Little Mix were crowned champions of 'The X Factor' last night (11.12.11).

The girl group - made up of Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall - beat off stiff competition from fellow finalist Marcus Collins to become the first band in the history of the ITV1 show to be named winners.

Oh my God, this is never going to sink in. We can't thank the public enough for picking up the phone.

After a string of breathtaking performances - including a rendition of their winner's single 'Cannonball' - the quartet struggled to contain their emotions as host Dermot O'Leary broke the news to them and ecstatic mentor Tulisa Contostavlos.

Jesy said: "Oh my God, this is never going to sink in. We can't thank the public enough for picking up the phone."

After receiving the backing of show boss Simon Cowell - who has predicted the group will be as big as the Spice Girls - Little Mix are now expected to rake in a staggering £8 million in commercial deals.

As well as their £150,000 record deal advance, the foursome are expected to bag a number of lucrative contracts with major brands.

An insider told The Sun newspaper: "Offers have been coming in for weeks now. People in marketing spend their lives looking for suitable role models. Little Mix are the full package. The trick will be knowing what to turn down."

Meanwhile, Simon has also lined up Richard 'Biff' Stannard - the songwriter who helped the Spice Girls find fame - and 'X Factor' head judge Gary Barlow to work alongside the band.

The source added: "Simon has made no bones of the fact that he wants the best writers on board. He genuinely thinks the girls can be as big as - if not bigger than - the Spice Girls."