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Elaine’s got the Army X Factor!

Capt Elaine Walker (second left) on stage with Take That star Gary Barlow (far left) when he performed for British troops stationed at Camp Bastion, in Afghanistan.

Capt Elaine Walker (second left) on stage with Take That star Gary Barlow (far left) when he performed for British troops stationed at Camp Bastion, in Afghanistan.

Pop superstar Gary Barlow needed backing singers for his recent concert in front of troops in Afghanistan and one Fylde coast medic saw her chance to shine.

Captain Elaine Walker was stationed at Camp Bastion when the Take That star and X Factor judge arrived in the desert for his most daring performance yet.

And when the 27-year-old heard he was looking for troops to make up his band, she jumped at the chance to put her singing skills to use.

The doctor, who grew up in Staining, will now appear on television when the concert is shown on ITV later this month.

Proud mum Sue Jones, of Staining, said: “She is based in Afghanistan – out on the front line at the moment and she got the chance to be a backing singer for Gary Barlow.

“She was very excited and sent us the pictures straight away afterwards.

“She has always enjoyed singing – she joined the choir at school because it was the only time she could sing without being told to shut up.”

But despite the once in a lifetime opportunity coming her way, there are no signs of Capt Walker letting her new-found fame go to her head.

Mrs Jones, 47, said: “It was a great chance for her but she took it all in her stride really – she’s very grounded.

“I think if it was a choice between Gary Barlow and the Army, Gary would come second.”

She said she was proud of all her daughter had achieved since setting her sights on joining the Army as a teenager.

She added: “She signed up at 16 and the Army paid her through university.

“She always wanted to be in the Army or a doctor and then she discovered she could do both.”

Barlow, who released his first solo album in 14 years last month, took time from his busy schedule as an X Factor judge to fly out to Afghanistan in October for the show, which has been two years in the planning.

He first performed on October 29 but the show was cut short by a military alarm after just two songs before he returned to the stage the following night to play a full set.

Shortly after returning from Afghanistan he tweeted: “Just back from an incredible trip to meet the troops in Afghanistan. Amazing experience and a lovely bunch of people. Thank you Camp Bastion!”

He later went on to say: “It’s been amazing and inspiring, something I’ve been wanting to do for a couple of years now.

“I can’t believe we have actually done it and achieved it. It’s a memory that will stay with me forever.

“It’s been a privilege being here and meeting people who are serving so far from the UK.”

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