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EDITIONS
Saturday, 14 December, 2002, 16:11 GMT
David wins Fame Academy
David and Sinead
David performed one of his own songs
David Sneddon has been voted winner of BBC One's talent search Fame Academy, winning one of the biggest prizes in television.

He beat fellow contestant Sinead Quinn after the pair went head-to-head in Friday's live final as the public voted for their favourite performer.

David, 24, polled 3.5 million votes out of the 6.9 million cast after singing four songs, including his own composition Living a Lie, during the live showdown.

I am very grateful and very humble

David Sneddon
His success brings him a 1m record contract, a luxury flat in Notting Hill for a year, a sports car and the chance to live the life of a celebrity.

Earlier in the evening Lemar Obika, missed out on the dream after polling the least votes of the three.

Sinead kicked off the first segment of the live show, belting out a rendition of No Doubt's Don't Speak, followed by Lemar with a cover of Al Green's Let's Stay Together and finally David with Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me by Sir Elton John.

Lemar
Lemar lost the first public vote of the live final
All three then sang songs they had written themselves while inside the Fame Academy.

David's song will now be released as the first single from the show.

David and Sinead, 22, from Northern Ireland, went through to the final segment where they performed another song each before duetting on Sir Elton's I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues.

After his win, David said: "I've won, I can't believe I've won.

"I am so ecstatic, I am very grateful and very humble."

Busker's struggle

He later told BBC Radio Five Live: "I'm really hoping that I can write a good album and that's the first thing I'm thinking of."

He said he would appreciate his new life more, having struggled as a busker in Glasgow.

"I was so skint. I borrowed a lot of money from friends and my girlfriend and I was struggling to get through those times thinking that my music wasn't getting anywhere.

"I had thought I would go back to university because I was just so sick of the rejection.

"Fame Academy, it was just through desperation."

The Glaswegian was nearly not a part of the Fame Academy at all, having only secured a place after one student dropped out through illness.

He will release his first single, Don't Live a Lie, on 6 January.

The Fame Academy album, featuring all 12 contestants, has already sold more than 50,000 copies, and the whole group will be heading off on tour in 2003.

All the original contestants returned for the final - 10 weeks after they entered the 35m mansion in North London - to lend their support to the trio in their quest for the ultimate prize.

Sinead
Sinead sang No Doubt's Don't Speak

Also included in the prize are the keys to a luxury Notting Hill flat, a top-of-the-range sports car, a Caribbean holiday, fresh flowers and champagne delivered every week and a cameo role in a Hollywood movie.

Fame Academy has suffered from day one from poor ratings but they have swelled in recent weeks, rising to 6.3 million for the penultimate live showdown on Friday last week.

And the 6.9 million votes cast for the final show has been hailed as a BBC record.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Fame Academy winner David Sneddon
"It's the most incredible thing that's ever happened to me"
The BBC's David Sillito
"Over the last year or so, TV's created 13 new competing pop acts"

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