All X Factor winners and runners-up: Little Mix and Marcus Collins join list

Last night’s X Factor Final saw Little Mix go down in history as the first group ever to win the show, beating Marcus Collins to the top spot.

That got our little brains thinking… can you remember all the winners and runners-up since the show began back in 2004?

Unless you are a super-fan or pub quiz demon, probably not, so let us remind you of some the lovely (and not-so-lovely) people who have graced that infamous X Factor stage over the years.

The first series kicked off in 2004 and the winner was…. Steve Brookstein. Poor Steve didn’t exactly go on to set the charts alight but he is still making music and is set to go on tour with jazz singer wife Eileen next year, showcasing their duet show.

The 2004 runner-up was G4 – the pop opera boys. The band split in 2007 but the cute blonde one, Jonathon Ansell, still pops up from time to time on things like Celebrity Come Dine With Me, and he recently played the Beast in a national tour of "Beauty and the Beast".

The winner of X Factor 2005 was heartthrob Shayne Ward. He enjoyed chart success with debut single That’s My Goal and reached the top spot with his first album. Mr Ward has since swapped the charts for the bright lights of the theatre, winning praise for his role as Stacee Jaxx in 80s-themed musical Rock of Ages.

The runner-up in 2005 was singing binman Andy Abraham, who went on to represent the UK in Eurovision in 2008 – never a good move! Sadly Andy was joint last. Oh well, there’s always panto.

2006 saw one of the most successful winners ever as Miss Leona Lewis burst onto our screens. Leona has picked up three Grammy award nominations and has enjoyed incredible success throughout the world, cracking the notoriously difficult US market.

Leona’s debut single Bleeding Love reached number one in over thirty countries around the world and since then she has gone on to sell over 25 millions singles worldwide. Her third Glassheart, will be released in early 2012 and Leona delighted X Factor 2011 viewers when she performed on show one of the Final, with a moving version of Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt.

Runner-up in 2006? Ray Quinn. The cheeky crooner went on to swap singing for skating and won Dancing on Ice 2009. He has also played Danny Zuko in Grease and is a bit of a star in the musical theatre world.


Scots singer Leon Jackson was the winner of X Factor 2007. He managed to have a number one single, but sadly, not much else. Don’t rule Leon out just yet though. He is believed to be working on his second studio album and has taught himself guitar and piano for a comeback.

Runner-up in 2007 was peroxide haired, Jack Frost lookalike, Rhydian Roberts. Back in the days before Britain’s Got Talent, pop opera was all the rage, apparently, on The X Factor and the Welsh wonder boy had a platinum selling CD.

What’s he done since? You guessed it: musicals. Well it worked for Ray and Shayne...

In 2008, Alexandra Burke was crowned winner of The X Factor.

Following in Leona Lewis' oh-so-glamorous footsteps, the diva went on to score a number one with Leonard Cohen’s classic Hallelujah – a single which broke the European record for the most copies sold in 24 hours. Watch her duet with Beyonce here.

Her debut album also went to number one and Alexandra is currently working on new material. She took time out from the studio to stand in for Kelly Rowland when she was ill on this year’s X Factor judging panel. She didn’t exactly go down

2008 was a good year for X Factor talent as boyband JLS was runner-up and the lads have since gone on to enjoy incredible success, including Brit Awards and 5 UK number ones. Not only that, Ortise, Marvin, JB and Aston have become one of the most-loved and admired groups in the UK, performing in the 2011 X Factor final alongside another X Factor success story, One Direction. More on those cheeky chaps later.

2009 was the year Geordie Joe McElderry, the nice boy of pop, won the show. Joe’s debut single hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons when it was kept off the Christmas number one spot by Rage Against The Machine.

After relative chart success, like others before him, Joe realised he was not destined for main stream pop, so he put his talent to good use elsewhere and won Popstar to Operastar in July 2011.

Joe’s second album, Classic, went into the charts at number two and he has just released Classic Christmas for the festive season.

Runner-up to Joe was Olly Murs, who has gone on to top the charts and become one of the most loved presenters on TV, after joining the Xtra Factor this year. Olly is currently top of the UK charts with his fourth number one single, Dance with Me Tonight – a track he performed with the Muppets on one of the live shows of X Factor 2011.

Olly’s debut album went to number two in the charts and his second record, In Case You Didn’t Know, was number one in November this year. Not bad for a runner-up eh?

2010 saw former painter Matt Cardle lift the crown. Matt’s debut single, a cover of Biffy Clyro’s When We Collide, was Christmas number one. Matt’s first album Letters, entered the charts at number two in October 2011. Watch him perform on this year's X Factor here.

Runner-up in 2010? Liverpool lass with the soulful voice Rebecca Ferguson. Rebecca signed to Simon Cowell’s label Syco and has just released her debut album Heaven. She also performed on the X Factor this year, wowing with debut single Nothing’s Real But Love. She is due to go on tour next year.

Rebecca also hit the headlines for briefly dating younger man Zayn Malik, who is part of boyband One Direction, who came third on The X Factor 2010.

One Direction are worthy of a mention as they have gone on to become one of the biggest groups in the UK, with millions of teenage (largely female) fans and a number one single and number two album under their belts. They have also attracted an older female fanbase but that’s one to ask Caroline Flack about... Watch them perform on this year's X Factor charity single, alongside the stars of 2011 and JLS.

And so, that it brings up to 2011 – the year Little Mix made history by becoming the first group ever to win The X Factor. The feisty four-piece are tipped for big things, with Simon Cowell insisting they could be bigger than the Spice Girls. Their debut single, Cannonball, is available for download now.

Runner-up Marcus Collins has the backing of mentor Gary Barlow, who is keen to land the soulful singer a record deal asap.

Wonder where Little Mix and Marcus will be this time next year? Riding up the charts or belting out ballads in a musical? Only time will tell…

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