FRIENDS of X-Factor finalist Johnny Robinson are urging Harrow residents to back the singing sensation after he secured his place in the live shows of the hit programme.

West Harrow's Johnny was just one of just 16 pop wannabes to claim a place in the next phase of the popular ITV show, following the final selection process on Saturday.

Friend Gary King, a DJ, has backed his pal, who is just one of four competitors in Louis Walsh's over 26s category, to go all the way in the show.

The 60-year-old, of Eastcote, said: "What you see is what you get with Johnny. I have known him for about seven years and he is just a lovely down to earth guy and is exactly as he seems on the show.

"I wasn't at all surprised to see him on the X-Factor because I have seen him perform before and it was never in doubt that he had a great voice.

"I think people will like him because he has an interesting voice and is certainly a great character and he just needs that one per cent luck that will get him all the way."

A few weeks back Johnny told the Observer that he had been mobbed in his favourite Primark store in Harrow and Mr King added: "I actually told him that he should have thought about having a stage name and given his love of the shop he should be called Johnny Primark.

"He has a great chance to do really well out of it, he works so hard and deserves a break. I hope people in Harrow get behind him because I will be getting out my Johnny rosette and encouraging people to vote."

Mehmet Tezge, the owner of Eat Well Cafe in Eastcote Lane, South Harrow, has become friends with the 45-year-old finalist in the last few years, as he pops into the cafe once or twice a week.

The 43-year-old said: "Johnny is a lovely and friendly guy. I think it will be hard for him to win it but people in Harrow should definitely support him because he is local and because he is very good at what he does.

"We have become good friends and he is a very popular guy."

Johnny made it through to the live shows of the competition after his rendition of Amy Winehouse's Love is a Losing Game, during the 'judge's houses' part of the show in Barcelona on Saturday.

He will now be battling to stay in the competition which will see one person eliminated from the show each week.


Sherene Taffe, 18, Neasden. A student at Harrow College

"I think he has an amazing voice and it is great for people in the area to look at someone like that and be encouraged to push themselves as well.

"When there are very few jobs about it is good to see someone pushing themselves, being ambitious and going for it, I think that will make a lot of people realise that hard work pays off.

"If I could sing like him I would definitely be entering the competition but I think I'll leave it to him to do that. I wish him luck in the competition I'm sure he'll do really well."

Andrew Simpson, 45, Rickmansworth, Works in the Hygeia building in College Road, Harrow.

"I was a little bit surprised to see him get through to the final stages to be honest but he has got a good voice and he is different, a bit of a character.

"It's always good to have someone local in the competition to keep an eye out for and whilst I don't think he'll quite go all the way I think he'll be in it for a good few weeks yet.

"Ultimately he seems like a nice guy and I think people will vote for him because of that."

Manju Sanghani, 31, Station Road, Harrow, Stay at home mum-of-two

"I absolutely love X-Factor and I have to drop everything to make sure I watch it. I'm dead excited to see how well Johnny Robinson does because it definitely keeps you more interested when you know there is someone local in the competition.

"He is really good, and I think people like that he is unusual and just a nice guy. He might not win it but he is entertaining and will do well I'm sure."

Kayleigh Hawes, 17, Neasden, Student at Harrow College

"I think the X-Factor shows that normal people can be ambitious and do something to change their life and I think he is a great example of that.

"He has an unusual but great voice and I think people will vote for him because he also seems like a nice person.

"It's great for people in Harrow to see someone from the area doing so well and I'm sure people here will do their bit to keep him in the show."