Concert with X Factor
ABSOLUTELY no surprise whatsoever when tickets for this year's Cheerios Childline Concert sold out in record time on Friday. Where else can a horde of screaming youngsters find The Script, JLS, Little Mix, Jedward and Lawson in the same auditorium?
The annual concert has been runnng since 1997 and has to date raised in the region of €4.2 million for the children's charity.
It's one of the reasons why we don't have an annual music awards ceremony on the lines of the IRMAs in this country anymore, as it's so difficult to compete with the Childline line-up.
But that's good news for Childline who stand to net over €400,000 from this year's bash at the O2 on November 24.
Boyzone's Keith Duffy and TV3's Glenda Gilson are hosts for the show which also includes performances by Irish duo Hudson Taylor (two former buskers, brothers Harry and Alfie Hudson-Taylor), and three-piece English R&B group Stooshe who were nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2012 poll.
All the artists appearing at the O2 on the night are giving their services free of charge and there's no bill either for the backstage crews or venue.
Those lucky enough to have tickets are reminded that doors open at 6.30 p.m. and no queuing is permitted before 6 p.m.
NO PRIZES for noticing that three of the acts on the Childline bill started life in X Factor. When it comes to mainstream pop, the show's influence is immense. As the current series trundles along towards Christmas, some of the acts are already mini-superstars.
Ella was at school and Jahmene stacking shelves in the local supermarket a few months ago; now they're on primetime TV and splashed across the red-top tabloids daily.
Given the pressure to succeed, it's hardly surprising that James Arthur, one of the favourites for the crown, collapsed backstage after singing on Saturday night and had to be checked out by paramedics.
The current crop of X Factor hopefuls are already among the favourites for the 2012 Christmas Number One, would you believe.
Bookies Ladbrokes have installed 16year-old Ella Henderson, at 9/4 favourite for the festive chart topper, with Jahmene Douglas at 12/1, James Arthur at 16/1, and boyband Union J at 20/1.
It's not certain that any of these acts will be in the shakedown when it comes to the final, but the bookies have one thing right; an X Factor Christmas number one is virtually guaranteed. Again. Zzzzzzzzzz.....