James Arthur says X Factor was 'the best and worst experience'

The singer won the competition in 2012 and said while it was 'amazing' it was a traumatic time too

James Arthur at the photocall at the TalkTalk X Factor semi finalists gig. London, England - 29.11.12 Featuring: James Arthur W
James Arthur won the show in 2012. (PA Images/Alamy)

James Arthur has revealed watching clips of himself on The X Factor can be “triggering”.

The singer, 35, won the ITV competition in 2012 and has gone on to have a hugely successful career.

Speaking on This Morning, he said he was “so grateful” to the show and to Simon Cowell, who he said continues to give him opportunities.

Read more: James Arthur accidentally shaved head during lockdown

Clips from his time on the programme were played and, when asked what it was like to watch them, Arthur confessed: “It’s a little bit triggering to be honest.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 20:  Simon Cowell and James Arthur attend the Together For Short Lives 'Nutcracker Ball' at One Marylebone on November 20, 2018 in London, England. Money raised during the event hosted by patron Simon Cowell and partner Disney UK will go towards creating moments that matter for seriously ill children. The Nutcracker Ball is to be held in aid of families facing the heartbreak of knowing their child will die young. It will raise vital funds to support families caring for seriously ill children, and to receive the care and support they need to make the most of every moment together.  (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for Together For Short Lives )
The singer said he's very grateful to Simon Cowell. (Getty Images for Together For Short Lives )

“That was probably the best and worst experience of my life, because it was just an absolute pressure pot, so a lot of anxiety came with that whole thing and certainly in the immediate aftermath of X Factor I struggled quite a bit.

“So, when I see that I think, what an amazing thing, I got that platform to showcase my abilities as a musician and it has allowed me this incredible career.

"But also, it was quite a traumatic time as well.”

The Impossible singer – who has been open about his mental health struggles – added that he was “genuinely plucked from obscurity” and wasn’t really prepared for fame.

BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 01: British singer James Arthur performs live on stage during the Energy Music Tour at the Kulturbrauerei on September 1, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Frank Hoensch/Getty Images)
James Arthur said he wasn't ready for fame. (Getty Images)

Arthur recently became a dad, welcoming daughter Emily with partner Jessica last year.

Discussing fatherhood, he said it “has given me a completely different perspective”.

“I’m a bit of a softie now, look at life completely differently,” he said. “She has changed me.”

Read more: James Arthur quits Twitter over abuse and trolling

The star said it had also had an impact on his music as when he's writing about love, Emily is “at the forefront” of his mind.

“I think about her more than anything else… so she has become a real inspiration for me,” he said.

Watch: James Arthur feels "very grounded" since becoming a dad