The Circus, the new album by Take That, has achieved the biggest first-day sales of the year, it has been confirmed.

The reunited boyband's fourth album sold a staggering 133,000 copies on Monday, according to the Official Charts Company.

Though Britney Spears' new effort, the similarly-titled Circus, was thought to be Take That's main competition to debut at number one in the album charts, the four-piece's sales figures look to have assured their topping the charts.

And the huge appeal of Gary Barlow and company has also led to their smashing of Coldplay's record for the fastest-selling album of the year.

Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends was the previous record holder with 125,000 copies after its release in June.

Take That's success is all the more e given that the album was not available at all retailers on Monday.

Major CD distributor Entertainment UK went into administration last week, meaning that many branches of Woolworths, Zavvi and WH Smith did not have the album available in store or online.

"Today's sales figures are even more exciting considering the album wasn't available in all stores yesterday," Universal Music UK chairman David Joseph told the BBC.

The chart-topping success of The Circus continues a triumphant 20080 for Take That with the album's lead single Greatest Day currently number one in the singles chart while the band's 2009 stadium tour became the fastest-selling tour in UK history.

The Circus has also comfortably beaten the first day sales for Beautiful World, Take That's previous album, which went on to be the second biggest-selling record of 2006 after just four weeks on sale.

Martin Talbot, managing director of the Official Charts Company, said Take That's success was "quite remarkable".

"The new album is clearly set to be one of this Christmas’s biggest sellers, beyond any doubt."

03/12/2008 02:01:01