Singer penned tune about late granddad

The X Factor’s Ella Henderson was understandably nervous when she sang her own song at her audition.

Not only did she have to face a live audience, Gary Barlow was watching on the judging panel.

The teenager earned a standing ovation for her performance of a composition she penned about her late granddad on Saturday night’s show, but it was Gary she most wanted to impress.

It’s the fact that he’s an amazing songwriter himself,’ says Ella, 16.

That’s what I want to do. I wanted his opinion on my song.

The song is one of my newer ones and it meant a lot to me. I’ve got loads of stuff I’ve been writing for the past few years.’

Ella, who comes from Lincolnshire, has been studying music at boarding school since she was 10 – and was thrilled when she was accepted for a place.

My parents didn’t think I’d get in because I’m from a small town,’ Ella tells the Daily Mirror.

When I did it was a shock to them. I was their youngest, but they knew it was what I wanted to do.

I was 10 or 11 when I first went away. I found it a bit of a struggle at first. But later I absolutely loved being away, meeting new people, growing in confidence and becoming an independent girl.’

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Anna Francis