Chasing fame! Frankie Cocozza previously applied for X Factor and Britain's Got Talent... plus never-before-seen baby photos


By Sara Nathan

Love him or hate him? Frankie Cocozza has caused controversy with his womanising ways and love of partying

He has made a dubious name for himself as the X Factor’s resident lothario and hellraiser.

But, as these pictures uncovered by the Mail show, 18-year-old Frankie Cocozza wasn’t always the bad boy he’d like audiences to think he is.

They reveal the wild-haired wannabe, who made his debut on the ITV talent show by dropping his trousers on stage to reveal the tattooed names of girls he met over the summer, was once an innocent-looking schoolboy with a sweet smile.

And while friends say he was always an extrovert with a ‘cheeky personality’, Cocozza’s latest incarnation as an unabashed ladies’ man has proved to be something of a shock.

This week the X Factor hopeful left show bosses panicking as he went on a 12-hour booze bender. ITV has already been forced to apologise after he swore on live television.

Cocozza, a college drop-out, boasts he has slept with 69 women after losing his virginity at 12.

Life in the spotlight: Frankie partied at the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Awards on Thursday

But his transformation from cherubic child to rebel seems less surprising when one learns that his father, Frankie Senior, boasts about his son’s conquests – seemingly proud to admit that the number is higher than his.

He split from Cocozza’s mother, Tina Pynn, when his son was only a year old.
Mrs Pynn, who works at the exclusive Roedean school in East Sussex, admits she has been a ‘nervous wreck’ since their son hit the headlines.

Cocozza began performing when he was six, at a theatre group in his home town of Brighton. At 15, rather tellingly, he won the part of the Artful Dodger in a production of Oliver!

It seems he always wanted to see his name in lights. He has applied to the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent in the past but did not make it to the audition stage until this year.

Katy Markey, 27, a producer at City Youth Theatre Company in Brighton, first met Cocozza when he joined the Brighton Theatre Group.

She said: ‘It has been a shock seeing Frankie on the X Factor. He was never such a lad in the past, though I think the girls liked his cheeky personality. He didn’t portray himself as a ladies’ man before.

‘When I saw him on TV and saw the tattoos on his bum, I thought, “Oh Frankie, what have you done?”

‘I don’t think he will win, because he hasn’t got the best voice. Maybe someone will sign him up after this. Or he could be a TV presenter. I think he’s quite similar to Russell Brand.’

Cocozza’s antics do not seem to have endeared him to the audience. He is now the bookies’ 6/5 favourite to get the boot from the show in this weekend’s double eviction.

Tulisa Contostavlos has fallen ill, just a week after rival judge Kelly Rowland missed two shows with a viral throat infection.

The 23-year-old had to call out an emergency doctor in the middle of the night on Thursday, and cancelled all X Factor promotional commitments yesterday.