"X Factor winner Joe McElderry has come out as gay just weeks after he claimed that he was straight. Earlier this month, pranksters hacked into his Twitter account and posted messages including: 'It's been difficult living a lie for so many years…' Despite denying publicly that he was gay, the incident prompted him to come out to his mother.
'It has been the most amazing year so far and I feel so privileged. It’s also been a time of real self realisation and I feel as if I have grown up so much in these few months.
'There has been speculation about my sexuality in the past and I have always been honest at the time I have been asked.
'Over the past few weeks I have really had time to reflect and to realise who I am. I spoke to my friends and family about this in the last few days and it was important to do the same for you all as you have been so supportive.
'I have had nothing but support from you and many of you have been very open in saying that you will continue to support me whatever my sexuality. It is important to me to let you know first, so that you know the stories in the papers are true. I made the choice to speak openly about this.'