They say a song can lift people’s spirits and for one Norfolk man, finding his singing voice has helped him cope with depression and build his self-confidence.

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And Karl Chilvers, 29, of Church Road, Little Ellingham, who has posted videos of his songs on YouTube, is now preparing for the daunting possibility of facing the judges on hit ITV talent show The X Factor.

The former Preston University student has been invited to audition for the show, which attracts audiences of 9m on Saturday nights, in mid-February and if he is successful, could be invited to a live audition where he would face the show’s judges, which included pop stars Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger on the last series.

He said: “When I was at university, I used to find that singing at karaoke helped boost me up, then when I got home a friend said I should upload the video to YouTube.

“Even if I am not successful with the X Factor audition, it will give me the feedback that I want and I am hoping to be able to go on and pursue a music career.”

Mr Chilvers, who studied hospitality and management, has posted nine videos of himself singing along to songs by Bruno Mars, Jeff Buckley and Elvis, among others, including Buckley’s Hallelujah which became a Christmas number one for X Factor winner Alexandra Burke in 2008.

He said he was a big fan of 1960s rock bands and musicians, including Buddy Holly, The Searchers, Gerry and the Pacemakers and The Beatles, but also enjoyed the music of more recent bands such as the Killers and Kings of Leon.

Mr Chilvers, who works at the Consort Hotel in Wymondham, is on medication for his depression which he said had also helped him to manage the condition.

He lives with his mother Elizabeth, 55, father Graham, 61 and also has a brother, Donovan, 24.

He added: “Doing the YouTube videos has helped to give me a new lease of life and made me more confident.”

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