X Factor finalist Anthony Russell caught FaceTiming a lag just days from final

X Factor finalist Anthony Russell has been caught having a video chat with a prisoner who was using a smuggled mobile phone behind bars.

Anthony, 28, was at ITV studios when he spoke to Michael Trevillion on FaceTime, who later posted a screengrab on Facebook.

The lag, once dubbed “Merseyside’s most wanted”, is serving four years for burglary.

Trevillion, 38, appears to be using an account under the name John Smith.

He also wrote in an October 14 update: “Just had a belter chat with my mate Anthony Russell an [sic] he’s got the X Factor xxx”

A source said: “He set up a Facebook profile under a fake name so he can use it while in prison. He’s a well-known burglar in Bootle.”

The source claimed Anthony, from Liverpool, knew Trevillion from parties.

The source added: “Everybody knows everybody around here.”

But a source close to Anthony insisted he did not know who Trevillion was.

The source claimed: “This guy called out of the blue through Facebook Messenger and Anthony answered. Anthony had no idea that he was in prison using an illegal phone.”

The John Smith account, which was opened in September, features photos of Trevillion in his cell and on the landing of a prison.

The Ministry of Justice was approached for comment last night.

Anthony joins Dalton Harris and Scarlett Lee in the X Factor final at the SSE Arena, Wembley, this weekend.

He was in the competition last year but withdrew because of a drug addiction.

Judge Louis Tomlinson “saved” him by staging an intervention. Anthony said: “I’d be dead now if it was not for him.

Anthony also apologised after bombarding a mum, 28, with X-rated texts, pictures and videos during his latest stint on the show.

He said: “I’m sorry if I’ve upset her or caused any ­offence.”

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