X FACTOR finalist Cher Lloyd was greeted by crowds of autograph hunters today as she arrived home in Malvern.

Cher was mobbed by crowds as she arrived to give a private concert to her old teachers and pupils at Somers Park Primary School, Somers Park Avenue. Four of her cousins are pupils at the school.

Cheryl Cole was meant to join Cher at the school but did not turn up. It is thought she had been delayed travelling to Malvern from Liverpool.

A handful of people got a kiss or an autograph off Cher, as just reward for their braving the sub zero temperatures.

Ashley Hill, aged 13, of Yates Hay Road, Malvern, goes to school with Cher's sister, and got a hug for his trouble.

"I got a cuddle and then had my picture taken by the paps so I was made up," he said.

Mum Denise Hill added: "I got a kiss off her, which was great.

"Her Mum Dinah was telling me the whole thing has been a bit surreal.

"But we all love her. Cher to win!"

Headteacher Stuart Sewell said she would be getting “a warm welcome,” recalling that Cher had always wanted to be on the X Factor.

“You could always find Cher singing around school,” he said. “She was a very gifted young girl, and it was always her dream to be on X Factor. The last thing I said to Cher’s mother in the playground before she left the school was, ‘Next time I see you, it’ll be on the X Factor’.”

The 17-year-old will perform a free concert tonight and show judge Cheryl Cole will be joining her.

The former Dyson Perrins CE Sports College pupil is due to take the stage in front of 900 fans at the Three Counties Showground tonight.

Interest in the visit has reached fever pitch, and 900 concert tickets and wristbands were sold in just 20 minutes yesterday morning, according to staff at Malvern Tourist Information Office, who arrived at work to find people queueing outside their office. A further 500 were given out from the office at 11am today, prompting more queues to form.

Tourist information officer Anne Rich said: “The queue of people was extensive. It’s tremendous for the town. We are all very excited and backing Cher all the way to win.”

Cher and Cheryl are also due at the teenager's home, spending some time with her family.

Cher’s dad Darren said: “The kids are so excited. Cheryl Cole’s going to be in our front room. Rosie can’t wait. I can’t wait either.

“It’s a reminder of what a huge achievement this, of how far Cher’s come.

“More than 200,000 people applied to take part in this show and now we’re down to the last four acts. It’s simply incredible.”

Tonight’s concert is only open to those with a ticket and wristband.