Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Bid Manager, London

£45000 - £60000 per annum: Charter Selection: Charter Selection are working wi...

Marketing Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Charter Selection: Charter Selection are working wi...

Senior IT Systems Engineer - Southampton - £28k - £34K + bens

£28000 - £34000 per annum + pension, flexitime, healthcare: Deerfoot IT Resour...

Java Swing Developer - Hounslow - £33K to £45K

£33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...

Page 3 Profile: James Arthur, X Factor winner

The "winner" of The X Factor?

Winning The X Factor can be a bit of a poisoned chalice. The first victor, Steve Brookstein, has been reduced to starting petty arguments on Twitter, Shayne Ward recently took a detour into the West End, and even recent albums by the more talented ones (Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke) have been released to poor sales and mixed reviews.

But James Arthur has vowed to make a fist of it. The 24-year-old claimed this year's show was the best yet, adding: "I'm not exactly Justin Bieber and I have just won The X Factor so what does that say?"

It says he'll be dropped after one flop album.

Syco, Simon Cowell's record label, has a tendency to ditch X Factor acts at the faintest hint of commercial underperformance. However, the mood at Syco towers must be one of relief. There had been fears that Christopher Maloney, a Scouse cruise-ship singer, would take the prize despite murdering classic songs week-in, week-out.

These worries were backed up by ITV's voting statistics, which showed Maloney topped the public vote up to and including the seventh week of competition. Elderly voters joined forces with those seeking to sabotage the producers' wishes, but Arthur managed to win the final round with more than 50 per cent of votes cast.

I could happily do without The X Factor next year.

Many viewers were happy to give it a miss this year. It has been consistently pummelled in the ratings by Strictly Come Dancing, and the figures for this year's final were 30 per cent down on 2010's.

Viewers have complained about the joke acts, the farce of the theme weeks (in "No 1s" week, some of the songs had never topped the chart), and vented their fury at Tulisa.

Mostly, though, you suspect they're switching off because they feel their intelligence is being insulted. The producers' machinations have become so cynical, and so obvious, that only the deluded would dare to believe that their votes mattered. But the programme's executives can take heart in Arthur's chart performance. His winner's single, "Impossible", is currently outselling the No 2 record on iTunes by a margin of 10 to one.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor