X Factor's Ray Quinn unrecognisable after quitting fame to be a carpet fitter

HE shot to fame in 2006 after coming runner-up to Leona Lewis on the third series of The X Factor.

These days Ray Quinn is almost unrecognisable from the fresh-faced singing hopeful who went on to star in many more reality shows.

Ray, 33, has since taken part in – and won – Dancing on Ice twice, first in 2009 and then again for the All Star series in 2014.

In 2018 Ray joined the cast of Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, playing right wing extremist Jonny Baxter before leaving a year later.

Since then he's turned his back on fame in favour of a more reliable source of income.

When the pandemic hit, Ray revealed he was working as a courier for delivery service Hermes.

And earlier this year he joined brothers Darren and Robin to work for the family carpet fitting business.

Ray's dad, who passed away from cancer in 2020, was a carpet fitter all his life and taught Ray's brothers the trade.

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The singer told the Mirror: "Dad knew I was going to help Rob and encouraged me to do it – but laughed when I said I’d lifted my first tool.

“When I first started, I actually went to work in my dad’s old uniform. He’d ­always said you can work your way out of anything; to keep your head up high – and that’s what I’ve done.

“It was good to be with my family during that difficult time.

“I’ve been recognised the odd time but not that often ­because of social distancing and masks. Everyone has been really lovely.”

It's not just his career that's changed: Ray couldn't look more different compared to his X Factor days.

This week he shared a photo on Instagram showing him with a full beard and long hair, as well as two sleeve tattoos.

Ray married Emma Stephens in 2012 but they divorced in 2015.

Together they have a son called Harry, who was born in 2012 after their Barbados wedding.

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