American singer Gary Jules has heaped praise on British rockers THE DARKNESS after beating them to the British Christmas number one slot - branding them "wonderful showmen".

The MAD WORLD star just pipped the CHRISTMAS TIME (DON'T LET THE BELLS END) rockers to the top spot with his cover of the Tears For Fears hit, which featured on the soundtrack to cult film Donnie Darko.

But Jules is a huge fan of the British band, and believes they're all trying to revitalise the pop-sodden music industry.

He says, "The Darkness are a great rock band in the classical sense who are musically talented and wonderful showmen.

"I think their success and ours shows that there is a demand for organic music that is not necessarily formulated and ruthlessly promoted."

22/12/2003 14:13