SINGER Joe McElderry is preparing to perform his first of two sell out gigs in his native North-East as part of national tour.

The 22-year-old winner of The X Factor, from South Shields, is playing The Empire Theatre in Consett, tonight (Thursday May 29) and tomorrow.

It is part of his Set Your Soul Alive tour on and both gigs are expected to be packed by the singer, who also won Pop Star to Opera Star and most recently Channel 4’s The Jump.

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Tickets for a further show at the 500 capacity venue will go on sale on Saturday.

Up Close and Personal is a performance with an acoustic accompaniment on Friday October 24.

David Paull, the venue’s acting manager, said: “Tickets for Joe McElderry sold incredibly quickly and we’re expecting his performance in October to be a sell-out show too.

“It’s clear that Joe still has a lot of support in the North-East and it’s fantastic that he decided to come to Consett as part of his nationwide tour.”

Tickets for Up, Close and Personal cost £19.50 and will be released for sale on from 10am on Saturday at the box office in person, or by telephone on 01207-218-171.

Online bookings can be made at www.leisureworks.net after 3pm on Saturday.