As the latest series of X-Factor started on Saturday, and the countdown to Christmas begins, it's fair to say that the show catapulted one man into the spotlight.

In 2011, Frankie Cocozza featured on the show, caused a hell of a lot of controversy and then faded into the background.

Last year, five since his X-Factor days, he appeared on This Morning to discuss that rise to fame with Holly and Phil.

Credit: ITV / This Morning

Another year on and the singer, who has just released a track called 'Stuck In The Grey', has revealed how he blew his £200,000 reality TV fortune on booze and now works for £7.50 on a building site.

"I have no regrets," he told The Mirror. "I performed live on TV in front of 14 million and that's such a great thing to tell people.

"I didn't have to have a real job for a long time after the show, and me and my mates had the best time."

Frankie said he only returned to work after becoming bored, and running out of money.

Credit: PA

"Now I love being on the building site," he explained. "I get so much grief, but it's a crease up. I knock up pug (motar mix) for the plasterers. It's fun. It gives me a reason to get up in the morning."

Frankie, who caused a stir when he auditioned for the talent show in 2011 by revealing the names of his conquests tattooed on his backside, was also reportedly heard by a crew member of the X-Factor talking about cocaine-fuelled sex sessions.

"They only put me on there because I had tattoos on my arse," said Frankie, believing he wasn't actually that good at singing and instead was just a 'lairy 18-year-old'.

He explained how he'd turn at clubs all over the country afterwards and have girls try and sit with him, as well as having a load of free booze poured down his neck.

Credit: PA

His alcohol problems were worsened by the death of his aunt, Helen Cope.

"I was quite lucky the show happened around the time of her death - because while losing her did fuck me up, it would have been 10 times worse without X-Factor."

In 2012 a Celebrity Big Brother appearance followed, where Frankie finished runner up, as well as a string of club night appearances, worth up to £4,000 per night.

He said: "I got this credit card, checked the account and it was £185,000. I thought 'fucking hell' and went mad.

"I didn't think it was going to end. I spent it all on Fred Perry and booze - among other things I won't say. And I did shit loads of holidays. Me and the boys went to Amsterdam about eight times.

"Over the years, I think I've spent about £200,00 on alcohol."

Things got worse when his best friend, Connor Saunders, died aged 19, and Frankie spiralled out of control blasting the rest of his fortune.

Credit: Channel 4

"After Connor's death," said Frankie, "it was clear to me there's more important things than trying to be a Z-lister. I sort of knew.

"I didn't want to carry on with it. I didn't want to do anything once he'd gone, nothing at all."

Frankie believes he's not good with money and is meant to be skint, but not single. Which is why he's appearing on the new Channel 4 series of Celebs Go Dating.

He concluded: "I can't just sit indoors and go out drinking and shagging the odd person. I should get out and start dating again.

"I'm looking to find a lasting relationship. It beats knocking up pug every morning."

Featured Image Credit: Twitter

Michael Minay

Mike Minay is a trending journalist at LADbible. He’s co-ordinated interviews with some of the big names from the world of news and sport including ITV’s Robert Peston, Sky Sports’ Jeff Stelling and darts champion Michael van Gerwen. His reporting days began on University radio in Birmingham, before moving to BBC Sport Online – creating content for large events such as Wimbledon and the FA Cup final. Mike still commentates on Football League matches at the weekend. A Manchester LAD at heart.

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