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Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 14:46 GMT
Pop Idol single 'flying off shelves'
Will Young
Pop Idol: Can Will forge a lasting career?
Pop Idol winner Will Young's double A-side CD has been rushing out of the shops with an estimated 385,000 copies sold in one chain alone in the first day of release.

Advance orders for Evergreen/Anything is Possible have totalled more than one million copies, which means it is on course to be the biggest selling debut single ever in the UK charts.

Monday's sales at Virgin Megastores
Newcastle: 1300 sold, nothing like it since Candle in the Wind
Glasgow: Store almost sold out, extra staff drafted in
Leeds: Will singles bought by 95% of customers
Liverpool: Queues before opening and 800 copies sold
Sheffield: Customers buying five copies at a time
Birmingham:Middle-aged women, young men and children buying more than one copy each
Brighton: Buyers queued from 0730 GMT and shelves restocked four times
Previous record-holders Hear'Say saw advance sales of 550,000 for their debut single Pure and Simple in March 2001.

An HMV spokesman told BBC News Online that sales of Young's single were unprecedented and could be "colossal".

The chain initially said it expected more than 250,000 sales by the end of Monday - Pure and Simple sold 160,000 on its first day.

But on Tuesday it revised that figure to 300,000 because demand was so high.

"It is flying off the shelves. Early indications show that a big chunk of the 1.2 million advance order copies will be sold," said a HMV spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Virgin reported 385,000 copies being sold at its stores on Monday.

"When you consider that Hear'Say sold 550,000 in the whole week, it's nothing short of a truly awesome phenomena," said Virgin spokesman Simon Dornan.

HMV's Gennaro Castaldo added the question now is not if Young will score a number one hit, but how long the record can hold on to the top spot.

"With such massive public interest, you'd imagine that it could stay there for a while, but a strong, and highly ironic possibility is that Will will be deposed after three weeks by his Pop Idol rival, Gareth Gates, who releases a cover of Unchained Melody on 18 March," said chart expert Mr Castaldo.

Hear'Say have suffered a drop in popularity
Hear'Say have suffered a drop in popularity

Student

Bookmakers are offering odds of 8-1 on Young staying at number one, assuming he gets there on Sunday.

"Punters think Will's first single will be huge and are backing him to monopolise the charts for two months or more," said William Hill.

The 22-year-old won Pop Idol after he beat 10,000 hopefuls in ITV1's nationwide search.

Young, a former politics student, beat Gareth Gates in the competition's final earlier this month. It was confirmed on Tuesday he would be appearing at the Party at the Palace concert to mark the Queen's jubilee in June.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Anything is Possible
"Hear a clip from the single"
Evergreen
"Hear a clip from the single"
 VOTE RESULTS
Can Will make it as a pop star?

Yes
 71.05% 

No
 28.95% 

13215 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

See also:

25 Feb 02 | Music
Will Young's solo gamble
13 Feb 02 | Showbiz
Westlife dismiss Pop Idol song
12 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Moody makeover for Will
11 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Pop Idol voting 'delayed ambulance'
11 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Pop Idol's career hots up
10 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Will wins Pop Idol
28 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
Pop Idol audience reaches 10 million
05 Jan 02 | Showbiz
McFadden and Katona tie knot
09 Dec 01 | Music
Westlife top Smash Hits awards
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