A music teacher who has won through to the next stage of BBC singing competition The Voice has insisted he has what it takes to win.
Gary Poole, of Friday Hill in Chingford, Mr Poole had to choose between judges Ricky Wilson and Tom Jones after impressing with his version of the The Zuton’s song, Valerie, which was also covered by the late Amy Winehouse.
The 47-year-old, who toured the world with soul group D’Influence and was part of vocal group TROI, chose Jones to be his mentor.
The university lecturer said: "I’m very pleased with all the positive comments especially from such an accolade like Tom Jones.
"I really appreciated the comments from Ricky and for a moment I did deliberate whether to go with him but Tom is a legend and has worked with all the greats that have ever been."
The father-of-three is one of only three men in Tom Jones’s team and said he intends to make the most of his time with the singing legend.
"His history and experience is stuff you can’t buy. It is invaluable learning from him about how to handle things, approach songs and get his advice about the music business," added Mr Poole.
"My performance on Saturday was more laidback and controlled as was intended but it didn’t show all that I can do and bring to the next level.
"I can sing high and low notes to impress the audience and judges and will be bringing more energy to the next performance. At this stage in my life, I’m too old to do anything else and I’ve certainly got what it takes to win.”
Mr Poole has reduced his teaching hours at the London Centre of Contemporary Music in London Bridge to compete in The Voice.