X FACTOR hopeful Lauren Platt returned to her old school and was mobbed by pupils.

The young star, 17, spent hours filming at the Billericay School for clips, which were then shown on the ITV show at the weekend.

Rumours were rife on social media that her mentor on the programme, popstar Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, was also with her.

But it turned out she was only on the phone to Lauren and not there in person.

On returning to her school, Lauren said: "I was really nervous at first, but it was great!

“It was so nice seeing my old friends and teachers.

“It was strange for all my old classmates. They just knew me as Lauren, so to have all these cameras and production around me was weird.”

The school, which her younger brother Lewis attends, was covered with X Factor posters and her mum Sasha and dad Brad were also there for the filming.

At one point Lauren was surprised by a group of her old friends, hiding around a corner.

She said: “I just ran up and jumped on them.”

One of the pupils at the school added: “Everyone was really excited, there was a camera crew and all of the Year 8 students were going to see her in the hall. People like having someone to feel proud of. It was great.”

It was thought Lauren was going to perform to the school’s Year 8 pupils, but had to cancel due to having a cold, so instead took part in an assembly for Year 7 and 8 pupils.

Lauren had struggled with illness all week and was just well enough to perform on Saturday and said all the contestants were working hard after favourite Andreas Faustini was almost voted out last week.

The teen said: “I think it’s anyone’s game, it really is.

“Everyone was so shocked when Andreas was in the bottom two and that shock has remained in the house through the week, so everyone is working their hardest.”

After her day at school Lauren returned to her Billericay home to spend time with friends and family.

Headteacher - "She is a credit to us."

LAUREN Platt’s former headteacher lavished the young star with praise on her return to school yesterday.

Sue Hammond told the Echo how Lauren joined in autumn 2013 and was an “exemplary student” who successfully completed her GCSEs.

She said: “Lauren is exceptionally talented.

“She has always been a very charismatic performer with natural stage presence coupled with a theatrical maturity that is way beyond her years.

“She has always been an ambassador for the school performing to our local primary school students and in many school events.

“We are all so proud of her.”

Mrs Hammond said Lauren was very talented in both music and drama.

She continued: “Her final GCSE drama performance piece was very moving and she was praised by the examiner.

“She has always dreamt of a career in the music industry and it is wonderful she is now achieving great success on X Factor.

“We were able to release her earlier in the year to participate in her auditions and since then the whole school have been rooting for her.

“She deserves to be successful, she is hardworking, committed and professional in everything she does and we wish her every success.

She is a real credit to the school.

“The students were so excited and she signed many autographs.”