Rick Snowdon's Voice woos fans around the world
Published 28/02/2016 | 15:21
The Voice star Rick Snowdon has been inundated with bizarre gifts from around the world since he shot to fame on the TV talent show.
The 29-year-old, who previously weighed 26 stone due to a junk food addiction, became an overnight star following his audition - which has now been watched more than 600,000 times on YouTube.
He has received thousands of online messages from fans in Germany, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, France, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, Ireland, Wales, and the US.
Fans have also been sending him gifts, including underwear, jewellery, "dream-catchers", aftershave and paintings.
He confirmed his place in the next round of the show on Saturday night's "battle" episode.
The former supermarket worker, from Hartlepool, County Durham, said: "It's just been so overwhelming, but I'm certainly not complaining. I'm so grateful to everyone for their support, it has really taken me by surprise."
Reflecting on overcoming his battle with fatty foods, he said: "At the moment, I'm just taking things day by day and focusing on music.
"I was so worried about being compared to somebody else. I've compared myself to people my entire life and now it would be on the one thing that helped save me, music.
"I couldn't sleep running up to the 'battle' round, the idea of being compared to someone played heavily on my mind. But when I walked out on to that stage, it all just fell away.
"From sitting in my house, at 26 stone, eating myself to a slow death, to getting through two stages - it's proved dreams do come true, if you focus and put the work in."
Snowdon's weight ballooned when he locked himself in his home and never went outside for almost five years, and ate little more than pizza and chocolate.
In his self-imposed isolation, he learned to play the guitar, and he said: "Music saved my life. Without it, there's a good chance I wouldn't be here today."
He lost half of his body weight after a simple diet and exercise routine.