The big event on The X Factor on Sunday night, wasn’t the exit of another singer, it was the debut of Band Aid 30’s Do They Know It’s Christmas?, the charity single made and released in a weekend, to help raise money to fight Ebola in West Africa.

Sir Bob Geldof, the Band Aid founder, joined Dermot O’Leary onstage to personally thank Simon Cowell for allowing the debut of single on The X Factor.

“This is hardcore,” said Bob, “and to allow X Factor nation to watch this is enormous.

“The reason Simon wants you to watch this is because this thing [Ebola] could arrive here on a plane at any time.

“Then it wouldn’t just be watching African mothers not able to touch their babies when they’re dying, or husbands and wives unable to comfort each other in their last moments…

“This is the most anti-human disease. But we can stop it. And we will support those immensely brave NHS workers and young soldiers who are going down there… And the Government who are leading the world in this. Chancellor George Osborne told me to take all the tax on the single.

“This isn’t about me. It’s not about you,” Bob told the X Factor audience. “It’s not about them. For the first time it’s about us. It could be here. It could be a British mum…

“Buy this single. It’s a great track.

“Finally, we talked about this, Simon and I. We wanted to show you the context in which this was done. Why the artists came.

“It’s harrowing; it’s not meant for an entertainment show. We thought you needed to see it. If you’re going to be sensitive about it, look away for six seconds. But this is why we did this.”

And the video opened with grim pictures of an African woman, writhing in agony, being carried away by medics.

“8.00am tomorrow morning the single’s for sale X Factor nation and we go to war. We’re going to stop this thing. Buy this song,” said Bob.