HeadLine: Likely lads are a class apart – David Sneddon
The Mirror, 06/12/2002, p24
by SHAUN MILNE
REALITY TV starlet David Sneddon is anything but dull.
In fact he’s
like a one-man power plant, just bursting with pent-up energy.
Shake his hand and you’ll probably get a shock.
Watch him on stage and you know you’ll see something truly electric.
The Paisley boy has sent plenty of sparks flying over the past week
after battling his way through to the final four in BBC’s Fame Academy.
Up on probation, he secured a massive public vote, keeping him on the
show – and in the limelight.
His enthusiasm was there for all too see, jumping about stage,
screaming and whooping like a teenage girl.
But it wasn’t poor sportsmanship, he insists, just complete and utter
shock that he’d survived another week.
Now he is in with a real chance of winning a £1million recording deal,
top-of-the-range flat in London and flash car for a year.
“I really thought I was going out,” he says, “It just meant so much to
me that I started going mental. It was fabulous just knowing that
people liked me enough to keep me in.
“My reaction was very over the top, but it was just pure elation. It’s
probably the happiest I’ve been in here.
“I picked up Cat Deely – that was all right.”
He laughs – and what a laugh – every couple of minutes.
You can’t quite decide whether it’s irritating or infectious but that
just seems just David’s way of showing he’s relaxed at last.
After all, he was last one in, replacing fellow Scot Naomi Roper, who
had to leave the Academy because of throat trouble.
He says: “I went through all the auditions, same as everyone else, and
11 were picked to go on the show.
“Three of us were left to fight for the final place. Sinead won it and
I was out.”
But within days he got the call which has changed his life forever.
David says: “They asked me to take her (Naomi’s) place and now I’m in
the last four.
“I’ll admit, I felt a little bit embarrassed that I was a late-comer.
“They were all two weeks ahead of me. I felt a little bit intimidated
and hid myself away.”
He was criticised for not trying, with his then shyness hiding a big
But David crucially won over singing coach Carrie when he played the
piano – an instrument he taught himself to play.
“That day I played the piano for Carrie it all started to go right for
me,” he says.
“I’ve never had any lessons, I just practised an awful lot as a kid on
a small keyboard and one day it all clicked.”
So much so he was even made “grade A” student, earning him the right to
play the song of his choice on live TV.
He says: “I wrote a song called Living the Lie a few years ago, but
when I was A-grade student I got to perform it.
“I’ve been trying to make it in the record business for years now, and
it was without doubt the highlight for me.
“When I came in here I had just finished busking on the streets of
Edinburgh, and eight weeks later everyone knows who I am.
“When I did the Saturday Show on BBC last weekend, I met Westlife and
Miss Dynamite and they were like ‘Hi David’. It was just weird that
these people knew who I was.”
The 24-year-old was already assured one devoted band of fans – dad
David snr, mum Anne and sister Pauline, who watch his every appearance
on BBC 1 and BBC Choice.
But he fears he’s in for an ear-bashing from Anne after TV pictures
showed him playing the piano naked during a wicked Halloween party in
David says: “The week after I did that my mum was in the audience. I
looked over and caught her eye from the stage and she let me know she
“It was definitely a ‘sorry mum’ situation. I’m sure I’ll know all
about it when I get home.”
Singing coach Carrie has been one of David’s harshest critics.
And he admits he doesn’t always find her comments constructive.
“I think sometimes its over the top,” he says. “But I let the comments
bounce off me.
“I don’t see the point getting wound-up. It’s a TV show – they’ve got
to say something.
“But her teaching qualities are amazing, she’s taught me so much about
“That’s what I’ll take away with me from Fame Academy.”
And there’s always his band The Martians to fall back on if things
don’t work out.
In fact lead guitarist John was the reason he ended up in the Academy.
David says: “We played Glasgow and Edinburgh and just before I got in
Fame Academy we got offered our first London gig.
“Things were just starting to take off for us. We’d only been a band
“The Martians started off as good fun, then we were quite good, then
this happens. I said before I left ‘no matter what happens, we’re all
tight, we’re all good mates’.
“John was the one who encouraged me to come and do this. He’s been my
best mate for five or six years.
“The support I’ve had from my friends has been incredible.”
David admits he has not heard from the band since he went into the
But his fans are certain to turn out in their bus loads if he makes it
through tomorrow night’s vote to earn a chance to gig in Glasgow on
The Rangers fan said: “When I found out about that it gave me the extra
incentive to stay in.
“I would love to come up to Glasgow – it would be probably the
“To come back on the day of the Old Firm game would be absolutely
tremendous. Maybe I could even get a bit of it on the radio.”
But there will be a huge amount at stake over David’s own performance.
He said: “Now I’m into the last four and not once have I actually
contemplated winning this competition.
“It’s all been so fast and frantic you don’t have time to think what
actually happens if you win it.
“Next week it will all be over and I can’t believe it’s happened so
quick. But for all I know I could be out as of Friday night.”
* TO VOTE TO SAVE DAVID CALL 09011 980 009 – Calls cost 10p