Take That: Christmas odds slashed after X Factor

Image caption,
Take That were kept off the top of the singles chart by Rihanna

The odds of Take That album Progress being Christmas number one have dropped to 2/5 after their first performance as a five piece in 15 years on X Factor.

Robbie Williams performed with the band for the first time since he left in 1995 as they sang single The Flood from new album Progress, due out on Monday.

The Daily Mail said Williams made "a nervy return" while the Daily Star said Take That "brought the house down".

Progress, meanwhile, has become the biggest pre-order release of the year.

On Monday morning, Ladbrokes made Progress 2/5 favourite for the Christmas number one album while William Hill made it their 4/9 favourite.

Crowd 'thrilled'

According to early estimates, an average audience of 14.5 million viewers watched the X Factor results show, in which contestant Aiden Grimshaw was ejected.

Take That were top of the bill following performances from JLS and Westlife.

The Daily Express said Take That "thrilled the crowd, little more than a year after Robbie made his shaky solo comeback on last year's X ­Factor".

After the performance, Gary Barlow told X Factor host Dermot O'Leary: "The whole day of being in the dressing room has actually been as much fun as being on here - it's been great being back together."

Asked by O'Leary how it felt to be back in the band, Williams replied: "Just still weighing it up. At the moment it feels absolutely magical, fantastic."

Online retailer Amazon said demand for Progress was "higher than anything that either of them have achieved before".

Gennaro Castaldo, of HMV, said: "Progress has all the makings of one of the biggest and fastest-selling albums of recent years, and it should comfortably shift well over a million copies in just a few weeks as we approach Christmas."

He said it would "undoubtedly top the festive charts".

Progress, produced by Madonna and Killers collaborator Stuart Price, is Take That's first album as a five-piece since 1995's Nobody Else.

Despite predictions for their album to be a huge success, The Flood was kept off the top of Sunday's singles chart on Sunday by Rihanna who was number one for a second week with Only Girl (In The World).

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