Belfast Telegraph

X Factor's Ben set for Xmas No 1

X Factor victor Ben Haenow is on course for the Christmas number one after increasing the gap over nearest rival Mark Ronson.

Ben has shifted 107,000 copies of his single Something I Need since its release on Sunday night, putting him in line to be the seventh winner of the ITV contest to clinch a festive chart-topper.

Although he is outselling last year's winner Sam Bailey, he is way behind the huge sales achieved by 2012 champ James Arthur, who had racked up 255,000 sales by this stage of the week two years ago.

Sam had achieved sales of 67,000 after two days with her track Skyscraper, although she went on to get the number one.

Figures released by the Official Charts Company today show that Ben is 33,000 copies ahead of Mark Ronson, whose Uptown Funk track with Bruno Mars is the closest realistic contender for the prized top slot.

Ed Sheeran's hit Thinking Out Loud is on course to claim the number three slot, according to data in the midweek chart.

But chart bosses say the race is not over just yet, with figures for online streaming to be included which could make a difference to the final result.

Uptown Funk is the most-streamed track of the week so far and has a chance of building its volume of plays as there is strong public awareness after being on sale for more than a week which tends to mean it will get added to further playlists.

Band Aid 30's revamped charity hit Do They Know It's Christmas?, once considered a strong bet for the Christmas number one, is only at number 11 in the midweek chart.

The final positions will be announced on Sunday.

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