British rockers The Darkness have been beaten to the Christmas Number One spot by a little-known American duo.

Gary Jules and Michael Andrews achieved the coveted top spot with a cover of Tears For Fears' 1982 hit MAD WORLD - and sensationally trounced the Lowestoft bands' CHRISTMAS TIME (DON'T LET THE BELLS END).

After a nail-biting week, in which the Darkness had edged ahead of Jules during the crucial 'midweek' sales figures, it was widely expected that the GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY WOMAN band would achieve their first British number one.

But, to Jules and Andrews' evident delight, they managed to achieve a last-minute surge and top the charts with the song, originally recorded for the soundtrack of cult movie Donnie Darko.

Andrews says, "It's an incredible thing for me to be able to enter into the mainstream like this with one of my best friends.

"It's a testament to the fact that people do like honest, simple music."

21/12/2003 20:37