Sam Bailey on dealing with fame, THAT phone call with Simon Cowell and supporting Beyoncé

Sam Bailey’s life has completely changed. Before winning the X Factor the mother of two from Leicester Forest East in the UK was a hard working prison officer, but now she’s sharing a stage with music heavyweights including Beyoncé and Michael Bolton. Her dream has come true. But Sam is still the same woman who first entered the X Factor last summer, and from speaking to her we doubt that’s going to change any time soon – or she’ll have her children to deal with!

The 36-year-old’s feet haven’t touched the ground since winning the show and the whirlwind surrounding her win is set to continue. She’s currently in preparations for the X Factor Live Tour (it comes to the Odyssey Arena, Belfast on 15 and 16 February and the O2 Dublin on 17 and 18 February), she’s recording her debut album and fine tuning her voice for her support slot with Beyoncé on the UK leg of her tour. It’s all go for Sam Bailey – but she’s still finding time to spend with her husband Craig and their children, Tommy and Brooke. She told U magazine: “I had Christmas off. A week after the final I had the winner’s week which is a lot of performing at places and interviews and more interviews and then I went home. I was home for Christmas which was great and after Christmas we went to Disney. “My daughter had said when I first ever did the X Factor she said she didn’t want me to do it and we made a little bit of a deal because she’s mad on Paris and the Eiffel Tower, and I said ‘if you let mummy do the X Factor, I’ll take you to Paris’, so I kept that promise… After we came back I’d a few days and then I went into the studio and I’ve been here ever since!” she laughed.

Sam admitted she’s adjusting to fame but insisted she doesn’t want to be treated any differently. She explained: “It takes a bit of adjusting because sometimes you forget. I do forget. I do feel a little bit different, I’m not going to lie, people recognise you and people treat you a little bit differently. I went out shopping over the Christmas period and I went into a shop and there was a massive queue and the staff were ushering me to come to the front. I was like, ‘I’ll queue, I’m fine’ and I queued with everyone else and by the time I got to the front I’d taken 20 photos and signed a lot of autographs. “I don’t want people to treat me any different. At the end of the day I fulfilled my dream and now I’m living it,” Sam added. And she said there’s no chance of her getting bigheaded as her children would drag her right back down to earth! Sam said: “My kids do that every day when I talk to them on the phone. I do a general chat with the kids. My daughter performed at the NEC with a choir she’s in and I missed it, and things like that just bring you down to earth. I’m missing them like mad and I don’t think I’ll ever be a massive diva because I’m just sitting now with my UGG boots on, my jeans and my hair scraped back, that’s me, I’m sorted!”

During the show Sam developed a particularly close bond with her mentor Sharon Osbourne and the pair are still in touch. Sam told U mag: “Yes, we’ve been phoning each other and she texts me. I had a text message from Kelly (Sharon’s daughter) too, we’ve become really good friends, she’s looking out for me, bless her.” And she’s also been in touch with Simon Cowell and was blown away by him. “He phoned whilst I was on the winner’s week while I was going around doing interviews. Before I got passed the phone I was like, ‘what do I call him? Do I call him sir?! Do I call him Simon? I don’t know, what do I call him?!’,” she laughed. “Then he was talking to me on the phone for 10/15 minutes and do you know what he’s the nicest, sweetest bloke and he’s a very uplifting person to talk to. He’s such a respected person, I listened to everything he said and took everything on board. It’s weird because I didn’t actually feel like I was talking to him. It took a while for it to kick in that I was talking to Simon Cowell. “He just told me to have a voice really and not to just sit back and let people take the lead. He wanted me to come to the meeting I had in Sony for songs for the album and that’s exactly what I’ve done and everyone will see that in March.”

As part of winning the X Factor, Sam will be supporting Beyoncé on 24 February at the LG Arena in Birmingham. Sam told U mag: “Just be on stage for five minutes at one of her concerts will be amazing. I’m not going to lie, I’m going to be nervous but it’s good nerves. Nerves are good,” she added. Sam also performed with her idol Michael Bolton at the recent National Television Awards so her career is most certainly taking off. And with that comes media attention, but Sam said she’s happy to laugh off any inaccurate newspaper reports about her. “All the stuff in the headlines that goes on, I just laugh about it. There’s no point in getting worked up over it because it’s tomorrow’s chip paper at the end of the day. No disrespect to you but unless I think it’s true or anything like that I just tend to ignore it. I know who I am and I know what I am…” she added.

Sam has already achieved her goal – singing is now her career – but that doesn’t stop her having other ambitions. She told U mag: “My ultimate goal would be to have a successful album. I think it’s going to be an amazing album from what I’ve done. I’ve worked really hard over the past few weeks and I’ve put my heart and soul into it. There’s been tears, in some of the songs I’ve sang I’ve literally been crying as I’ve sang them so I know what I’ve put into it. “I want do my own tour which will hopefully be this year, that’d be amazing. And I want to go to America as well,” she added