Music

X Factor’s Ray Quinn ditches showbiz to lay carpets after ‘nightmare’ year

X Factor runner-up Ray Quinn has turned his hand to carpet laying after the "nightmare" past year saw his financial opportunities dry up.

The Hollyoaks star also had to deal with the death of his father, on top of seeing his gigs cancelled due to the pandemic.

But the 32-year-old has made it clear he's not ashamed with his career sidestep, as he wants to provide for his family and put food on the table.

The singer and actor has joined up with his brothers Robin and Darren in their carpet fitting business, which he says their dad Ray, who died of cancer at the age of 76 in November, would be proud of.

Before joining the family business though, Ray became a Hermes delivery driver as he discovered he wasn't entitled to any financial aid from the government.

He told The Mirror: "It just didn't stop. You can have up to 150 parcels in your van and you're out from 8am to 6pm.

"It helped put food on the table at the time, but it was reported I was earning £11.40 an hour… I definitely wasn't on that much!"

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The Liverpudlian lad added: "It's been a tough year. The industry stopped. Then I lost my dad to cancer in November. He was told he had up to eight months to live and he died six weeks later. I have days when I really miss him. He was my best friend."

Ray shares eight-year-old son Harry with his ex-wife Emma Stephens.

He is now engaged to stunning teacher Emily Fletcher.

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Ray's first brush with showbiz came when he was just 12, back in 2000, when he played Anthony Murray in Brookside.

Six years later he came in second place behind Leona Lewis on The X Factor, and went on to have a solo career.

His debut album, Doing It My Way, hit the No1 spot when it was released in 2007.

After that he became a household name again after he competed on Dancing on Ice twice, first in 2009 and then again in 2014, when he won.

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The dad-of-one returned to soaps in 2018 when he joined Hollyoaks as Jonny Baxter, a role he played until 2019.

However he's far from the only celebrity who has returned to so-called normal jobs because of the pandemic.

Fellow soap star Tamzin Outhwaite, 50, started selling belongings she didn't need any more as her acting work started slowing up after leaving EastEnders.

And Poldark actor Richard Harrington, 46, became a Deliveroo driver, delivering takeaways after being out of work for months.

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