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X Factor winner Ben Haenow on coming home to Croydon, marrying his girlfriend and cooking Christmas dinner

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BEN Haenow, Croydon's X Factor star, is looking forward to coming home next week to cook his family Christmas dinner.

And the former van-driver, who lived with his mum Rosanna Ward in her Shirley home before moving in to the X Factor house, said he expects to move home to Croydon soon.

"I'm living out of a suitcase this week but I'm going to try and find a place somewhere," said Ben. "Croydon is my home town so it will most likely be around there."

Since announcing his intentions to marry girlfriend of six-and-a-half years Jessica Jones in the X Factor arena audition Ben has been inundated with questions about when the pair will wed.

But Ben said setting up a home with Jess, a dance teacher who lives with her mum Janette also in Shirley, will come first.

He said: "It's going to be a really busy year so we'll have to see what happens. The next step will definitely be moving in, getting out of our parents houses and having a little place together is the dream."

And Ben said he is looking forward to coming home for a family Christmas next week, which will be spent at his aunty Marina Steel's house.

"Christmas day will just be eating and drinking and being merry, enjoying a normal Christmas and getting a little bit drunk and a little bit full up," said Ben.

"It's all about family for us and just all being together and being thankful for each other and all we've got.

"This year it will be about me saying think you to everyone for everything they've done for me throughout my life, and giving a little something back."

Haenow family tradition dictates Ben and big brother Alex to give the famous Nonna Rita a break and cook the festive dinner – with their secret ingredient, Coca Cola.

Ben said: "I'm looking forward to getting back in the kitchen and doing a bit of cooking and making some nice stuff for the family, Nonna Rita deserves a day off.

"I cook ham boiled in Coca Cola for three hours. We had it last year and it was really good, I know it sounds disgusting but once you try it you won't be disappointed!"

Ben may still struggling to get his head around winning the show, but number one fan Nonna Rita has been telling him to go and see Simon Cowell for years.

He said: "Nonna Rita is constantly saying "I was right wasn't I". Nonna Rita is always right, even when she's wrong, but this time she was right."

X Factor winner Ben Haenow on coming home to Croydon, marrying his girlfriend and cooking Christmas dinner


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