Girls, get ready Union J are here!

Union J
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Expect female hormones to be all over the shop next week when the first big gig of 2014 takes place in Blackpool.

Boy band Union J, yet another product of the money-making machine that is X-Factor, are coming to the Opera House as part of their first ever UK tour.

The band – made up of JJ Hamblett, Jaymi Hensley, Josh Cuthbert and George Shelley – have had a worldwind 12 months.

Signed by Sony Records after finishing fourth on X-Factor, they have more than a million Twitter followers, have had 10 million views on YouTube and have released a book.

Debut single Carry You was a massive hit – going top five in the charts – and now they are embarking on an 18-date tour.

“The thing we love most about music is performing and we are so excited to get out on the road for our first ever tour,” said Hamblett.

“Playing our album to fans will be brilliant. We are so excited and promise to put on a really special show.”

The fact the band didn’t even get close to winning X-Factor (they finished fourth – James Arthur was the overall winner), shows the power of the programme.

Indeed within four-and-a-half months of the final, six of the series’ finalists (Arthur, Jahmene Douglas, Ella Henderson, Christopher Maloney, Union J and Lucy Spraggan) had been signed to major record labels.

Union J were snapped up by Sony and have had three hits so far, Beautiful Life and Loving You Is Easy, following on from Carry You.

One vaguely interesting fact… Hamblett was a jockey until he was 21, riding in 270 races and winning 24 times.

Tickets for the show, which will feature music rather than horse racing, are priced £22.50-£27.50.

There may be a few spare if you are quick at www.blackpoollive.com or from the Winter Gardens box office on 0844 856 1111.