19 DECEMBER 2008

The personalised letters he sent to the talent show's finalists recently alerted the nation to the fact that Gordon Brown is an X Factor fan.

And like every ardent viewer the prime minister tuned in to watch the finale on Saturday night, as he revealed to winner Alexandra Burke's mum in a letter of congratulations.

Her surprised mother Melissa Bell, who is the former lead singer of the group Soul II Soul, couldn't believe it when she received a letter on 10 Downing Street headed paper, enthusing about "Alexandra's wonderful achievement".

"When I saw it had 'prime minister' on it I nearly passed out. It's such an honour. He said Alex must have got her talent from me," said delighted Melissa

The premier's enthusiastic comments also extended to her daughter's Christmas single, a version of the Leonard Cohen tune Hallelujah. He commented that the disc was "sure to be an incredibly successful debut single".

Photo: © Alphapress.com
"I wanted to add my congratulations to you and all your family on Alexandra's wonderful achievement in winning the X Factor final, and on what is sure to be an incredibly successful debut single," wrote the prime minister after tuning in to watch the North London girl triumph (pictured)Photo: © Rexclick on photo to enlarge