Ben Haenow is on the road to music stardom after he was named winner of The X Factor 2014.
The 29-year-old van driver’s victory came as a shock after his rival Fleur East, 26, was hot favourite to take the ITV show crown.
After the result was announced, Ben said: “I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it. Thank you so much.
“My dream has come true. You can’t imagine you are going to get to this point in the competition.”
Simon Cowell, who was mentor to both of the remaining two acts, said: “I couldn’t be happier for you, Ben. You’ve deserved it – you are a great guy and I’m so proud of you.”
He hailed Fleur as a “fantastic runner-up”.
She said: “I’m so grateful. I love Ben so much, I’m so happy for him.”
Ben was previously in a band with his brother called The Lost Audio.
He performed the winner’s single – a cover of OneRepublic’s Something I Need – at the close of the 11th series of the ITV show.
The track will now be a strong contender for Christmas number one.
Ben, from Croydon, south London, performed Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror as his song of the series.
Judge Louis Walsh said: “You are here for a reason. You have got the talent, you are an incredibly nice guy.”
His performance left Mel B feeling emotional. “You made me cry a little bit,” she said. “Those lyrics mean so much to you, so much to me. That was a job well done.”
Londoner Fleur sang Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk and earned rave reviews.
Simon said: “Oh my God. I’ve got to say of all the finalists I’ve ever head that was the greatest performance I’ve ever witnessed.
“I’m torn – I would ideally like to split the prize and give both of you the award for winning.”
Both finalists took their last chance to impress viewers by performing their versions of the winner’s single, OneRepublic’s track Something I Need.
SImon again described feeling torn between the two singers.
“This is probably the best and closest final I have ever, ever judged… I really wish I could give the prize to both of you, you have both been amazing,” he said.
The show also featured Olly Murs and Demi Lovato performing a duet, Sam Smith singing Stay With Me and One Direction being joined on stage by Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood.