X-Factor hit praised by playwright Alan Ayckbourn

Alan Ayckbourn

Alan Ayckbourn

First published in In brief

A SONGWRITER has won the backing of a famous playwright after one of his tracks was heard on The X-Factor.

Neil Fitzpatrick’s Apart was penned after losing friends and relatives to cancer, including his dad who died of lung cancer just after Christmas last year.

His song was performed by Liverpool vocalist Michelle Lawson on the reality show last week, and already has one celebrity fan in Scarborough’s Alan Ayckbourn who described it as “a fine song, beautifully executed and performed”.

The tune has raised £8,500 for Cancer Research, and its popularity is set to grow after Michelle impressed the judging panel, including Simon Cowell. She will go on to perform live at Wembley Arena and plans to promote the song.

Mr Ayckbourn has written to Neil, and donated to the cause. He wrote: “I do feel for you and the extraordinary journey you have travelled in recent years. No wonder you want to do all you can to raise funds for Cancer Research.”

In July, the song reached the semi-final of the UK Songwriting Contest and will be judged by Sting and Elton John’s producer, Kipper Eldridge, as well as other respected music industry professionals.

Neil, from Scarborough, who hopes to raise £25,000, said: “Cancer is something that sadly affects most of us nowadays. I’m determined to make a difference, albeit small, in helping fight the disease through research.”

The song, £5, is available on CD or at apartsong.co.uk. Proceeds to Cancer Research UK.

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