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‘They’re mini showmen’: Aston Merrygold on his sons following in his footsteps

Aston Merrygold with his fiancee Sarah Richards and their eldest son Grayson (Ian West/PA)
Aston Merrygold with his fiancee Sarah Richards and their eldest son Grayson (Ian West/PA)

Singer and presenter Aston Merrygold says his two sons are “mini showmen,” and will likely be “so, so much better” at performing than him.

Merrygold, 34, rose to fame as one quarter of the boy band JLS, who found success after finishing as runners-up on the 2008 series of The X Factor.

The former Strictly Come Dancing contestant is currently a judge on The Masked Singer live tour.

Speaking about the impact his career has had on his two young sons, who he shares with his dancer and choreographer fiancee Sarah Richards, he told the PA news agency: “We haven’t pushed them in any way to do it, it’s just that thing of, I’m singing all the time, and me and Sarah are always dancing in the house, and they see it and it’s just funny that they’re watching and listening to every little thing that we’re doing and it’s just fully rubbed off on them.”

After starring as Robin on The Masked Singer TV show in 2021, Merrygold shared his motivations for taking part in the show on social media and revealed he wanted to be a part of the guess-who singing show to surprise his eldest son Grayson, who is four.

At the time he posted a video of Grayson reacting to his unveiling, with the caption: “‘It’s you daddy, it’s you!’ If you’re wondering why I did the show then this smile right here should explain a lot!”

He said of his children: “They’re both definitely media trained, everyone’s like ‘who are you looking forward to seeing?’, ‘Daddy!’. They know their stuff!”, adding: “They’re just mini showmen.”

Merrygold is currently starring alongside Denise Van Outen on The Masked Singer live tour judging panel as the tour moves around the country, the pair are joined by a special guest judge in each city.

Recent guest judges have included Jonathan Ross, Mo Gilligan and Scarlett Moffatt.

Of Grayson, Merrygold said he would be surprised if he is not on stage soon himself.

“He’ll give you a proper performance, this is not half-baked at all, this is full-on theatrical. If this kid is not on the stage when he’s older, or not even when he’s older but in a few years’ time, I’ll be very, very surprised,” he said.

He added: “I’ll be in the wrong job if he’s not, I will have done him a disservice.”

Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball 2021 – Day Two – O2 Arena – London
Merrygold was a part of boyband JLS, who found fame after finishing as runners-up on The X Factor (Matt Crossick/PA)

Merrygold also reflected on the loss of traditional Saturday night entertainment shows, including The X Factor that shot him to fame, which last broadcast in the UK in 2018.

He said: “To be honest, the family draw and the family entertainment, in this day and age especially, there’s only a few of them.

“I think you can count on one hand, with The Masked Singer being one of them with that old-school feeling of the family getting together on a Saturday night, watching TV together. That’s obviously not so much of a thing now I don’t think because of social media maybe, and technology definitely plays a massive hand in that, because we can watch anything at any time now.”

He added: “It’s definitely generational, and X Factor definitely used to be that 15 years ago or whatever, it 100% was that, and when we (JLS) were on the show it really had that Saturday night feeling so it’s nice that we’re in that realm again and hopefully TV is taking that turn again.”

The Masked Singer Live! tour is currently taking place in cities across the UK.

Tickets are available at

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