Pop star welcome for X Factor's One Direction

Thursday December 9, 2010

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They haven't won the X Factor yet.

But One Direction must have felt like bona fide pop stars this week.

The popular boyband - Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Harry Styles – hit the road with mentor Simon Cowell to perform in their hometowns.

With visits to four different locales - barring Niall's native Ireland because of bad weather – the group's whistle-stop tour included a special appearance in Wolverhampton, where Liam was raised.

And it was there that One Direction-mania really took hold.

With the band performing an open-air set for more than 4,000 fans, the excitement took its toll on some supporters.

Some 35 fans had to be treated for minor injuries – with the first casualty found more than three hours before the boys even took to the stage.

Meanwhile, following Rebecca Ferguson's return to her native Liverpool this week, Cheryl Cole accompanied her other finalist Cher Lloyd back to Malvern.

And favourite Matt Cardle caused a big stir when he returned to Essex with his mentor Dannii Minogue.

The 27-year-old former painter and decorator played an intimate gig at his local pub in the village of Colne Engaine – where he used to perform on Saturday nights - before a big show in Colchester.

Photo: ę Rex

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