Long queues form for a chance to meet James Arthur

Darlington and Stockton Times: Fans queue for chance to see James Arthur Fans queue for chance to see James Arthur

Hundreds of James Arthur fans queued through the night in freezing conditions for a chance to meet the X Factor winner.

The fans were queueing for wristbands which will enable them to attend the pop idol's first ever CD signing tonight in HMV in his home town of Middlesbrough.

Only 600 wristbands were available so there were worries that some fans would be disappointed.

By 8am, a long queue had begun to snake around the Cleveland Centre in the town.

They were all shivering but eager to get their hands on a wristband which would guarantee them entry to the 5pm signing.

First in line were Julie Leonard, her friend's daughter Aimee McLaren, 19, mum and daughter Sarah and Ellis Williams and Sarah Sinclair, 18, all from Billingham, near Stockton.

They had been queuing since half past midnight in sub-zero temperatures.

Julie, 46, was picking up a wristband for 12-year-old daughter Shani.

She said: "I turned up just after midnight, with a sleeping bag and duvets.

"I sat on the pavement shivering for the whole night.

"Nobody else turned up until shortly after one, so it was worth it to be first in the queue.

"Shani had to go to school this morning but I phoned her as soon as I had got the wristbands and she started screaming, she was so happy.

"She is a massive James Arthur fan.

"We are both going to the signing tonight, we can't wait."

Sarah Sinclair said it was fun chatting in the queue and getting to know people.

She added: "He is gorgeous and his voice is amazing. The sleeve tattoos do it for me and his cute little face."

At 8am precisely, the store's shutters were lifted and, with James's single Impossible playing, fans were allowed in, small groups at a time, to claim their wristband.

James has smashed X Factor sales records with the release of his debut single.

Despite a decline in viewers for this year's ITV1 show, the 24-year-old has notched up the fastest-selling winner's single at this point in its release.

According to the Official Charts Company, by midnight on Monday there were 187,000 digital sales of Impossible, which went on sale on Sunday after James was crowned X Factor winner.

The CD version of the single goes on sale today.

Sales overtake those of all other X Factor winners - Alexandra Burke's debut Hallelujah sold 147,000, Matt Cardle's When We Collide sold 112,000 and last year's winner Little Mix sold just 69,000 in the same period.

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