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Tom's high hopes.

Byline: By Megan Bolam

Tiny Tom Morley was just six years old when he got his first grip of a microphone.

Today the youngster is warming up to sing for his country in the world's biggest singer/songwriting contest.

Tom, from Cleator Moor, Cumbria, joins pint-sized pop stars from 15 other nations in Copenhagen to prepare for the finals of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest next weekend.

The 10-year-old won the hearts of millions last month when he sang his self-penned Song For The World, which he wrote during the war in Iraq.

Since then he has become a hero in his home town and has already signed a songwriting deal with EMI - the world's largest publisher.

But in the midst of his recently acquired fame, Tom yesterday insisted he was just an ordinary schoolkid who got a lucky break.

He said: "I just can't believe it because I have wanted to be a musician since I was six years old and I had to sing a song in front of the school.

"I've never done anything like this before and to make it to the final eight was good enough for me.

"I just want to be a musician and anything I can do to get there would be good."

While his vocals may have impressed the nation's viewers, who ranked him at the top of the junior pops, Tom says he has barely had any training in singing or songwriting in his short life.

His inspiration for his first hit song come while he was indulging in one of his favourite past-times - watching television.

He said: "I was watching the people getting hurt in the war on TV and I just thought I should do something for them.

"So I wrote the song but I never expected anything like this was going to happen."

Apart from giving Tom the chance to achieve his dream of becoming an international star, the contest will also see his family take their first holiday together in 17 years.

His father Jack, mother, Tina, brothers, Jack junior, 17, James, 12, and sister, Demi, 7, will this week set off on an all-expenses paid trip to Denmark to cheer him on in the finals.

Tina, 39, said: "We are gobsmacked because we never thought in a million years our Tom would get into the final eight in the UK, let alone be the winner.

"We thought it was good enough going to London but now we are all going on our first family holiday and we are all looking forward to it.

"Whether he wins on the weekend or not he will be our winner anyway."

The finals will be broadcast live from Copenhagen ITV1 next Saturday at 7pm.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 8, 2003
Words:455
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