’ll never forget this day.”
Paige Flaherty, 15, also from South Shields, was with a group of her friends and they all met the pop star and got singles signed.
“It was amazing. I was so excited I didn’t know what to say to him,” she said.
“I said congratulations for winning the show and Joe said ’thanks for coming’.”