Highgate restaurant Fabrizio welcomes X Factor semi-finalists

When a restaurant’s regulars include Kinks legend Ray Davies, actress Billie Piper, and film star Tom Wilkinson, X Factor contestants may seem like small fry in comparison.

However, for fan Fabrizio Tolomeo, serving food to this year’s TV semi-finalists, host Dermot O’Leary, and a camera crew at his Highgate restaurant Fabrizio was a “dream come true”.

Mr Tolomeo thought it was a scam when he was sent an email informing him that the X Factor wanted to use his Brookfield Park eatery to film a pre-recorded scene for the live semi-final show two weeks ago.

But sure enough, semi-finalists Ben Haenow, Fleur East, Lauren Platt, and Andrea Faustini walked through the doors with host Mr O’Leary, to sit down for some of Fabrizio’s famous metre-long pizzas.

Mr Tolomeo hit it off best with fellow Italian native Mr Faustini, who told the owner that eating in the restaurant felt like he was “at home”.

Naturally he rooted for either Mr Faustini or Ms East to win the competition overall before Mr Haenow claimed the crown on Saturday.

Mr Tolomeo said: “It was a dream come true! It was amazing, and a great party.

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“We are only a little restaurant but we always have good food.”