AN X FACTOR contestant who has written songs for Atomic Kitten and backed legendary US rock royalty Steely Dan will be entertaining audiences at a Llandudno school’s graduation day this month.

Steve McElroy, a pianist from Prestatyn, is the IT Director at Ysgol John Bright. He has been playing professionally for 15 years and reached the final stages of the X Factor in 2015.

Steve, 35, will be playing the piano when the school honours its successful students at Venue Cymru on Wednesday, June 19.

Guest of honour at the event is world champion inline skater Jenna Downing.

Steve said: “We were in X Factor and it was a brilliant experience. We called ourselves Xell and we didn’t apply but someone from the show saw us in the Indigo Theatre at the O2 Arena and they phoned us up.

“We got through the auditions where I was really surprised to find that there were a lot of people who have never gigged before.

“It is very much a TV show and not really for musicians but it’s great, very professionally done, and it gives you lots of exposure.

“We went through to Boot Camp in a big hotel somewhere near London and we had to pick a group of people to work with and pick a song and we just couldn’t wait to actually perform because we gig all the time.

North Wales Chronicle:

Ysgol John Bright; Pictured is Steve McElroy, the school’s IT manager who is taking part in the Graduation Day. Picture Mandy Jones

“Simon Cowell, was there and Louis Walsh as well as Ollie Murs, Rochelle, from The Saturdays, Rita Ora, Nick Grimshaw and Cheryl Cole and they were very good with us all.

“It was a brilliant experience. As a musician I’m not massively into X Factor but it’s very well done and because you’ve been on it people want to book you for gigs.”

Steve’s musical career goes back much further to the 1990s when he had piano lessons and it took off from there with Lewis on drums and their other brother, Chris, on guitar.

They were signed by Universal Records who flew them over to New York for a performance where they went on stage before Steely Dan.

Steve added: “We’ve written lots of songs and some of them have been for other people.

“We wrote one for Atomic Kitten and another for Ash who were big in the 1990s.”

At the event Jenna will be speaking about her career and presenting students with their Records of Achievement.

Steve will provide musical accompaniment along with singer Kirsty Jones, a former John Bright pupil and a drama graduate who spent two years working with Disney Cruises in the Caribbean.