First No 1 next year more likely than Xmas for James Arthur

Rewind five or six years and it was almost guaranteed that the X Factor winner would instantly be rewarded with the Xmas number one, but times have been changing more recently and James Arthur is expected to continue a new trend.

Through 2005 to 2008, Shayne Ward, Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson and Alexandra Burke did the double of X Factor win and Xmas success, while Matt Cardle achieved the feat in 2010.

However, either side of Cardle, Rage Against The Machine got the vote of non X Factor fans to stop Joe McElderry in 2009 and then Little Mix were prevented last year by the Military Wives.

And it is a song with a similar good cause that is likely to get the Xmas number one accolade on this occasion.

The Hillsborough Charity Single, a rendition of He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother and involving the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams, Kenny Dalglish and Paloma Faith, is 1/3 to top the Xmas charts.

Arthur is 3/1 to win the race with his version of the Shontelle hit ‘Impossible’, but his chances look slim, especially as it is already available to buy and download.

But things look brighter on the horizon and big things are still expected in 2013.

An album of his own songs rather than numerous covers is expected to be of demand and it is 2/1 that he celebrates a UK number one next year.

Meanwhile, One Direction and JLS are big examples of acts that have registered chart success without winning the X Factor.

In terms of this year’s contestants, runner-up Jahmene Douglas is 6/1 to have a UK number one in 2013, with Ella Henderson 4/1, despite finishing sixth on the show.

Alternatively, Chris Maloney and Rylan Clark are 20/1 in this market, with the latter more than capable of being a one hit wonder.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.


Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.