IT is one of the most hotly contested challenges in the retail world.

More than 100 Christmas fans signed up for the Elf Factor auditions in a bid to become one of Santa's newest little helpers at Hamleys toy store.

However, there could only be a handful of winners and these elves are some of the lucky recruits.

Kirstin Longmuir, 20, from Motherwell, and Kaitlyn Doherty, 19, from Cumbernauld, wowed at the store's auditions last month.

The elves were asked to demonstrate their favourite talent, from singing to balloon making, fighting off fierce competition to claim their place on Santa's team.

After triumphing in the first phase they were put through their paces at Elf Boot Camp where they were shown all this year's Christmas toys.

Santa and his chief elf Gemma Stein, 21, from Newton Mearns, were also on hand to help train recruits.

Motherwell College student Kirstin said having the chance to audition was a "dream come true", adding: "As I have a background in musical theatre I was used to performing in front of large crowds, but auditioning for Santa was something I thought I would never do.

"Thankfully Santa, his elves and all who came to support the hopefuls seemed to like me.

"Now I'm making toys, eating cookies daily and having fun with all the children who visit the shop - I even get to perform on Hamleys stage."

Grant Yuill, of Hamleys, which is part of Glasgow Loves Christmas, the city's annual festive campaign, said: "This is our second Elf Factor and it's been great fun.

"We want Christmas to be like it is in the movies so it's a completely different shopping experience here."