FANS of Darlington pop starlet Zoe Birkett showed their support on Monday by buying hundreds of copies of her debut single.

The single, Treat Me Like A Lady, is tipped to take the 17-year-old former Carmel College student into the charts.

Zoe-mania struck in Darlington where her single was outselling Girls Aloud, who have been at number one for the past four weeks.

Zoe was contacted with the good news just before she was about to have her make-up done to appear on CBBC.

Zoe squealed with delight and said: "Oh my god! Tell my fans to keep buying it and say a big thank you to them."

But Zoe is competing against two other reality TV show stars for pop supremacy when the charts are announced this Sunday.

Fellow Pop Idol contestant Rosie Ribbons released her second single, A Little Bit, in a bid to better the number 12 slot she reached with her debut song Blink.

But Zoe's biggest rival for chart success is David Sneddon - the winner of BBC1's Fame Academy

David wrote his single Living A Lie while he was in the Fame Academy under the watchful eye of thousands of viewers. Pop experts have tipped David's ballad to get to number one on Sunday.

However, in HMV inside Darlington's Cornmill Centre Zoe outsold both Rosie Ribbons and David Sneddon.

The single has been given the coveted title of single of the week in the shop which seemed to be inspiring even more people to buy it.

A spokesman for HMV said: "It is hard to give exact figures but in our Darlington store Treat Me Like A Lady is selling about five time as much as her nearest rivals.

"Whatever happens nationally she will definitely be Darlington's number one on Sunday."

If Zoe does have chart success it will be a double Pop Idol celebration as the song was written by one of the show's other finalists, Sarah Whatmore