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Cyril, 80, still in the X Factor hunt

PUBLISHED: 10:01 28 September 2008 | UPDATED: 11:03 08 July 2010

Ian Clarke

The X Factor dream is still alive for Norfolk's amazing 80-year-old Cyril Grant!

The oldest competitor in the ITV talent show - who lives in Swaffham - last night made it through to the second stage of the boot camp - and declared in front of millions of viewers: “I'm sure I can still win.

The X Factor dream is still alive for Norfolk's amazing 80-year-old Cyril Grant!

The oldest competitor in the ITV talent show - who lives in Swaffham - last night made it through to the second stage of the boot camp - and declared in front of millions of viewers: “I'm sure I can still win. I have got one foot in the next round and one nearly there!”

A total of 182,000 hopefuls started out on the long road to stardom and after several rounds of auditions, there were just 150 left for the boot camp at London's O2 Arena.

Last night, Cyril was seen singing Frank Sinatra's “Fly Me To The Moon” and he continued to delight the judges Louis Walsh, Simon Cowell, Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Cole with his voice, huge grin and sunny personality.

About 100 of the wannabes were voted out but Cyril - who has become an internet sensation - was among those who survived.

The X Factor is back on ITV1 tonight at 7pm and it is expected the number of survivors will be halved again as the contest gets down to the final 24, who are then divided into four groups and mentored by the judges ahead of the live studio part of the competition in weeks to come.

The former carpenter came to England from Guyana in 1954 and has been the show's most unlikely star.

After he sang, Louis told Cyril: “You are great. I love it!”

Simon asked Cyril: “Are you doing it because you think you can win or for the kicks?”

The pensioner quickly replied: “I am sure I can win. I have one foot in and one nearly there!”

Cyril added: “I want it more than anything else. At my age this is my last big chance.

“I am 80 years old and I am still going strong and I have got another 10 years.”

The judges agreed the standard of competitors is the highest ever Cyril has attracted a growing number of devoted fans who regularly post messages of support and clips of him performing on the internet.

Bebo, Facebook and Youtube are littered with comments such as “Absolutely love him! Cyril to win!,” “He has massive charisma, and he is right to feel younger than he is because he looks younger than he is,” “Soon as I saw him I said “80!? He's never 80!”' “The slight deafness is a weak spot for him but he more than makes up for it with his showmanship and personality. Hope you go far Cyril. Gives the seniors hope!”

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