SIX months ago she was a nervous schoolgirl hoping to do well on a TV talent show.
Now stage veteran Diana Vickers has offered some friendly advice to Hollie Steel, who is following in her footsteps in wowing primetime Saturday night TV audiences and facing the barbed comments of Simon Cowell.
Remarkably, both girls have lived at one time in the tiny village of Huncoat.
Accrington native Diana, 17, appeared on X Factor last autumn and is now busy forging ahead with a solo career in London.
While she has not seen Hollie’s rousing rendition of I Could Have Danced All Night on Britain’s Got Talent, she has offered some advice to the plucky 10-year-old.
Diana said: "All of the reports I have heard say that she is brilliant. I would just tell her to have so much fun with it. Show people what Accrington is all about and just reach for your dreams. You’ve only got one chance to do this so make the most of it."
Diana, who is currently working on her debut album, said she doesn’t see her old friends from X Factor very often, even rumoured love interest Eoghan Quigg who released his own debut album last month.
She said: "We are all so busy doing our own thing at the moment. The X Factor tour was so much fun and the album is going really well. I have worked with some amazing writers and artists and we are trying to make something really special. There is so much to come from it. I don’t have a release date yet so we can take our time with things."
Diana was hot favourite to win X Factor before she was voted off at the semi-final stage after certain sections of the media turned on her amid allegations the show was being fixed in her favour.
But Hollie’s mum Nina, who still lives in Huncoat with her family including husband Jason and son John, 15, is not worried about history repeating itself with her daughter, who has already been touted by judges as a potential winner.
Nina said: "There’s lots more acts to come yet and I’m expecting that every week someone brilliant will come on.
"I’m sure they will save the best until last. There could be people better than Hollie and by the end of it I don’t think she will be the favourite."
She added: "This sort of opportunity doesn’t come along very often and it’s a very hard business to get into. In a way, for somebody‘s career it may be better to have it happen when you’re a bit older than 10.
"If she did become really famous she would try not to just be successful for a few years and then dwindle away – it would be awful for that to happen.
"It would be better than for it not to happen at all but we would like her to carry on a singing career into adulthood."