Hartlepool singing sensation Rick Snowdon is putting on a free hometown concert for his fans.
Since impressing on the prime time BBC One show The Voice, the former junk food addict who was terrified to leave his home has appeared as a guest on This Morning, Good Morning Britain and been interviewed by the national press.
The video of his stunning blind audition has racked up more than half a million views on You Tube.
Fans can see him perform in his home town on Friday night ahead of his second appearance on The Voice on Saturday.
Rick, 29, who lives in the Foggy Furze area, said: “It has been the most surreal experience ever.
“I was happy with my performance but I didn’t expect the reaction. I have had so many messages of support and love, people sending me gifts.
I couldn’t walk the street without getting stopped and people taking photosRick Snowdon
“When I went down to London for Good Morning Britain and This Morning I couldn’t walk the street without getting stopped and people taking photos.”
Rick talked about how he managed to lose half his body weight with a rigorous exercise regime after an addiction to junk food saw him balloon to 26 stone. At his lowest he was afraid to look in the mirror and showered with his eyes closed so he did not have to look at himself.
But music turned out to be his salvation after he locked himself away in his home for more than four solitary years listening to his dad’s Led Zeppelin, Queen and David Bowie records before learning to play numerous instruments.
Boy George, Paloma Faith and Ricky Wilson all fought to coach Rick after his performance of Nina Simone’s I Put A Spell On You but he opted for Paloma’s team.
On Saturday night he will be seen performing in the Battle phase, which sees two artists from the same team compete against each other to go through to the knockout stage. Rick said: “We’re not looking at it as a battle. We’re mates and I just want to give the best performance.”
Before then, fans can see him sing at Monroe’s bar at the Hillcarter Hotel in Church Street from 7pm on Friday. Entry is free.
“It would be nice to get Hartlepool to support me before my big duet,” said Rick.
The Voice is on BBC One on Saturday at 7pm.