Antony Costa is the Edgware boy who has it all.

He has just signed a multi-million pound sponsorship deal with Pepsi, has been romantically linked with a succession of beauties and can even afford to live near 'Beckingham Palace' in Hertfordshire.

But on Tuesday evening. the popstar with the boyband Blue got back to his roots shortly before jetting off to tour the Far East as he visited London Greek Radio in High Road, North Finchley.

Antony's father is Greek and is friends with George Michael's Cypriot father so perhaps comparisons with East Finchley's most famous son are inevitable, particularly given that Antony's song on the karaoke circuit was George Michael's Father Figure.

"It's been said, apart from that I'm not gay," said Antony. "George is amazing, a proper genius. He likes what we do and we would love to work with him one day," he said.

"I've wanted to be an entertainer since the first day I walked into the Hendon school. I was the class clown, doing impressions of teachers.

"I did my apprenticeship on the karaoke circuit, in places like The Orange Tree in Friern Barnet, Big Hand Mo's in Edgware no longer there, although I was too scared to go to The Claddagh Ring in Hendon. It was enjoyable and it taught me how to handle crowds. A lot of them just wanted to take the mickey out of you. I just respect anyone who will get up there and sing.

"I met Duncan in Golders Green in a club called the G-Spot no longer there. We then met Lee when he was 14. He was amazing and we thought he has to be in the band'. And Simon was living with Lee," he said.

But gigs were initially hard to come by particularly at O'Neill's pub in North Finchley High Road, where Antony would go at closing time and plead with the manageress to be allowed to perform.

"She wouldn't have none of it. I'd go in there I was a right bad boy gangsta and E17 wannabe and she just said we don't do gigs'. I've been back there and they couldn't be nicer to me now," he said.

Neither could anyone else. The whole world loves Blue. A full 24 hours before the band is due to arrive in Tokyo, word filters through that 3,000 girls are already sleeping at the airport.

"I get really freaked out by it. It's amazing and you can't ask for much more, but I'm just a bloke from north London doing my job.

"Once we were in Southampton. I got back from the gig at 1am and I found a fan lying in my bed. I said what are you doing?' She was just goggling," he said.

Meanwhile, Blue march on. Antony said it's because the band's success is down to their music not their image.

"We've always gone on the music. At the beginning, radio stations just got a CD with the word Blue written on it and no photo. And they played it on the strength of the tunes. I would rather someone came up to me and said, I like your music but you're ugly' than the other way round.

"Well, I'd knock him out first."