Christmas number one 2014: X Factor winner Ben Haenow leading race against 'Uptown Funk'

Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars are close behind with their current number one

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The Independent Culture

Ben Haenow is leading the race for this year's Christmas number one after winning The X Factor on Sunday.

The former truck driver from Croydon beat Fleur East in the final to bag a record deal and release OneRepublic's "Something I Need" as his winner's single.

Haenow had racked up 75,000 downloads by midnight last night - far more than the 45,000 sales 2013 winner Sam Bailey achieved in the same time frame.

 

Hot on the 29-year-old's tail and behind by just 23,000 copies is Mark Ronson with current number one "Uptown Funk".

Featuring Bruno Mars on vocals, the song became a hit after Fleur performed it on The X Factor, leading Ronson to rush release it five weeks early.

The 2014 Christmas number one will be decided by streaming figures as well as sales, meaning the narrow gap between Haenow and Ronson could soon close.

"Uptown Funk" was played online 1.35 million times in the UK last week on services such as Spotify and Deezer - the equivalent of 13,500 sales. Official Chart Company bosses expect that figure to be higher this week.

Early predictions suggest that Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud" will be number three while "Up" by Olly Murs and Demi Lovato will hit number four.

"The week of the Christmas number one race is always among the most exciting in the Official Singles Chart calendar," said Martin Talbot, Official Charts Company chief executive.

"Early data indicates that we have a genuine battle on our hands in 2014. By Sunday we will know who has won out but for the moment, the race is on."

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