Danyl’ Johnson's got hidden star qualityBy Natalie Slater
November 06, 2009
He may be winning votes for his singing ability on the hit show X Factor but Danyl Johnson could switch to his other talent, goalkeeping, if things do not work out.
The talented Arborfield lad who grew up in Emmer Green has another talent – on the pitch, his friends have revealed. They said he is really missing his five-a-side football matches at the weekend followed by the local pub quiz at the Maiden Over in Earley.
Best friend Richard ‘Mac’ McCallum, joined Danyl’s mum Maria, sister Janine and nephew Malaki at The Oracle shopping centre yesterday where he said it was “a bit surreal” seeing his mate on television and the papers and having the press at his door every week.
Reading Mayor, Councillor Fred Pugh, and his wife Jean also showed their support.
Mr McCallum said: “When Danyl was first on the show the press were going mad, they were all outside our house that we share in Arborfield and it was all a bit weird. It’s calmed down now but they still come round every Thursday and Friday hoping for me to dish some kind of story, which of course I won’t.
“I have been going to the live shows and it has been great to watch him. I am really proud although it is very nerve-racking.
“What you see on the television is not Danyl as a person, he has a very confident stage presence, it’s not cockiness, it’s confidence and when he steps off the stage that is when you get to know the genuine and caring guy that he is.
“There has been a lot of press coverage about his sexuality but to be honest, it is not an issue and it’s actually no-one else’s business.”
Mum Maria Burgess lives in Kent and is very proud of her son.
She said: “X Factor has taken over my life. It is what everything is about at the moment but seeing Danyl on stage is wonderful.
“He has such a natural charm and a twinkle in his eye. He has always stood out as talented, not in an overbearing way but it’s always been there. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster but it’s such an amazing experience for Danyl.”
His sister Janine McCubbin, from Emmer Green, added: “The people in Reading have been fantastic and their support is wonderful. If people recognise me in the street they come up and say they’ve been voting for Danyl.
“Of course we would love to see him in the final but whatever happens now, we are so proud of him and we know he is working so hard and doing his best.”
The owner of the Purple Turtle in Gun Street has also joined the campaign and has put up posters at 10 Gun Street, the property he owns next to the bar.
Owner Danny Fraifeld said: “We are backing Danyl all the way and hope he will come and do a gig here when he is next in Reading. We’ll even give him some free pints of snakebite and black.
“It’s great to have someone from the town doing so well and I think he is hands down the best contestant in the competition. Go Danyl!”
Tomorrow’s X Factor show on ITV sees contestants singing a song from a film in Movie Night.