X FACTOR sensations Little Mix are celebrating as the first group to win Britain’s top talent show - thanks to more than a little help from Sheffield’s own starmaker Eliot Kennedy.
Today it was revealed the Grammy award winner was brought in as the show’s Talent Development Producer by best pal Gary Barlow - who believed if a band could win he was the man to make it happen. Eliot has developed, worked with and written chart-toppers for some of the biggest bands on the planet including The Spice Girls, Take That, Boyzone, Blue, Atomic Kitten and SClub7.
Now the man with music’s Midas touch has helped X Factor judge and mentor Tulisa Contostavios to turn her group of wannabes into the next big thing.
Take That superstar and head judge Gary ended up mentoring the boys but Eliot lived and worked with all the finalists for the past two months as he developed them in the new role created around his extraordinary ability to produce superstars.
Little Mix are the first girl group to even reach the final and are now reportedly set to earn a staggering £8 million from massive offers which will dwarf an advance record deal.
Eliot today praised the ‘amazing’ foursome who beat showman Marcus Collins and third place powerhouse Amelia Lily in the live final in front of 10,000 people at Wembley Arena.
He broke off from the party celebrations straight after the show to tell The Star: “I joined the X Factor after Gary asked me to get involved. He said there had never been a band to win it but if I was involved he believed I would make it happen.
“I am so proud of Little Mix. They have been amazing to work with every day.
“They have worked so hard and I believe in them so much.
“I am so thankful to Gary for asking me to be involved. This is a wonderful result for four fantastic young ladies.
“I’m a very proud man.”
Little Mix band members Jesy Nelson, 20, from Essex, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, 19, of London, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards, both 18 and from South Shields, say they would like to become global superstars like the first band Eliot developed, The Spice Girls.
“We would love to do that...We really look up to the Spice Girls,’’ said Jade, speaking on ITV1 Daybreak.
Leigh-Anne added it was amazing to receive flowers from Geri Halliwell and agreed the group ‘aspire’ to be like the Spice Girls.
“We are all individual and girls can relate to any one of us,” she said.
Their winner’s single, a rendition of Damien Rice’s Cannonball, is available on iTunes, Play.com, Amazon.com and HMV.com. The CD will follow tomorrow.
But favourite for the Christmas number one slot are the Military Wives, who are 1/2 favourites, say Ladbrokes.