THRONGS of teenage fans queued for hours for the chance to meet a group of modern pop idols.
Mikey Bromley, Charlie George, Parisa Tarjomani and Betsy-Blue English of X Factor group Only the Young were at The Merch Hut in Cosham to meet and greet their adoring public, and sign a few copies of their new single, I Do.
Since becoming finalists on last year’s show, the group have become famous for their energetic performances and bubbly lyrics.
Parisa, 21, from Ramsgate, said: ‘We’re really excited to get our music out there and it’s been an absolutely amazing response.’
Mikey, 20, from Carlisle, said: ‘We literally couldn’t do it without the fans.
‘The number of places we’ve turned up now with queues, and the amount of time they’re spending with us is amazing. We owe everything to those guys.’
Fans packed in tightly, pressing their noses up against the shop’s windows and let out squeals of joy when the band members emerged from a back room.
They were allowed in small groups into the shop, where they bought copies of the new single and posed for photos with the band.
Zoe Hummel, 17, from Gosport, said she was thrilled the band had come to Portsmouth. She said: ‘It’s nice to meet them in person rather than just listening to their music.’
Caylyn Lloyd, 15, from Gosport, said: ‘I think they’ve come far since The X Factor. I like the fact that they’re best friends as well. They’re original and don’t follow other bands.’
Chloe Miller, 17, also from Gosport, said: ‘It’s nice to meet them.
‘They’ve gone from having not many fans at the Summertime Ball to having millions now.’
The group finished seventh on last year’s ITV talent show, and signed a record deal with Warner Music Group earlier this year.
The shop’s co-owner, Alex Dutton, said fans had been lining up for hours ahead of the group’s appearance.
I think they’ve come really far since the X FactorCaylyn Lloyd
He said: ‘The visit has given a real buzz to the High Street.’