Supporters celebrate X Factor win in James' local pub

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Stockton/Hartlepool)

Dozens of fans of James Arthur packed into his favourite local pub tonight. Reporter Chris Webber spoke to them as they nervously waited for the results.

JAMES Arthur's local pub where he would often play to under ten people was jumping last night after he won the X Factor.

The 24-year-old visited his favourite pub in his home town of Saltburn on a trip home last week and tonight The Victoria was packed with his supporters and friends, young and old, praying for him to win.

The back room, full of his most ardent supporters, had been full of chatter throughout the two-hour show last night but fell deathly silent as the results were announced.

As his name was read out as the winner, the cheers were truly deafening.

One fan, Emma Wales, 24, who used to be a barmaid in the pub, said: “I was friends with him and whenever a band didn't show up or there was any problem, we just call for him to come round with his guitar and play.

“There were times he was here with just ten people and he would play for a couple of quid, a beer and a pizza. To see this is amazing.”

Katie Tweddle, 20, would sometimes go back to James' bedsit with other pals just to hear him play his guitar.

“To see him up there now playing in front of millions of people,” she said. “The only word I can think of is surreal.”

Pals Kirstie Handley and Lucy Lever stumbled across James before the X Factor even started.

He was up filming with Olly Murs and while all the other people there were chasing the former reality show runner-up, the girls decided to chat to the local lad.

Miss Handley said: “When we saw him actually on the television we couldn't believe it and we made a thing of watching him together every Saturday night. This is just fantastic.”

Shaun Quinn, who came to Saltburn from Leeds to be in The Victoria for the show, said: “I've got friends here and thought why not come up to his local. I am glad I did the atmosphere was banging.

A local band struck up a Bon Jovi song as the pub-goers crowded to the dance floor to celebrate.


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