RUBBER-FACED comic Phil Cool is ready to call time on 40 years in the entertainment business — just when his teenage son Joe is raising the curtain on his own career.

The 18-year-old, from Chipping, has already made his mark, singing with the British classical pop group Angelis, created by X Factor guru Simon Cowell.

But now singer-songwriter Joe Martin has set his heart on following his father on to the big stage as Cool prepares to tour the country for the final time later this year.

“Dad wanted me to choose my own career path and, of course, he has given me tips and advice, but most of all he is very supportive and I’m very grateful for that,” said Joe.

“I’m too young to remember Dad on the television at the height of his fame, but when I watch the videos and see the repeats on TV it makes me very proud.

“He is a great comic, a unique talent really, and it is great to able to listen to his words of wisdom because he has had such a huge influence on my life.

“He is my inspiration for what I’m doing now. I’ve supported him a couple of times when he has done live shows and that was very special.”

Six children were hand-picked to sing in Arcalis following a nationwide search by Cowell for musical stars but Joe, who is studying for his A-levels at Leyland’s Runshaw College, took it all in his stride as he was thrust into the media spotlight.

“I was only 12,” he said. “Much too young to fully appreciate what was going on at the time.

“We were on Top of the Pops, doing TV interviews every day and going to record songs in the biggest studios in London.

“I think Simon Cowell was looking for the next Aled Jones but when the album was released it went platinum, selling 350,000.

“We went on GMTV to receive the disc and it was a whirlwind period. It certainly gave me an early glimpse of what the pop industry was all about.

“Although I’m still an unsigned artist, my ambition now is to sing professionally.”

Joe’s varied influences can be heard in his songs — The Beatles, Paul Simon and Don McLean, but his real passion is for jazz and swing.

Indeed, his love for Liverpool’s Fab Four saw him release his debut solo album as a part tribute, Joe Martin Swings The Beatles.

“The Beatles are my first love. They changed musical history and their music still stands the test of time,” he said.

Joe is also one part of Lancashire acoustic duo The Mirrortones, their vocal harmonies and original songs impressing audiences across the county.

“The other member of the Mirrortones, Stephanie Ashcroft, has been involved in songwriting for the last couple of years and, although she finds this a very personal experience, we have quickly settled into a method to get our own songs going.

“Musically, we are really well connected to each other, both drawing on our own musical influences. “People say we have a natural chemistry when we perform and I think this is down to having a shared feeling about the music we put out.”

  • Joe Martin, Chorley Little Theatre, Sunday, January 27. 01257 264362