X Factor winner Joe McElderry dismisses gay rumours

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Joe McElderry, who triumphed in the X Factor on Sunday, has brushed off rumours about his sexual orientation.

An ex-girlfriend said last week he had been subjected to homophobic bullying at school because he preferred singing to sports.

But the 18-year-old said he was straight, although he was still a virgin.

He told the Sun: “I’m straight. I’ve had girlfriends, but I don’t have one right now. I haven’t slept with anyone, but I’m a young lad and I’m concentrating on my music.

“I know I’ll probably get offers but for me it’s all about the singing for now.”

McElderry, from South Shields, added: “At the minute, the last thing on my mind is a girlfriend.

“I need to concentrate on things and maybe think about that when the album’s out and I’ve got a bit of chill time.”

The singer saw off rivals Olly Muirs and Stacey Solomon to win 61 per cent of the final vote.

He said he was uninterested in drugs and alcohol, a frequent pitfall of young stars, saying: “People say I’m squeaky clean but I don’t see things like that. I’m a normal person living the dream. What you see is what you get.”