XFactor 2012 winner James Arthur meets Simon Cowell

James Arthur (X Factor 2012)

X Factor 2012 winner James Arthur met Simon Cowell for the first time this week, and the singer admitted he was left a bit starstruck.

It was the first time Simon had spoken to any of this year's contestants, having taken a very hands off approach to this year's series.

Speaking about talking to the music mogul, James said: "I was like, 'This has got to be a joke, is this real?'

"He was really nice, really complimentary and reinforced that he wanted me to carry on doing what I do best and not let anyone tell me what to do."

In an interview with BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat, James suggested that the show didn't need any big revamp.

Despite a decline in ratings, the 23-year-old claimed his win would help the authenticity of the series.

"[This year] has been a game changer," he said. "People like Lucy Spraggan, Ella Henderson, Jahmene, Kye and so on - all these people are genuine, authentic singer/songwriters.

"Hopefully that's going to encourage real musos to come forward for shows in the future.

"Then we'll get real authenticity on the X Factor."

James' winner's single is on course to top the charts this weekend, having become the fastest selling track of the year.

Official Charts Company Managing Director Martin Talbot said: "There has been a lot said about X Factor's popularity this year and questions have been raised that perhaps its momentum is beginning to wane.

"But this amazing opening performance by James Arthur suggests that it remains the pre-eminent launch pad for new artists.

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